ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability
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Thread: ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

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  1. #1
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    ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

    One of the reasons I appreciate mechanical watches is because they are (reputedly) more easily repaired in the long-term than are quartz movements. I like the idea of being able to fix my watch when it breaks down in 15 years, instead of having to junk it because a board (as in a quartz movement) isn't being made any more. Here are my questions:

    How do ETA and Sellita compare in terms of availability of parts to whoever would be fixing my watch? How do they compare in terms of availability of complete movements to whoever would be fixing my watch?

    You could easily list the answers to this in a Punnet square: ETA parts availability, Sellita parts availability, ETA movement availability, Sellita movement availability.

    My goal in asking these questions is to get a sense of which company's movements might best stand the test of time via repair and replacement, etc.-to me, these things define a sustainable watch. Everything wears down over time-I want to know what is most likely to be able to be fixed.

  2. #2
    Member xzqt's Avatar
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    Re: ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

    The ETA vs Sellita vs Chinese clone debate has been discussed in many thread (do a search here in the forum).
    In my opinion, especially the matured 28xx series, there are plenty of parts avail in the market.
    Fortunately the alternative clone movt share many similarities parts and design to the 28xx series.
    Therefore in summary, the short term availability of parts shouldnt be an issue.
    Last edited by xzqt; November 28th, 2013 at 14:42.
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    Member Arie Kabaalstra's Avatar
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    Re: ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

    I Understand that Sellita used to be ETA's Assembly firm.. and.. i've downloaded some specsheets from Sellita Calibers.. well.. what'dyaknow.. the hour-wheel from a Sellita movement, has the same part number as one from ETA..

    i wouldn't be surprised if parts from Sellita and ETA were interchangable..

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    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

    Quote Originally Posted by Arie Kabaalstra View Post
    . . . .. . . . i wouldn't be surprised if parts from Sellita and ETA were interchangable..
    Previously they were mostly interchangeable but as with all things that was to easy. Sellita continues to reconfigure and perhaps improve [either from a manufacturing perspective or performance? one] certain parts and in doing so remove them from use in the ETA. ETA will no doubt do likewise to a few key problematic [from a failure perspective] components in the future. There is a list of these in the works.
    Courtesy of ULF.

  6. #5
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    Re: ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

    Hi there,

    if I remember right, the only approvement Sellita advertised, was a differing tooth profile of the winding gears, and they claimed that when replacing one of these parts, all other involved should also be changed. Else my wholesaler (Flume) doesn't keep any other Sellita part on stock. He simply says "no mind to keep stock twice - take ETA parts".

    But back to the OP: It is useless to consider a comparison, as long as a calibre is in current production, and it is as useless to consider the promises of manufacturers when production is phased out. The vast majority of movements need no parts as long as parts are regularly available. And when a reasonable demand emerges due to common wear, the chances are better for formerly volume produced items. Plainly expressed: You'll have a better time to source a part for a 100 years old ETA than for a 30 years old Rolex.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
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  7. #6
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    Re: ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

    Quote Originally Posted by lewdog View Post
    One of the reasons I appreciate mechanical watches is because they are (reputedly) more easily repaired in the long-term than are quartz movements. I like the idea of being able to fix my watch when it breaks down in 15 years, instead of having to junk it because a board (as in a quartz movement) isn't being made any more. Here are my questions:

    How do ETA and Sellita compare in terms of availability of parts to whoever would be fixing my watch? How do they compare in terms of availability of complete movements to whoever would be fixing my watch?

    You could easily list the answers to this in a Punnet square: ETA parts availability, Sellita parts availability, ETA movement availability, Sellita movement availability.

    My goal in asking these questions is to get a sense of which company's movements might best stand the test of time via repair and replacement, etc.-to me, these things define a sustainable watch. Everything wears down over time-I want to know what is most likely to be able to be fixed.
    I think getting new completed movements is about the same for either supplier. Possibly easier for ETA but as they stop supplying movements they may get harder to obtain.

