How do you rate watch movement?
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  1. #1
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    How do you rate watch movement?

    Hi guys, i would like to ask questions. these days , there is something that has been bugging me and i hope yall can help me.

    How do you rate the watch movement in general? is there any kind of guidelines that you refer to when you try to determine which watch movement is better than the other?

    The reason why i am asking this is because i am confused with the horology sometimes. Take accuracy as an example, like i heard the movement in rolex can be more accurate than the more expensive brand like patek. Somebody told me before that what command high premiums for the brand like PP,VC, AP is because their movement is highly decorated. so is it just finishing then that we are talking about here?

    what about power reserve? accuracy? number of components? beat rate? rotor? gold rotor? hacking vs non hacking? are these factors even worth considering if we want to assess the movement quality?

    like for example, why you pay so much more money for big 3 compared to rolex? but everyone i know says that rolex movement is the toughest of all. its like almost unbreakable. so we just pay for finishing?

    sorry guys, this is a broad topic , i understand but i am hoping we can learn from here. thank you for answering my questions.
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  2. #2
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    Re: How do you rate watch movement?

    Durability
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  3. #3
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    Re: How do you rate watch movement?

    Durability, accuracy, power reserve. The rest is just window dressing; not that I want a naked window, but...

    Cost and movement quality have little to do with each other after a certain price point. I would put the mark around a $1500 watch with a top-grade ETA or Sellita movement that can be certified as Chronometer (e.g. Mido). The Patek movement does not do anything better than a Rolex movement at twice the price, nor does the Rolex movement do anything better than a ETA top-grade at twice it's price. But a bottom level Miyota is not up to the same standards.

    If we want to discuss absolutes, then Grand Seiko quartz probably rate highest overall.
    The market has, for the most part, established movement quality (of functional design?) for most other categories: ETA 2824 for automatic, Valjoux 7750 for chronograph.
    Last edited by MediumRB; May 9th, 2018 at 08:53.
    Tick-tock in RoK GMT+9, no DST
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    Not Seiko: Parmigiania Tonda 1950, Zenith El Primero Chronomaster, Piaget Upstream, Muhle Glashutte Seebataillon GMT, Eterna Madison Spherodrive, Vulcain Cricket 1951 Classic, Bell & Ross Space 3 GMT, Bulova Accutron Astronaut (c. 1966), Omega Speedmaster triple date, Sinn 556 Anniversary LE, IWC Cal. 89 (c. 1957), Glycine Airman SST-12, Pulsar Date II (c. 1971), Scurfa Diver One, G-Shock Rangeman 9400, Vostok Classica
    Seiko: Grand Seiko SBGT035, Credor Node GCAT996, Grand Seiko 5641-7000 (1972), "Ashtray Tuna" 7C46-6009 (1987), 6139-7069 "Blue Eye" chrono (1974), 5740-8000 Lord Marvel 36'000 (1974), Bell-Matic 4006-7012 (1971), King Quartz 9223-5000 (1981), Seikomatic J13044 (1963), 6119-6400 UFO (1974), King Quartz 5855-5000 (1977), Silverwave 8221-5020 (1980), Majesta 9063-5020 (1984), SKX399K "Philippines"

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  5. #4
    Member yankeexpress's Avatar
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    Re: How do you rate watch movement?

    The ETA-2824 is not as good as the ETA-2892.

    The Miyota 9015 is a better movement than the 2824 because the 2824 has handwinding issues.

    Hand winding a 2824 movement has definitely caught the attention of many owners.

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f2/eta-...e-2322506.html

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f6/f6-2...ad-866942.html

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f2/eta-...on-847082.html

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f2/why-...t-2679010.html It is a Seiko design, possibly the old Seiko 4L25.

    Damaged 2824 wheel photo:



    Relative size of the wheel comparison, it's tiny and vulnerable:



    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f2/numb...-a-808693.html

    Pertinent quote:
    "However: don't wind up your 2824. Rather, it is designed to be autowound, with a manual wind as a backup, not as primary winding method.

    Why? The teeth of the winding mechanism are not hardened, as they were designed to only be used as a backup, rather than as the primary winding method. If you make a habit of winding up the 2824 manually, you will slowly start to degrade the hand-wind mechanism and it will, after an indeterminate time, fail. If you want a hand-wind watch, get one with the 2804 instead, as the winding mechanism here is hardened properly (if I am not mistaken, the winding mechanism of the 2804 uses stainless steel gears to wind, while the 2824 uses simple stamped steel gears for the same purpose)..........

    Seriously: I have had a 2824 watch fail on me (Fortis Pilot watch) because I was in the nervous habit of giving the movement a few winds whenever I felt like it. The winding mechanism really is not designed for long-term hand winding, and after wearing it for 3 years constantly a gear lost a tooth, which ended in the hairspring and damaged it enough for both the winding mechanism and the hairspring needing to be replaced. The watchmaker I used at the time said that there was no reason for it to have failed unless I was fiddling with it. ETA designs their movements very carefully to control costs and as the winding mechanism on the 2824 is a back-up, rather than a prime component, it was not designed to be used as a prime mechanism.

    This does not apply to the 2893 or the 7750."

    None of this has stopped me from buying 2824 or SW200 watches as I personally have not yet had any issue with my several dozen of them.

    Another watchmaker opinion about handwinding automatics:

    “ETA part 410 - the winding pinion. I’ve had to order this part at least three times for movements I’ve used in my builds. This winding pinion wears down, whether by design or not, this part does not hold up well to regular use (hand winding)... I’d posit that eta 27/28xx auto movements are not meant for heavy hand winding by even eta itself as the winding mechanisms on their non auto variants of the 27/28xx series are different.

