Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches
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  1. #1
    Member Charlie1888's Avatar
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    Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    Hello everyone,

    After having bought a questionable Chinese watch with a copied Unitas 6497 inside, I'm surprised how well it kept time despite disintegrating itself.

    So I'm looking for a watch with an Swiss made Unitas (I think it's ETA for a long time) 6497 / 6498. But in a case as small as possible with this large movement. The ones I found so far a on the larger side lengthwise.


    Examples:

    STOWA Marine, Flieger and Bauhaus are all 41 mm in diameter but lengthwise (lug-to-lug) 50,2 mm which is too large for me. Top Grade movements, I think.
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    Zeno watch Basel NC Pilot Winder at 42 mm, no lug to lug length. Base elabore grade?
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    Kudoke 42 mm and more expensive, but pretty nice. Attached.

    Hamilton makes a few I think but they are 48 mm and one was 44 mm (Khaki Field Officer).

    Please suggest some more smaller cased ones.

    Thanks!

    Charlie

    P.S. Another possibility would be to purchase an old pocket watch and a case then bring them to a watchmaker. Not an option for me, though.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    Tourby watches have 6498 watches in a 40 mm case with a 48 mm lug to lug in a variety of styles.
    It would be impossible to get the movement in a case much smaller than that.
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  3. #3
    Member dbakiva's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    As an alternate thought, if size is a major issue, you might consider something with an ETA/Peseux 7001, a hand winding movement much smaller than the Unitas.
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    Member Kilovolt's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    I believe that the right watch for you is a 38 mm Chronoswiss Régulateur from the 1990's


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    If you check Chrono24 you find there's a number of them on sale, a few even NOS. The price is however on the high side.
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    Re: Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    Quote Originally Posted by dbakiva View Post
    As an alternate thought, if size is a major issue, you might consider something with an ETA/Peseux 7001, a hand winding movement much smaller than the Unitas.
    I was going to suggest this, as well as the ETA 2801 (no date)/2804 (date) and Selitta SW215.

    -- Wayne

  7. #6
    Member DocScotter's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    Hi Charlie,

    I've been into watch collecting for only a few years now and after an initial deep dive I can tell you that the waters are deep and vast! I still feel like a beginner and the more I learn it feels like the less I know. This is generally a good thing and in the watch world facts often tend to prove the most strongly held beliefs either blatantly wrong or, at best, ill-informed. For instance, when first starting out I believed that bigger is better, high beat movements are better than low beat, Swiss Made is better than everything else, more expensive is better than less, Sapphire is better than Acrylic, automatic is better than handwound, tastes great is better than less filling, and, of course, nicely sweet is better than crunchy wheat.

    I seem to remember that there is a size limitation of the Unitas 6497/6498 limiting it to around 40 mm case size but I thought I remember seeing a 39 mm case offering awhile back. And, while I can understand wanting to limit your search to the Unitas, there are other similar non-high beat hand wound movements that are smaller than the Unitas. If you're willing to expand your search parameters a bit you'll find several offerings with the Peseux/ETA 7001 which is similar to the Unitas but smaller. Farer Universal offers a few models in 37 mm case sizes.

    Nomos features their Alpha movement in several of their entry level models in cases as small as 33 mm. Here's my Nomos Club Amsterdam in 38.5 mm.
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    Weiss Watch Co offers a 38 mm case version which I believe is similar to the Peseux.
    https://weisswatchcompany.com/collec...-olive-cordura

    The above examples are just but a few of contemporary offerings available but the vintage options are almost staggering. I would strongly encourage you to get involved in your local RedBar and attend as many events as possible. Also, look around and see if you can find a local chapter of The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors:
    https://nawcc.org/

    Lastly, Almond Joy IS better than Mounds because sometimes you feel like a nut.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    I don't believe the 649x movements come in different grades like the 2824 and 2892 families. The "dash" number of the movement is essentially it's "grade". 649x-1 is "basic" and the higher frequency 649x-2 is "Elabore". But there aren't further grades of the different models.

