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  1. #1
    Member xevious's Avatar
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    Lightbulb What watch companies still make their own mechanical movements?

    In casual conversation with several watch enthusiasts, I've heard that today there far fewer watch brands that make their own movements (called a manufactory) than a few decades ago. For instance, Omega used to but now they use ETA movements exclusively and in some cases modify the ETA movement (as with the Valjoux 7750). IWC modifies ETA movements for their watches as well.

    ETA is part of the Swatch Group and practically monopolizes the Swiss watch movement scene these days. It's really quite amazing how many watch companies use their movements. Because of that, I'll leave off the "Swatch" brand.

    Of course, just because a watch company uses a 3rd party movement, it doesn't mean their watches are less desirable. On the contrary, some highly innovative movements have been produced over the years--why not put a time proven movement in a beautifully handcrafted quality watch casing? Still... it's kind of interesting to know who is doing what these days.

    So, I'd like to put together a list of watch companies here who make their own mechanical movements or modify existing ones, for reference. If people post what they know, I'll add it to this posting (as it appears I'm allowed to keep editing this first post). This is of course assuming it hasn't been done before on WatchUSeek... I couldn't find one in my searches.

    So far the list is:

    A. Lange & Söhne
    Audemars Piguet
    Ball Watch Co+ (ETA)
    Badollet
    Blancpain
    Breguet
    Breitling+ (ETA, Valjoux)
    Bvlgari
    Carl F. Bucherer
    Chopard* (ETA)
    Christophe Claret
    Citizen/Miyota
    Clerc
    Cvstos
    DeBethune* (Venus)
    DeGrisogono
    Dornbluth & Sohn
    Ebel+ (ETA)
    Eberhard+ (ETA, Valjoux)
    Eterna (3030, new)
    FP Journe
    Franc Vila
    Frederique Constant*
    Gerald Genta
    Gevril
    Glashütte Original
    Girard-Perregaux
    Grovana Revue Thommen
    H. Moser & Cie (HMC 321.503)
    Hautlence
    HMT
    IWC* (ETA, Valjoux)
    Jaeger-LeCoultre [JLC]
    Longines+ (ETA)
    Maktime
    Maurice Lacroix* (?)
    Mille
    Nomos (Tangomat, cal. ZETA)
    Omega+ (ETA, Valjoux)
    Orient
    Panerai* (P.2002, ETA, JLC)
    Patek Philippe
    Poljot+ (ETA)
    Prim
    Quinting
    RGM* (ETA, Unitas)
    Rolex
    SeaGull
    Seiko/Orient
    Sinn+ (ETA, Valjoux)
    Sjoo Sandstrom
    TAG Heuer* (Valjoux; Mikrograph in-house)
    Ulysse Nardi* (ETA)
    Urwerk
    Vacheron & Constantin
    Villemont* (FP Journe)
    Vostok
    Vulcain
    Wempe
    Wyler* (Valjoux)
    Zarja
    Zenith

    Legend
    * : some movements are made in-house.
    + : all movements are outsourced (e.g. ETA) but some are modified in-house
    _ : those not marked either make all of their own movements or outsource a minority


    NOTE:
    Please let me know if anything is incorrect, or what names need an annotation. Again, I am no watch expert. Please forgive any mistakes--I'm very open to making corrections. I'm a novice watch hobbyist who became curious about watch movement manufacturers, didn't see any comprehensive list around, so I started this as a project. Thanks!

    NOTE 2:
    I realize India, Russia, and China have plenty of their own watch companies who make their own movements. It would probably be too daunting to add all of them. I'd prefer to keep it minimized to the top 1-3 companies.

    Addendum:
    As the list has grown, I've also started becoming more aware of the growing cottage industry of mechanical watch movements. It's really amazing how a field already saturated with fine quality movements has people still desiring to do things "their own way." I'm more of the mind that once something is done extremely well, why bother re-inventing it on an endeavor that may very likely fail to get much revenue traction? Anyway, I do want to avoid creating an "all encompassing list" of every single watch movement maker no matter the size, because it'll always be out of date. I'm more interested in a list that captures movement makers of above average stature, having strong public prominence either now or in the past. I don't know if there's any measurable benchmark to create a dividing line. I'm open to suggestions. Thanks for your attention.
    Last edited by xevious; May 18th, 2011 at 05:28. Reason: Revisions
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  2. #2
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    Re: What watch companies still make their own movements?

    so where did you get your information? only 6 movement makers? so if rolex doesn't make movements, who makes them?

  3. #3
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    Re: What watch companies still make their own movements?

    Check out this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatch_Group

    The Swatch Group owns a lot of watch brands.

  4. #4
    Member watch-man7777's Avatar
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    Re: What watch companies still make their own movements?

    Did you just say Ball makes their own movements?

    They use ETA just like everyone else.

    Most of your information is very contradictory. You have a lot of learning to do young Jedi.
    -Jarrod


  5. #5
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: What watch companies still make their own movements?

    some more

    A. Lange & Söhne
    Glashütte Original
    Chopard
    Rolex
    Wempe
    PP
    Vacheron & Constantin
    Blancpain
    Frederique Constant (not all)
    Nomos (Tangomat, cal. ZETA)
    AP
    Breguet
    Eterna (see their new 3030)
    GP
    JLC
    H. Moser & Cie (see their HMC 321.503)
    UN
    Omega
    Panerai (P.2002)
    Seiko


    and a lot more.
    Last edited by stuffler,mike; February 6th, 2008 at 10:46.

  6. #6
    NEG
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    Re: What watch companies still make their own movements?

    Rolex do make their own movements. Back in 1912 a contract was signed with Aegler, the company supplying movements to Rolex, then in 1915 Aegler became Aegler AS, Fabrique de Montres Rolex. 1919 saw Hermann Aegler become a co-director of Rolex. Both companies aquired shares in each other, effectively making them one company but two legally separate entities.

    Roll forward to 2004 and the Rolex companies merged into one with new facilities in Geneva and Bienne, everything is made in-house, they even have foundries for gold alloy production.
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  7. #7
    Member colt's Avatar
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    Re: What watch companies still make their own movements?

    - Orient
    - Vostok

  8. #8
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: What watch companies still make their own movements?

    Not to forget Poljot

  9. #9
    Member CCCP's Avatar
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    Re: What watch companies still make their own movements?

    And SeaGull (plus some other Chinese movement makers)

  10. #10
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    Re: What watch companies still make their own movements?

    Prim
    Grovana Revue Thommen

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