accuracy of a seagull movement
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  1. #1
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Off topic accuracy of a seagull movement

    Hi all

    As you know last week I bought a timex luxury sports man watch fitted with one of the highest grade chinese made movements, the seagull st2504. Before I purchased it, the watch was timed at the machine at +8 sec per day, after a week of daily wearing, I have come to the conclusion that this watch is an oustandingly accurate watch.
    Here are the results, I observed during a week of daily wearing:
    friday 30th january to saturday 31th january: +4 seconds
    saturday 31th january to sunday 1st february: +10 seconds
    sunday 1st february to monday 2nd february: +0 seconds
    monday 2nd february to tuesday 3rd february: +0seconds
    tuesday 3rd february to wesdneday 4th february: -1 seconds
    wednesday 4th february to thursday 5th february: -3 seconds
    thursday 5th february to friday 6th february: -2 seconds

    This watch is as accurate as any of my Omegas and also bear in mind that it costs 30 time less what a PO or a sub costs for exactly the same accuracy results. So where does such an accuracy come? The fact that most of the seagull movements have better tolerance and factory adjustment than some swiss movements out of the box. I know a guy who own a seagull moonphase since 6 months and who has an accuracy of +4 sec per week. On the openheart self winding movements from seagull the triovis regulating accuracy system is responsible of such a consistence in the accuracy. The triovis regulating system is a much better regulation device than the etachron which dislikes frequent services and is not very shock resistant.
    From my personal point of view, I rate the seagull above the seiko automatics in terms of fit, finish and accuracy. Bare also in mind that the movement in my watch is not a cosced one, imagine if the chinese submitted their movements at the cosc!! The problem with Seiko is that very few watchmakers repair them, many watchmakers dislike the chrono movements from Seiko due to their very poor parts availability and crude finish. The main advange of the seagull or shanghai movements is that they are improved copies of eta, valjoux, piguet and venus movements. Seagull is quality wise on par with Lemania if we are speaking of the chronographs, tourbillons and other complications alone. And accuracy of any seagull movement is excellent out of the box.

    Some people will say: "but you can't compare a chinese brand that is unknown to a great swiss brand". I will answer them: "No" for these reasons:
    -Chinese with Seagull have developped the same complications on movements than the swiss brands like Breguet and Blancpain: like the handwound column wheel chrono with moonphase, the double tourbillon, the carrousell tourbillon, the flyingwheel with openheart and the minute repeater
    -Accuracy even if the watch isn't cosced is more than excellent, just see my results
    -the price is 30th or 20 times less than what costs a swiss watch of an equivalent category.
    This thread is mainly a food for thought for people thinking that Chinese made watches are inferior to Swiss made watches. For the anedocte, a guy with a 15000$ Blancpain asked me about my Timex Luxury Sports watch, he couldn't believe how much I paid for it. He told me :"That is a more than a lot of watch for the money."

    best regards

    georges
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    Re: accuracy of a seagull movement

    1. Will it become widely recognized as collectible?

    2. Will it's value hold or diminish over time?

    3. How long will parts be available for it? Will seagull promise a decade or more of parts available after they stop producing the movement, if they ever do?

    4. Service, or how well is service handled?


    I can go on, but value is not always about how much money is saved. I am not comparing the above point to Omega, but just everything. All of the above points can be argued too.

    Your points about Chinese vs Swiss is hard to argue, and not the point I am trying to get across. I am glad you are happy with your watch, that is what is most important, but I am not put back that it is so cheap compared to my overpriced luxury Swiss watch, because I am buying more then the watch in most cases, and I know it.

    I suggest that instead of comparing overall price of the watch, compare what is most important to your point:

    What does the Chinese movement offer compared to a similar Swiss movement. But even that is difficult to equate in terms of cost, due to China's ability to produce at very little cost to themselves, so even cost is skewed in favor of the Chinese. So the Seagull movement is a good value compared to what ETA movement? Say a 2824-2? :)

    Good Luck!
    James
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    Re: accuracy of a seagull movement

    Good post Georges. A lot of the reluctance to purchase Chinese is just watch snobbery. My criteria for a watch is simple: Must look good and keep reasonably accurate time. I don't buy anything that I won't wear under any conditions, so no winder queens or Sunday "inside the house" watches for me. I don't buy for investments, status, or rarity. I buy them to wear and enjoy. If they are made in China ... so be it. ~ David
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    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: accuracy of a seagull movement

    Quote Originally Posted by SpringDriven View Post
    1. Will it become widely recognized as collectible?
    2. Will it's value hold or diminish over time?
    3. How long will parts be available for it? Will seagull promise a decade or more of parts available after they stop producing the movement, if they ever do?
    4. Service, or how well is service handled?