    Furthermore, I find that, generally speaking, movements that are handwound tend to have thicker gauge .11mm stems as opposed to the more common .9mm stems found in auto movements. I’d imagine this is to deal with the heavier pressures the stem has to deal with. So, can you hand wind an auto, sure, but if it’s auto why not make it perform as it was designed to? My personal practice with an auto is I might give it a few winds to start them up but then I just make wearing them do the rest of the work.”

    Another experience with handwinding automatics:

    “So there are many, many watches where the hand-winding mechanism (including the stem, gears and reversing mechanisms) represent a "weak link" in the system. But that doesn't mean it's a flaw that must be fixed, because it's not intended to be the primary power source.

    Hence, the addition of the rotor and gears to create and provide the consumer with an automatic watch.

    Is this to say that hand winding automatic watches is akin to playing Russian Roulette with your watch... no.

    But it's not a myth that in many watches this system is a weak link and subject to failure much more frequently than the rotor driven power mechanism.

    As a long time owner/collector I can testify to stripped gears, failed stems (and also dislodge) and also experienced failure in the manual reversing mechanisms as well.”
    debussychopin likes this.

  6. #5
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    How do you rate watch movement?

    Some of the things I think about are (in no particular order)-

    Regulation and escapement design
    Finish and decoration
    Regulated accuracy
    Any known positional variation and isochronism figures from tests
    Level of hand work involved
    Thickness
    Diameter
    Power reserve
    How it fits with the rest of the watch
    Horological significance
    Durability (if known)
    Manufacturing techniques
    Quality of materials
    Reputation for QC
    Balance spring shape
    Balance design

    I don’t think Rolex makes he most accurate or durable movements any more. Durability is debatable and impossible to prove, but but I see no reason to believe they are more durable than comparatively proved competition.

    In terms of accuracy, based on independent tests I have seen, Tudor, Rolex and Grand Seiko Hi Beat movements are likely to be as accurate (or more importantly precise) or more so. And some unexpected contenders like Damasko’s in house offerings. Plus, there has never been a large study of accuracy and precision from AP, PP, VC, ALS etc, but I would expect them to be in the same ballpark or better.

    With haute horology you are paying for the decoration, the manual work, the rare metals, the little touches that show nothing except an appreciation for history (screwed chatons, anglage, etc), and the rest of the watch. A generally more refined watch and movement. If you slapped a Rolex workhorse in a refined dress watch like a Calatrava it would just not be coherent (and would be thicker).

    Once you are looking above a certain low quality level, I don’t think you could ever reasonably say “this movement is better than that one” but you can say “this movement suits my needs or desires, and so does the watch it is in”.
    Last edited by ACoulson; May 9th, 2018 at 09:28.
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  7. #6
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    Re: How do you rate watch movement?

    The number one thing is the quality of the functional finish followed by the size of the movement, the materials (silicon components, etc.), and the operational specs.

    Rolex makes a robust movement. I would also say the ETA 2428 is robust.

  8. #7
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    Re: How do you rate watch movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rivarama View Post
    The number one thing is the quality of the functional finish followed by the size of the movement, the materials (silicon components, etc.), and the operational specs.

    Rolex makes a robust movement. I would also say the ETA 2428 is robust.
    Agree, it is robust...mostly, just don’t over-handwind it too much. Let the rotor do its job.

  9. #8
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    Off topic Re: How do you rate watch movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeexpress View Post
    Agree, it is robust...mostly, just don’t over-handwind it too much. Let the rotor do its job.
    A photo of one single broken part is hardly enough to call a whole series of movment unreliable or inferior. And the part you show isn't even the one that's usually the reason for the (totally overrated) Eta 2824 hand winding failures.

    I marked this post [OT] because there are dozens of other threads dedicated to that topic already..

  10. #9
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    Re: How do you rate watch movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeexpress View Post
    Agree, it is robust...mostly, just don’t over-handwind it too much. Let the rotor do its job.
    True 'dat. I have actually sold off my 2824's for the most part, but its ubiquity lends it some degree of credibility as being highly rated by the industry. Sure, manufacturers and brands want to cut costs, but not to the point of being deemed low quality.
    From personal experience, the 2893-2 in my Glycine Airman SST-12 may win the award for best movement, if including value in the calculus.
    Tick-tock in RoK GMT+9, no DST
    --
    Not Seiko: Parmigiania Tonda 1950, Zenith El Primero Chronomaster, Piaget Upstream, Muhle Glashutte Seebataillon GMT, Eterna Madison Spherodrive, Vulcain Cricket 1951 Classic, Bell & Ross Space 3 GMT, Bulova Accutron Astronaut (c. 1966), Omega Speedmaster triple date, Sinn 556 Anniversary LE, IWC Cal. 89 (c. 1957), Glycine Airman SST-12, Pulsar Date II (c. 1971), Scurfa Diver One, G-Shock Rangeman 9400, Vostok Classica
    Seiko: Grand Seiko SBGT035, Credor Node GCAT996, Grand Seiko 5641-7000 (1972), "Ashtray Tuna" 7C46-6009 (1987), 6139-7069 "Blue Eye" chrono (1974), 5740-8000 Lord Marvel 36'000 (1974), Bell-Matic 4006-7012 (1971), King Quartz 9223-5000 (1981), Seikomatic J13044 (1963), 6119-6400 UFO (1974), King Quartz 5855-5000 (1977), Silverwave 8221-5020 (1980), Majesta 9063-5020 (1984), SKX399K "Philippines"

  11. #10
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    Re: How do you rate watch movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rivarama View Post
    The number one thing is the quality of the functional finish followed by the size of the movement, the materials (silicon components, etc.), and the operational specs.

    Rolex makes a robust movement. I would also say the ETA 2428 is robust.
    so if the size is smaller, then it is better? and what other components besides silicon that you think is important to take note of?

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