Electronic Movement Comparison
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  1. #1
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Electronic Movement Comparison

    One of the last branches of the Electric / Electronic family tree that I don't have an example of is the transistorized balance wheel movement, where there are no contacts and instead a feedback current created from the balance wheel lets the movement know when to energize the coil.

    I'm between going for an ESA 9154 (Dynotron) movement and a Seiko 0703 (Elnix) movement. Both work on the same principles, hack, and have a fine regulator for the balance wheel.

    The Citizen Cosmotrons tend to be out of my price range, and I don't know the Caravelles that use the same movement well enough to spot a good one.

    Anyone have experience with the Dynotron and/or the Elnix?

    Thanks!

    Links to Electric-Watches for Reference:
    Transistorised Movements with Balance Wheel - Electric Watches
    Seiko - Electric Watches

  2. #2
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    Re: Electronic Movement Comparison

    Hi there,

    I have about a dozen 13j ESA 9154s in various brands such as Avia, Benrus, Jules Jurgensen, Tradition and Wittnauer.

    I have only one Elnix and whilst I've never conducted anything other than visual accuracy tests, my impression is that the Elnix is not as accurate as the 9154s which are usually pretty much bang on. Mind you, that's not saying very much, because none of these have been serviced or regulated (they get worn on only one day per year) so it's likely that the Seiko could be trimmed to comparable accuracy. In terms of cost, the Wittnauer was the most expensive, followed by the Elnix with the rest a long way behind. Between the two, my choice would be a 9154 which may be more repair-friendly and plentiful.

    Other members may have a totally different take on the matter, but at least you now have an almost certainly useless survey sample of one (!)

    Regards.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Electronic Movement Comparison

    no idea about Elnix
    but 9154 depends on manufacturer, some packed as-is, some even got adjustments

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/no...s-4831895.html
    Chaos is my focus

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  5. #4
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Re: Electronic Movement Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by balaton View Post
    Between the two, my choice would be a 9154 which may be more repair-friendly and plentiful.

    Regards.
    https://adventuresinamateurwatchfett...ctronic-watch/

    Found this tear-down of the Elnix in my online travels. Seems the retaining pawl is the likely failure point.

    Any idea what the likely failure point is in the 9154?

  6. #5
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    Re: Electronic Movement Comparison

    I'm not really aware of them having any particular "likely" failure point as luckily I've never had to find out.

    You'll probably have read Paul W's comments about the number of Dynotrons still around today and running quite happily 40-50 years after they were made. Obviously not guaranteed bomb-proof, but they do seem to be pretty robust. In my experience, anyway.

    Regards.

  7. #6
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    Re: Electronic Movement Comparison

    I would not give up on the Cosmotron.

    If you wait long enough you can find them well under $100. Stay away from that overpriced junk from Thailand seller Siamdao as those look to be put together watches.

    To me the ELNIX is harder to find then a Cosmotron

    The Dynotron movements are great. You can find them in a lot of watches. Traditions(Sears), Stellaris and LeGant are three watch brands that can get you the wanted Dynotron. However if you see a LeGant or a Stellaris with a 2 o'clock crown then that is a Seiko EL electronic movement (the same type as in the EL370)

    Most start up right with a new 344 battery and the ones that don't usually start up with a small smack to the 9 o'clock side of the case.

    Signal is another watch brand with a Dynotron movement.

    Here are some of mine. I think the most I spent was $70 on one of these but most were $40 to $50

    Good luck
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  8. #7
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    Re: Electronic Movement Comparison

    I have a Roamer with an ESA 9154 and have found it pretty reliable (apparenty the 9154 is more reliable than the similar earlier 9150/52 from what I`ve read on the web so far)
    They crop up on eBay from time to time (often from Germany) and you can often bag a decent one in the £120-£200 price range if you`re lucky
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    I actually bought a second example of the same watch recently as this type of watch movement wasn`t in production for long before quartz eclipsed it.
    I bought it with a possible view to a trade in the future for other more difficult to find models I might fancy.
    I don`t know if it`s just my watches or others have found the same but they seem far more accurate when wore regularly on the wrist than when sat in a watch box for a few weeks if you have a fair number of pieces in your rotation.

  9. #8
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    Re: Electronic Movement Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by journeyforce View Post
    I would not give up on the Cosmotron.

    If you wait long enough you can find them well under $100. Stay away from that overpriced junk from Thailand seller Siamdao as those look to be put together watches.

    To me the ELNIX is harder to find then a Cosmotron

    The Dynotron movements are great. You can find them in a lot of watches. Traditions(Sears), Stellaris and LeGant are three watch brands that can get you the wanted Dynotron. However if you see a LeGant or a Stellaris with a 2 o'clock crown then that is a Seiko EL electronic movement (the same type as in the EL370)

    Most start up right with a new 344 battery and the ones that don't usually start up with a small smack to the 9 o'clock side of the case.

    Signal is another watch brand with a Dynotron movement.

    Here are some of mine. I think the most I spent was $70 on one of these but most were $40 to $50

    Good luck
    Thanks. I'd noticed the Thailand ones and was wary of international shipping and customs, but even more reason to give them a pass now.

    I've been eyeing the off-brand Dynotrons as they'll creep into the sub-$40 range and did stumble across the differences between the two movements after seeing a few with the backs off. From what I can tell, the Dynotrons tend to have a pop-off battery hatch and the Seikos tend to have a screw-off battery hatch in the instances where the Seiko was done with crown at 3.

    Definitely seems like I'm overthinking this and I'll just go back to patiently waiting for the right one to come along.

    Thanks again for all of the feedback, everyone!

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    Re: Electronic Movement Comparison

    I know this isn't really what you were asking for, but so you can at least see one in the flesh, as it were, here's my transistorised Caravelle from 1970 with a 12j 12OTC movement (aka Citizen 0880).

    I've no complaints about this one either.

    Regards.
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    Re: Electronic Movement Comparison

    I don't think this is either a particularly nice or particularly professional statement to make considering we have not conducted business in the past. We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service and our eBay feedback reflects that. Thanks :) Daotai

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