    I can go on, but value is not always about how much money is saved. I am not comparing the above point to Omega, but just everything. All of the above points can be argued too.
    Your points about Chinese vs Swiss is hard to argue, and not the point I am trying to get across. I am glad you are happy with your watch, that is what is most important, but I am not put back that it is so cheap compared to my overpriced luxury Swiss watch, because I am buying more then the watch in most cases, and I know it.
    I suggest that instead of comparing overall price of the watch, compare what is most important to your point:
    What does the Chinese movement offer compared to a similar Swiss movement. But even that is difficult to equate in terms of cost, due to China's ability to produce at very little cost to themselves, so even cost is skewed in favor of the Chinese. So the Seagull movement is a good value compared to what ETA movement? Say a 2824-2? :)

    Good Luck!
    Hi spring driven

    Before saying the Chinese movements are bad or whatever, here is some history about the Chinese watch industry:
    http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wik...ndard_Movement
    Two main chinese movement and watch manufacturers are in the business:
    Seagull
    http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wik...ianjin_Seagull
    Shanghaï
    http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wiki/index.php?title=Shanghai_ZuanShi_(Diamond)_Watch_F actory
    Seagull remained the most important one. Seagull is also recognized for its ability to make complications such as flying with open heart, double tourbillon, carrousel tourbillon, hand wound column wheel chrono with moon phase and minute repeaters.
    Seagull produced clones of the 2824 and the 2892 that even beat the swiss eta, an article relative to these movement is here
    http://www.tz-uk.com/forum/viewtopic...st=0&sk=t&sd=a (for the anecdote M4tt suggested it to me, now I suggest it to you and read it from the first to the very last page)
    Here are some seagull movements:
    here is the st8004-2, a selfwinding tourbillon with retrograde date and retrograde power reserve
    http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=154
    (check how beautiful is the movement) ;)
    here is the st8006, a hadwound tourbillon with regulateur hour and minute display
    http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=156
    here is the st3600 (a chinese improved clone of the eta unitas 6497-6498)
    http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=163
    here is the st2504 a derivative of the st26 which has retrograde date and power reserve (it is the movement that is in my timex, except that mine has a much better finish)
    http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=127

    Here are some seagull made watches, their styling is nice and they can easily take the comparison with the most prestigious swiss brands:
    seagull m171s with retrograde day and date and flying wheel with open heart (as you can see the watch has beautiful case, dial and hands)
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=164
    seagull m222s a nice aviator watch with a a high grade seagull st 36 (which is an improved copy of the eta unitas 6497-6498) http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=194
    seagull st189s with gmt function, retrograde calendar and power reserve
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=180
    seagull st9100g, a clone of the breguet handwound minute repeater
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=186
    seagull st8080, handwound watch with double tourbillon
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=200
    seagull st8003 sa, clone of a breguet watch with a tourbillon movement
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=204
    seagull st8007g tourbillon with moonphase, 24 hours indicator, power reserve indicator and calendar
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=210
    seagull st2590 perpetual calendar with date hand at 3H,leap year hand at 4.5,month hand at 6H,week hand at 9H,moon-phase at 12H,
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=188

    1) Collectibility is depending of how unique and how good is the watch. Is a modern breitling or any eta based panerai collectible? No, not really because the movement are so common and these watch can be found in several thousand examples that they have no value on the market. Of course there is also the quality of the movement that says a lot. Also in 2010, brands that are not belonging to the swatch group will not be longer authorized to do modifications on Eta ebauches themselves. A watch like a Breitling will just remain another eta based watch. Collectible also means something unique, uncommon and never seen.
    2) I think Chinese watches have a bright future, check some of the watches made by Seagull compare them to what ask the top tier swiss brands and you will see that the Chinese have enough major cards to conquer some intresting market shares in Europe.
    3) I don't know, but knowing that Seagull produces a quarter of the world's mechanical watch movements, and has been manufacturing watches and movements since 1955, I don't think parts availability should be a problem.
    4) Basically the seagull are as easy to service as any swiss movements, the problem is that you need have qualified personel to work on these watches and of course only experienced people can do it.

    I hope this answered your questions and was enough convincing to see that a Chinese brand like Seagull has enough arguments to make the swiss brands nervous and/or frustrated.

    best regards

    georges
    Omega the sign of Excellence since 1848. Jaeger Le Coultre Horlogerie de Luxe depuis 1833
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    Re: accuracy of a seagull movement

    Would hardly think any Swiss manufacturers are losing any sleep right now.

