Lesser known but equal

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  1. #1
    Member TheJohnP's Avatar
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    Lesser known but equal

    I'm sure this has been covered before, but I thought it would be interesting to list the lesser known divisions of very well known companies. Wherein the movements are generally the same as a high priced model, but can be found much cheaper because people just aren't familiar with the connection. And ultimately the only difference being the script on the dial and movement.

    Case in point - Paul Breguette = Ebel.

    Basically just looking to increase my net when trolling the auction sites! ha

    Anyone else care to chime in?
    I've got more Converse sneakers than watches, but it is a close race.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Lesser known but equal

    I am not sure the movements are necessarily the same... for example Caravelle and Bulova rarely had the same movements. I doubt if Breguette has the 2892-A2s that the Ebel Automatics have... so caveat emptor!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member Ray916MN's Avatar
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    Re: Lesser known but equal

    It isn't a brand by brand thing as there has been so much consolidation and trading within the watch industry that relationships are generally limited to specific models or during specific times.

    For example, Seiko movements are generally thought to have only occupied Seiko watches, but there was an Enicar model which had Seiko provided 7016 chrono movements.

    Ebel famously saved the Zenith El Primero, by buying EP movements when Zenith had given up on them. Ebel also later acquired all rights to the Lemania 1350 and reworked it to be the Ebel 137 which is the movement Breguet uses as a base for their XX Flybacks. Going back to the EP, this movement has been used in a bunch of different watches and there is a list of these on the Zenith sub-forum.

    For a while Tissot and Omegas were together, as were Movado, Zenith and Mondia,

    ETA, Valjoux, Venus, Anton Schild, Lemania, Frederic Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre and all sorts of other movements have been used in watches from all sorts of different makers over the years. and even though the base calibers numbers maybe the same the movements may actually be quite different in quality.

    There have been movements which were developed cooperatively, like the Cal. 11/12/14/15 chronograph movements. These were developed cooperatively by Heuer, Breitling, Hamilton-Buren and Dubois Depraz and were not only used in watches from the companies directly involved in the development, but were used in watches from other makers.

    In some cases distributors or jewelry retailers ultimately became full fledged watch companies. Bell and Ross was originally the U.S. distributor of Sinn watches before becoming an independent watch company. Bucherer has long produced watches under their brand which often were simple rebrands on watches from leading companies and has now become and independent watch company with their own movements. Gueblin and Tiffany are other examples.

    With hundreds of years of history, it is tough to make simple generalizations about watches at a brand level.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Lesser known but equal

    Hi TheJohnP,

    "lesser known but equal" is simply an invention of creative sellers. They try to sell a cheap
    watch using the reputation of the expensive counterpart, if there is any relation or at least
    a rumor about a relation.

    Have a look at ebay: Almost every Wittnauer is sold as Longines, althoung both companies
    were just financially connected, and paritally used the same distrubution channels.

    Similarly almost all Tudors and Bucherers, and many Alpinas and Gruens are offered as Rolex
    in disguise.

    Watch companies hat lots of different reasons for mergers, aquisitions, joint ventures,
    cooperations, separate brands etc., but almost never the reason to establish a low budget
    market for their high grade products.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  6. #5
    Member TheJohnP's Avatar
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    Re: Lesser known but equal

    I will admit that I do have a lot to learn.
    And I am well aware that many watch companies had introductory/affordable/entry level lines (ala the Caravelle to Bulova example).

    But using my example, wasn't Paul Breguette simply the name Ebel used in the US market?
    So would I be wrong in guessing that they would use similar movements, just with different markings to sell in different territories?

    I suppose that was more along the lines of what I was trying to inquire about.
    What would be a well known brand in one country, but sold as another name in a separate country.
    Something that might not be as well known but of equal manufacturing that could be picked up on the cheap if you know what you're looking for.

    But again, I could be completely off the mark as I was from the start.
    I've got more Converse sneakers than watches, but it is a close race.

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    Re: Lesser known but equal

    There is one instance of what you're talking about: tuning fork watches. Many Omega F300hz watches are repaired with pieces scavenged from their Titus counterparts since they used the same movements.

    Another decent example is any highly modified 7750. Even though IWC won't sell parts for theirs, many of the basic 7750 parts can be used as replacements according to the watchmakers I talk to. Not exactly the same movements, but many interchangeable components.

  8. #7
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    Re: Lesser known but equal

    Hi TheJohnP,

    indeed, many companies, especially lower to mid grad, used different brands not only to
    distinguish between cheap and expensive watches, but also for different markets.

    E.g. Tellus is known in Switzerland (Wilhelm Tell) as well as Cortébert, and it is not difficult
    to guess where Cortébert sold under the brand Viking: Yes, Scandinavia. But in such cases
    regional differences of brand reputation has just a marginal influence on the value.

    Even Patek Philippe watches were sold e.g. signed as Tiffany. But I doubt that Patek Philippe is
    more popular than Tiffany's among average people (no movie "Breakfast at Patek Philippe's").
    And people wo actually pay for such watches, know which Tiffany's is a Patek, Agassiz etc.
    The secret about the cheap ticker beeing a top grade in disguise is simply a sellers fairy tale.

    So you'll almost never find the remark in an ebay posting that a Viking oder Tellus is a
    Cortebert, but well that a Cortébert is a Rolex in disguise, because Rolex occasionally used
    upgraded Cortébert movements for some pocket watches.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

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    Re: Lesser known but equal

    Quote Originally Posted by ulackfocus View Post
    There is one instance of what you're talking about: tuning fork watches.
    When is this movement coming back, btw? It has to - it's just too cool to let die. I have an Omega f300hz, and the combination of the humming and the true sweeping seconds hand is just neato. I only wish it were a bigger watch...

  10. #9
    Member vintageguy's Avatar
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    Re: Lesser known but equal

    a lot of people look down on a Rolex Air King, but it has the same movement & toughness of the Explorer. the Air King is 34mm size & $1000 cheaper. works for me.

  11. #10
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    Re: Lesser known but equal

    Quote Originally Posted by Biased&Critical View Post
    When is this movement coming back, btw? It has to - it's just too cool to let die. I have an Omega f300hz, and the combination of the humming and the true sweeping seconds hand is just neato. I only wish it were a bigger watch...
    It ain't, so don't hold your breath.

    Hummers require just as much precision and care to manufacture as mechanical watches, maybe even more, but are still not as accurate as a $2.00 quartz....
    familiaritas parit contemptum; raritate admiratione wins.- Lucius Apuleius
    est necessry, accurate ad secundo? - Lysander magna
    iustum est horologium - Obscurus Genius

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