    Given their size (36.6mm across), most watches that house them are 41+mm. Going much smaller than that will get you a case with extremely thin walls.
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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    Quote Originally Posted by dbakiva View Post
    As an alternate thought, if size is a major issue, you might consider something with an ETA/Peseux 7001, a hand winding movement much smaller than the Unitas.
    Good advice. The smallest case I've seen the 649x movement in is 40mm.

  10. #9
    Member whineboy's Avatar
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    Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    Quote Originally Posted by MX793 View Post
    I don't believe the 649x movements come in different grades like the 2824 and 2892 families. The "dash" number of the movement is essentially it's "grade". 649x-1 is "basic" and the higher frequency 649x-2 is "Elabore". But there aren't further grades of the different models.

    Given their size (36.6mm across), most watches that house them are 41+mm. Going much smaller than that will get you a case with extremely thin walls.
    I don’t think you are right about the difference between the -1 and -2 movements - more like standard vs top. I have a COSC-certified 6498-2, with the glucydur balance wheel that ETA only uses in top grade movements. Not elabore. 6498-2 has a higher beat rate and much longer power reserve than the 6498-1. They are very special and uncommon.

    From Tourby’s website:

    ETA Unitas 6498-2 hand-wound
    The ETA Unitas 6498-2 is a technically highly modified version of 6498-1. At -2 plant using a much finer teeth, which leads to a better interaction of the wheels. In addition, the movement has a beat rate of 21,600 A / h (Oscillations per hour). The power reserve is longer with 56 hours thats an extra 10 hours over the 6498-1 due to the modified mainspring. The -2 works are extremely rare and very hard to get on the market.

    Also: https://wornandwound.com/caliber-spec-unitas-64976498/


    All mechanical, all the time
    Last edited by whineboy; April 28th, 2019 at 19:15.
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    Member Vioviv's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for smallest cased Unitas 6497/6498 watches

    I really love the 6497 — it’s old-timey and makes a nice clicking when you winding it. Like an old pocket watch ... which is allegedly what the 6497 was originally built as.
    I have two ...

    The more modestly sized one is my 42mm Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch Cal 1001, which sadly is no longer in production ... Weiss hand-assembled and decorated these movements and regulated them as well, and for a non-hacking watch it keeps amazingly good time. You can find these on eBay and f29, but not as many as you’d guess, and prices have been pretty sticky at $750-$950 depending on condition. Some of these are sold by non-WIS who bought them and never wore them. I love this watch and $800-ish in good pre-owned condition is worth it, IMO.

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    In late 2018, Weiss came out with a new 38mm model using an ETA/Peseux 7001 ... it’s a great handwind watch and a classic well-loved hand-wind movement, but it just doesn’t have the same charming “pocket watch” feel of the 6497.

    My pricier 6497 is inside the 44.5mm PAM 183, which calls it a Caliber OP XI. Winds and sets almost exactly like the Weiss; keeps superb time. Like the Weiss, this one is out of production as well, but Panerai made them for 10 years, and they were a really popular entry level choice, so you can find them NOS or preowned more easily than the Weiss. This watch shows up on a lot of Top 10 Panerai for Beginners’ lists, and i recently found it on a Top 15 Panerai of all time. (And the wire lugs are easier to change out than Because the L2L is under 50mm, and it’s only 13mm thick it wears much more compactly than I ever guessed a 44-45mm watch would wear.

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    I searched out this model to be my first Panerai exactly because it has the 6497 movement, which any decent watch repair shop should be able to service and repair. I’ve seen them going for $4000-ish and sometimes under. If you have any interest in Panerai, i recommend it as a place to start.
    Good luck OP!

    Here’s a great W&W article btw on the history of the movement ....
    https://wornandwound.com/caliber-spec-unitas-64976498/
    Last edited by Vioviv; April 28th, 2019 at 19:28.
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