    While Chinese manufacturers are taking over in a lot of areas (mainly electronics and clothing and such) luxury watch buyers are not like your average consumer looking for cheap items and don't care where they were made. Those consumers will just go to quartz anyway.

    It's going to be a tough sell to convince the distinguishing, educated luxury watch buyer - much less enthusiast - to buy a "Sea-Gull" branded watch over an Omega, Rolex, Patek, or what-have-you. Those who want a "nice watch" to enjoy and impress their friends know "Omega" or "Rolex". I'll risk it to predict "Sea-Gull" is not going to get a lot of oohs and aahs, tourbillon or no.

    Take a look at Grand Seiko - there is undeniable excellence there, but they are not really popular outside of Japan. "Seiko" means something else here, and it's not mid or high-end mechanicals. I myself am checking out the links you provided.

    Let's face it - the name on the watch dial is what counts to folks outside watch forums, and not what's ticking away inside. Not saying I agree with it, but it seems to be the truth.

    That said, I'd certainly believe your statements regarding quality, technical prowess, etc. I'd certainly be interested to check them out. I really thank you, Georges, for providing this excellent information and sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm about these promising watches.
    Last edited by fmalloy; February 7th, 2009 at 23:37.

  6. #6
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: accuracy of a seagull movement

    You are welcome Frank. I am always pleased to share information and make people discover things they are unaware of and/or don't know necessarily the existance. Seagull is now looking to establish a network of retailers in Europe and in USA as well. I have given contacts of Seagull Europe to one watchmaker who I am good friends with (l'esprit du temps in St Germain en Laye) in order to be the first Seagull retailer in France. He sells watch brands which use Seagull movements and recognized that the potential of Seagull in France is important.
    Of course Omega and Rolex are well liked brands but the price have skyrocketed in an unreasonable manner forcing people to buy something else. Marketing is marketing but value for money and outstanding price/quality ratio are not negligible especially when the purchasing power of the majority of people is not at its highest level. In time of crisis all costs more: food, gasoline, healthcare, electricity and costs of isp/telecommunications are also going up. The restricted budget of the average joe doesn't let him much choice when he wants a good watch offering the same level of quality than the top tier brands. In the european watch brands, Jacques Etoile, Nomos, Maurice Lacroix and Rainer Brand are what I would call reasonabily priced but for some people, they are still too expensive, that is why Seagull is the definite alternative. I mean who on the market offers a handwound column wheel chrono based on the venus 175 for less than 1000€???? None. And Seagull offers one which is nicely finished and that can easily take the comparison from the top tier brands.
    Problem with quartz is that most of the swiss watch industry, (except Rolex (in the past till 2000-2002) and Omega (till 1980)) used basic eta electronic calibres, it is still the case today. I don't think that all people like quartz watches, I know I am not a fan of them anymore. Expensive quartz watches are nothing special. They are not really comparable with a nice mechanical watch. Not to mention that some batteries are not made for quartz movements anymore. Some people like marketing it is up to them. Marketing is not always synonymous of quality. Remember the 33xx story which was said to be one of the greatest Omega movements but which is still a mediocre movement even today.
    Last edited by georges zaslavsky; February 8th, 2009 at 00:53.
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    Omega and Rolex for ever
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    Re: accuracy of a seagull movement

    Quote Originally Posted by georges zaslavsky View Post
    Hi spring driven

    Before saying the Chinese movements are bad or whatever, here is some history about the Chinese watch industry:
    http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wik...ndard_Movement
    Two main chinese movement and watch manufacturers are in the business:
    Seagull
    http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wik...ianjin_Seagull
    Shanghaï
    http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wiki/index.php?title=Shanghai_ZuanShi_(Diamond)_Watch_F actory
    Seagull remained the most important one. Seagull is also recognized for its ability to make complications such as flying with open heart, double tourbillon, carrousel tourbillon, hand wound column wheel chrono with moon phase and minute repeaters.
    Seagull produced clones of the 2824 and the 2892 that even beat the swiss eta, an article relative to these movement is here
    http://www.tz-uk.com/forum/viewtopic...st=0&sk=t&sd=a (for the anecdote M4tt suggested it to me, now I suggest it to you and read it from the first to the very last page)
    Here are some seagull movements:
    here is the st8004-2, a selfwinding tourbillon with retrograde date and retrograde power reserve
    http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=154
    (check how beautiful is the movement) ;)
    here is the st8006, a hadwound tourbillon with regulateur hour and minute display
    http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=156
    here is the st3600 (a chinese improved clone of the eta unitas 6497-6498)
    http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=163
    here is the st2504 a derivative of the st26 which has retrograde date and power reserve (it is the movement that is in my timex, except that mine has a much better finish)
    http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=127

