ETA vs Sellita. New Info?
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  1. #1
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    ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    In yesterday's episode of "Frederico Talks watches", his watchmaker Hans (purportedly former Technical Director of VC) said that if given a choice between ETA and Sellita, he would choose ETA every time and by a long shot. He explained that this opinion is based on the fact that Sellitas have higher rates of defects and that while the movements look identical to the untrained eye, that several components have been altered for cost savings purposes, which (according to him) contributes to the higher rates of issues on watches using Sellita movements.

    I personally find this an interesting topic, particularly because some of the better known names in the industry (like IWC) have started using Sellita movements in their watches. In IWC's case, this means that watches staring at 4k new are sporting movements that 3rd party watchmakers consider inferior to the original ETA movements. I was already determined not to buy a watch with Sellita movement previously, but this cemented my skepticism towards Sellita movements.
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    Re: ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    It is already known that not all parts are completely similar, and that those changes were made for cost saving/ease of construction in the most part.

    I have also seen tests which suggest ETA are more accurate, with less positional and isochronism variation.

    I would chose ETA in a straight choice (corresponding regulation/finish levels) every time.

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    Re: ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    It is amazing that for the most part, when folks refer to Sellitas as "clones", the implication is that the movements are identical. And that is how much of the discussion ha sbeen framed. So much so that I had no idea (as someone who is somewhat interested in this topic) that the Sellita movements had differences that impacted ruggedness and accuracy.

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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    Quote Originally Posted by ATXWatch View Post
    In yesterday's episode of "Frederico Talks watches", his watchmaker Hans (purportedly former Technical Director of VC) said that if given a choice between ETA and Sellita, he would choose ETA every time and by a long shot. He explained that this opinion is based on the fact that Sellitas have higher rates of defects and that while the movements look identical to the untrained eye, that several components have been altered for cost savings purposes, which (according to him) contributes to the higher rates of issues on watches using Sellita movements.

    I personally find this an interesting topic, particularly because some of the better known names in the industry (like IWC) have started using Sellita movements in their watches. In IWC's case, this means that watches staring at 4k new are sporting movements that 3rd party watchmakers consider inferior to the original ETA movements. I was already determined not to buy a watch with Sellita movement previously, but this cemented my skepticism towards Sellita movements.
    I would like to see the data that supports the fact(s). A comparison of defects by type and movement over time would be helpful.

  6. #5
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    Re: ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    Mmmm! Food for thought for manufacturers maybe but I buy my watches for their looks rather than the movement therein.
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    Re: ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    Quote Originally Posted by ATXWatch View Post
    It is amazing that for the most part, when folks refer to Sellitas as "clones", the implication is that the movements are identical. And that is how much of the discussion ha sbeen framed. So much so that I had no idea (as someone who is somewhat interested in this topic) that the Sellita movements had differences that impacted ruggedness and accuracy.
    How do you know they aren't? I mean changes made for cost could mean a lot of things---Sellita re-designed an ETA movement, omitting what they feel are the most expensive features, kept the identical architecture but used cheaper materials/suppliers, or some combinaton of the two. I think what you see frequently in the watch world is that most people don't really have a deep knowledge of the subtleties of a watch movement (myself included, FYI) and make a lot of assumptions about similarities and differences between watches. Let's be honest here, most people who like watches aren't really movement people. They buy based on history, brand perceptions, fit/finish, and perhaps the complications or general movement reputation. I see occasional thread where people ask about watches from the perspective of the movement, which is not very common. And when you look at the volume of responses to those threads vs the tried and true rolex vs all, what should I get next, can I afford this, should i take out a mortgage to get this, etc, it bears this out.

    I think for the the average Joe Watch Enthusiast, Sellita does sell clones.
    Have: DOXA SUB1200t, Omega SMPq, Oris Diver Small Second Hand, Rolex Explorer II (w), Seiko Prospex SUN023, Tag Heuer Monza, Victorinox DM500q
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    Re: ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShortOnTime View Post
    How do you know they aren't? I mean changes made for cost could mean a lot of things---Sellita re-designed an ETA movement, omitting what they feel are the most expensive features, kept the identical architecture but used cheaper materials/suppliers, or some combinaton of the two. I think what you see frequently in the watch world is that most people don't really have a deep knowledge of the subtleties of a watch movement (myself included, FYI) and make a lot of assumptions about similarities and differences between watches. Let's be honest here, most people who like watches aren't really movement people. They buy based on history, brand perceptions, fit/finish, and perhaps the complications or general movement reputation. I see occasional thread where people ask about watches from the perspective of the movement, which is not very common. And when you look at the volume of responses to those threads vs the tried and true rolex vs all, what should I get next, can I afford this, should i take out a mortgage to get this, etc, it bears this out.

    I think for the the average Joe Watch Enthusiast, Sellita does sell clones.
    Somebody on here once did a side-by-side year-down of an ETA2824 and it’s equivalent. The differences were minor.

    There is also a member who keeps very good accuracy data for different movements (including position and isochronism variation) and has tested some examples of each. Not a massive sample but my basic understanding of normal distribution curves and the difference between test results for each gave me quite a bit of confidence in the idea that ETA are consistently better/better on average. Interestingly the Fossil equivalent also tested better than Sellita...

    I don’t have the time to search for both, but this isn’t uncovered ground.

    I have seen no data for defect/failure rates. I have no reason the think they would be different by any meaningful distance but if I was shown such data I wouldn’t be very surprised either.
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    Re: ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    I have watches with Sellita, ETA, and STP and all have, based on my highly scientific anecdotal experience (sarcasm, for any pedants lurking out there), performed flawlessly so far (knock on wood). Based on the already known supply chain issues with ETA and Swatch's mercurial stance on supplying movements outside the group, I'm willing to take the risk of a slightly higher defect rate, if that gives a better chance that I wouldnt have to go back to Swatch for a repair. Sort of a tradeoff in my mind.
    And I've never thought that the term 'clone' in manufacturing implies 1:1 identical components (unless they actually identify as such), just a piece which is very similar in function and form such that it is interchangeable, and usually made cheaper in some way.

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    Re: ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    Quote Originally Posted by skuzapo View Post
    supply chain issues with ETA and Swatch's mercurial stance on supplying movements outside the group,
    You know none of this is accurate, right? Swatch has no choice but to limit who they allow to use ETA movements (outside of their ownership) via a court ruling in Switzerland several years ago. This appears to be largely why there is such an explosion of in-house movements over the last 2 or so years. As well as why Sellita and others are in the spotlight.
    Have: DOXA SUB1200t, Omega SMPq, Oris Diver Small Second Hand, Rolex Explorer II (w), Seiko Prospex SUN023, Tag Heuer Monza, Victorinox DM500q
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    Re: ETA vs Sellita. New Info?

    Quote Originally Posted by John MS View Post
    I would like to see the data that supports the fact(s). A comparison of defects by type and movement over time would be helpful.
    Hey, let's not cloud the issue with facts. This is the internet!

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