    In terms of how the movements hold up, the initial design from Sellita for the winding gears did not hold up well on the SW200 - the teeth were fragile and the ratchet wheels failed often.

    They "upgraded" the tooth profile to a similar one that ETA uses, and this helped the problem - this became the SW200-1. They used to have this information in their technical guide, but the recent revisions have removed this information - here is a screen capture of what used to be in the tech guide:



    The upgrade involved changing the ratchet wheel and most of the automatic winding parts.

    However I have still received SW200-1's with damaged ratchet wheels, as you can see in this photo:



    The movements are far from being identical. You may be able to use some wheels, etc. but I have not studied the tooth profiles to know for sure if they are the same. I do know that all the bridges or the main plate on the Sellita can't be used on the ETA. On the ETA the posts are on the bridges, and on the Sellita they are on the main plate.

    So if you have a worn barrel bridge - not uncommon on these movements - you will need an ETA one for the ETA, and a Sellta one for the Sellita. I have also had to replace worn main plates on ETA based watches due to wear in the setting area - again you would need the specific main plate for each manufacturer, as these parts can't be interchanged.

    Of course Sellita gets their escapements and balances from ETA, so I suspect these are compatible.

    As noted there are enough ETA movements out there that getting parts into the future will not be a huge issue. For Sellita, I can get parts from my local suppliers, but they tend to be a longer delivery and not as many parts suppliers keep these parts in stock - it is getting better but it's is certainly not as wide spread in terms of supply as ETA's are.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers, Al
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  8. #7
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    Re: ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    I think getting new completed movements is about the same for either supplier. Possibly easier for ETA but as they stop supplying movements they may get harder to obtain.

    In terms of how the movements hold up, the initial design from Sellita for the winding gears did not hold up well on the SW200 - the teeth were fragile and the ratchet wheels failed often.

    They "upgraded" the tooth profile to a similar one that ETA uses, and this helped the problem - this became the SW200-1. They used to have this information in their technical guide, but the recent revisions have removed this information - here is a screen capture of what used to be in the tech guide:



    The upgrade involved changing the ratchet wheel and most of the automatic winding parts.

    However I have still received SW200-1's with damaged ratchet wheels, as you can see in this photo:



    The movements are far from being identical. You may be able to use some wheels, etc. but I have not studied the tooth profiles to know for sure if they are the same. I do know that all the bridges or the main plate on the Sellita can't be used on the ETA. On the ETA the posts are on the bridges, and on the Sellita they are on the main plate.

    So if you have a worn barrel bridge - not uncommon on these movements - you will need an ETA one for the ETA, and a Sellta one for the Sellita. I have also had to replace worn main plates on ETA based watches due to wear in the setting area - again you would need the specific main plate for each manufacturer, as these parts can't be interchanged.

    Of course Sellita gets their escapements and balances from ETA, so I suspect these are compatible.

    As noted there are enough ETA movements out there that getting parts into the future will not be a huge issue. For Sellita, I can get parts from my local suppliers, but they tend to be a longer delivery and not as many parts suppliers keep these parts in stock - it is getting better but it's is certainly not as wide spread in terms of supply as ETA's are.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers, Al
    Sounds like watch companies were ill-informed (or chose to be) with their assertion that allayed fears that the Selitta 200 was a clone of the 2824. Nobody much questioned that assertion because Selitta was a subcontractor making 2824s for ETA. Don't want to make too much of this but after reading Archer's post it appears the Selitta 200 was in fact inferior to the 2824.
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  9. #8
    Member xzqt's Avatar
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    Re: ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

    Hi Archer,

    Your clear explanation w pic are the best !
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  10. #9
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    Re: ETA vs. Sellita: Long-Term Repairability and Availability

    In my experience, all the parts, except the mainplate and bridges are interchangeable between the Stellia, Sea-Gull, Hangzhou and ETA 28XX....
    familiaritas parit contemptum; raritate admiratione wins.- Lucius Apuleius
    est necessry, accurate ad secundo? - Lysander magna
    iustum est horologium - Obscurus Genius

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