    Here are some seagull made watches, their styling is nice and they can easily take the comparison with the most prestigious swiss brands:
    seagull m171s with retrograde day and date and flying wheel with open heart (as you can see the watch has beautiful case, dial and hands)
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=164
    seagull m222s a nice aviator watch with a a high grade seagull st 36 (which is an improved copy of the eta unitas 6497-6498) http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=194
    seagull st189s with gmt function, retrograde calendar and power reserve
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=180
    seagull st9100g, a clone of the breguet handwound minute repeater
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=186
    seagull st8080, handwound watch with double tourbillon
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=200
    seagull st8003 sa, clone of a breguet watch with a tourbillon movement
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=204
    seagull st8007g tourbillon with moonphase, 24 hours indicator, power reserve indicator and calendar
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=210
    seagull st2590 perpetual calendar with date hand at 3H,leap year hand at 4.5,month hand at 6H,week hand at 9H,moon-phase at 12H,
    http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/produ...?productid=188

    1) Collectibility is depending of how unique and how good is the watch. Is a modern breitling or any eta based panerai collectible? No, not really because the movement are so common and these watch can be found in several thousand examples that they have no value on the market. Of course there is also the quality of the movement that says a lot. Also in 2010, brands that are not belonging to the swatch group will not be longer authorized to do modifications on Eta ebauches themselves. A watch like a Breitling will just remain another eta based watch. Collectible also means something unique, uncommon and never seen.
    2) I think Chinese watches have a bright future, check some of the watches made by Seagull compare them to what ask the top tier swiss brands and you will see that the Chinese have enough major cards to conquer some intresting market shares in Europe.
    3) I don't know, but knowing that Seagull produces a quarter of the world's mechanical watch movements, and has been manufacturing watches and movements since 1955, I don't think parts availability should be a problem.
    4) Basically the seagull are as easy to service as any swiss movements, the problem is that you need have qualified personel to work on these watches and of course only experienced people can do it.

    I hope this answered your questions and was enough convincing to see that a Chinese brand like Seagull has enough arguments to make the swiss brands nervous and/or frustrated.

    best regards

    georges
    You have answered many of my questions, by your answers. They tell me the following:

    1. You did not read or understand what I wrote.

    2. Your answers are well rehearsed and defended, which means you are not open.

    3. Your point #3 speaks volumes about Seagull.

    Listen George, there are levels to everything. This is what we call apples and oranges. Your Timex, and most Seagull movements, good as they are, are apples. The Omega and Rolex you want to compare to, are Oranges. You simply can't compare them except on very basic levels.

    a. They tell time.
    b. They are accurate.

    To some that is enough, to others, there are many more things they desire.

    None of which I have said here or earlier is meant to say that Seagull, or the Chinese Watches you are promoting, are bad in any way. I am positive that they are good. But as it has already been stated, Japan has incredible watches too, but they might as well be Blueberries if we try and compare them as well.

    In the end, I am glad you like your watch, but I will pass on the Kool-Aid.

    You might wonder why? "This is just as accurate, and $2000 less..."

    1. I don't want Chinese products, there is a reason they are cheap, even if the quality is very high...

    2. There is no love, no heart. What about all of the watch, for some, I need more then just a movement, and the Timex, or most anything that would have a Seagull movement in it, would fall short compared to my PO. I know this to be true.

    3. Customer service I brought up before. Horror stories aside, I am sure that Omega/Rolex is miles better then anything Seagull or Timex would offer. I bet Timex would just send out a new watch... I think I would loose this fight, but I feel it would be a good one.

    4. There is more then accuracy/complications when it comes to a movement. How efficient is the drive train? How long will it last?

    I give up, I don't think I have the heart to continue, because I know what a base ETA 2824-2 looks like, and I know that Seagull probably does make a great movement, but I can only simplify my ramblings with Apples and Oranges, as it takes more then the movement to make a watch. Yes I have tool watches, and I have watches that I am very glad I can afford to own, a luxury... Apples, and Oranges...
    Last edited by SpringDriven; February 8th, 2009 at 05:47.
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    Re: accuracy of a seagull movement

    I think you are both talking around each other, Springdriven (and others). Georges admires the technical aspects of movements and horological accomplishments. You bring up factors relating to market preferences and customer relationships with the company. Both opinions are valid but miss each others' points.
    "I threw away all my platinum cards, and I got a URANIUM card." -- Busta Rhymes

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    Re: accuracy of a seagull movement

    Quote Originally Posted by SpringDriven View Post
    You have answered many of my questions, by your answers. They tell me the following:

    1. You did not read or understand what I wrote.

    2. Your answers are well rehearsed and defended, which means you are not open.

    3. Your point #3 speaks volumes about Seagull.

    Listen George, there are levels to everything. This is what we call apples and oranges. Your Timex, and most Seagull movements, good as they are, are apples. The Omega and Rolex you want to compare to, are Oranges. You simply can't compare them except on very basic levels.

    a. They tell time.
    b. They are accurate.

    To some that is enough, to others, there are many more things they desire.

    None of which I have said here or earlier is meant to say that Seagull, or the Chinese Watches you are promoting, are bad in any way. I am positive that they are good. But as it has already been stated, Japan has incredible watches too, but they might as well be Blueberries if we try and compare them as well.

    In the end, I am glad you like your watch, but I will pass on the Kool-Aid.

    You might wonder why? "This is just as accurate, and $2000 less..."

    1. I don't want Chinese products, there is a reason they are cheap, even if the quality is very high...

    2. There is no love, no heart. What about all of the watch, for some, I need more then just a movement, and the Timex, or most anything that would have a Seagull movement in it, would fall short compared to my PO. I know this to be true.

    3. Customer service I brought up before. Horror stories aside, I am sure that Omega/Rolex is miles better then anything Seagull or Timex would offer. I bet Timex would just send out a new watch... I think I would loose this fight, but I feel it would be a good one.

    4. There is more then accuracy/complications when it comes to a movement. How efficient is the drive train? How long will it last?

    I give up, I don't think I have the heart to continue, because I know what a base ETA 2824-2 looks like, and I know that Seagull probably does make a great movement, but I can only simplify my ramblings with Apples and Oranges, as it takes more then the movement to make a watch. Yes I have tool watches, and I have watches that I am very glad I can afford to own, a luxury... Apples, and Oranges...
    Hi spring driven

    I understood what you wrote in a wrong way, my fault but I am all open for discussion.
    If we speak about volumes, Rolex makes about 600000 to 900000 watches per year and Omega makes about 200000-300000 watches per year, so they are both making an important number of watches as well.
    1) So cheap if I understand you, might not be fitting your standards, ok fine.
    2) Your PO is a diver but it is matter of taste, and tastes are different like people.
    3) From who did you horror stories? From people owning Seagulls? Were those epray purchased watches or new in box bought watches? I am all ears to hear these horror stories. I have heard more horror stories since 2003 from Omega USA at the time in was Lancaster as well as in Seacaucus than for what concerns Seagull. I am not also mentionning the despicable policy of Rolex service centres in USA especially the one in New York and the other one in Bevrly Hills with a more than crappy work on vinatge Rolex and poor regulating on modern Rolex watches.
    4) What makes you think the drive train is not efficient or won't last long?

    Do you think all the Seagull are based on the 2824-2? That is not the case, most of their openheart selfwinding movements with other complications are based on the st25, seagull's premium movement with complications (which itself a derivative clone of the st26 (which is itself an improved clone of the 2892 in its elaboré grade)).
    check the
    st2508 http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=129
    st2505 http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=128
    st2504 http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=127
    st2503 http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=126
    st2502 http://www.tjseagull.com/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=125
    You will notice that on all the winding system and the ball bearing are exactly the same than on the st26(chinese improved clone of the 2892).
    The st25 is much larger than the 2892 in diameter 30.4mm of diameter for a st25 against 26.4mm for a 2892 and 7.4mm of height for an st25 against 4.6mm of height for a 2892. Jewel count is not the same as well, 39 jewels for the st 25 against 21 for the 2892. Bare also in mind that if you want to add complications on a 2892, you have to add dubois depraz or claret modules which are expensive and make the watch more fragile because the complications are not integrated as it is case in the st 25.
    But of course one is entitled to judge not to like and/or like the Seagull. I own also vintage Omegas which are of excellent quality. I too can afford luxury watches but why would I pay something over 3000€ when I can have something comparable for the fraction of cost???

    regards

    georges
    Last edited by georges zaslavsky; February 8th, 2009 at 09:14.
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  10. #10
    Member Sappie66's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Re: accuracy of a seagull movement

    Good on you Georges. A very respectful reply to a somewhat disrespectful post. I see your point. I may not be inclined to follow suit for my own irrational reasons, but I see what you are saying.

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