powermatic 80 nylon components and shorter service interval?
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  1. #1
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    powermatic 80 nylon components and shorter service interval?

    the Seastar has so much going for it. ceramic bezel, 300m wr, free sprung balance wheel, silicon hairspring. It's basically my perfect watch at that price point. I recently visited a watchmaker and asked his opinion on the powermatic 80 movement within. He was not optimistic about the long term durability of it. I was told that there is some nylon component in the movement and that the tweaks made to achieve an 80hr power reserve in turn undermine the long term durability of the movement. Those with experience and knowledge about this movement please chime in. I still want to get the new seastar!

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    Re: powermatic 80 nylon components and shorter service interval?

    Sounds like something somebody who makes money from servicing watches would say.

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    Go onto the watchmakers forum with this, you should get some good answers. I have one question out in one of the threads. These movements are meant to be toss away with around a 4 year replacement. The factory will salvage what they can to rebuild the replacements people get. But it's not clear to me if it will make it the four years and still keep a precise and accurate rate. Would like to learn more about this myself. Generally speaking Swatch made it hard for independents to service these.
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    Re: powermatic 80 nylon components and shorter service interval?

    I don’t think this is true. I have the new sea star Powermatic 80 and the older looking sea star. The new one looks like it has no plastic parts where the older one has plastic parts.
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  6. #5
    Member MrDisco99's Avatar
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    Re: powermatic 80 nylon components and shorter service interval?

    Quote Originally Posted by pickle puss View Post
    Sounds like something somebody who makes money from servicing watches would say.
    Yeah heaven forbid you should want your watch to be serviceable by an independent watchmaker.

    These new Powermatic movements are great in that they offer a nice long PR which people like. But it seems to me they are meant to be thrown away rather than serviced. The long PR is likely implemented thanks to lower tension needed from the mainspring through the train. The only way to do that (besides lowering the frequency which they've also done) is to reduce the force needed to flip the escapement, and the easiest way to do that is to make things lighter. Unfortunately lighter usually means weaker... replacing metal parts and jewels with synthetic materials that require less force to move but are more susceptible to damage over time.

    I've seen talk of how you can only service them through people with Swatch accounts. Which means Swatch controls the cost of service and can make it prohibitively expensive if they choose. Swatch Group seem to be heading down the Apple model of implementing technology. Make it fragile and difficult to service so we're more likely to throw it away and buy it again than get it fixed.

    I'd rather have an old fashioned ETA that beats at 4Hz, uses a real jeweled escapement, I can regulate myself, and pretty much any watchmaker can work on forever. But that's just me.
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    IN THE BOX: Seiko SARB033, SKX007 (NH36), SNA411, SNK809 (rebuild), SUP880; Orient Bambino V3; Casio DW5600E; Timex Fairfield Small Seconds; Red Star 1963; Vostok 420059; Hamilton Khaki Field Auto; Tissot Le Locle Chronometre
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  7. #6
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    I don't know about this particular movement but this practise has been Swatch's method from the outset.
    Build in not only obsolescence but design deliberately to last only a given period then make the serviceable bits. (Straps e.g. On the older quartz) prohibitively expensive and hard to get to encourage disposal and replacement.

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    Re: powermatic 80 nylon components and shorter service interval?

    Quote Originally Posted by palletwheel View Post
    Go onto the watchmakers forum with this, you should get some good answers. I have one question out in one of the threads. These movements are meant to be toss away with around a 4 year replacement. The factory will salvage what they can to rebuild the replacements people get. But it's not clear to me if it will make it the four years and still keep a precise and accurate rate. Would like to learn more about this myself. Generally speaking Swatch made it hard for independents to service these.
    Any chance you're talking about Tissot's Swissmatic movement (70-80 hr PR) which uses plastic parts (essentially a Swatch Sistem51 movement) vs the C07.111 Powermatic 80, which is a modified ETA2824?

  9. #8
    Member MrDisco99's Avatar
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    Re: powermatic 80 nylon components and shorter service interval?

    Quote Originally Posted by Impulse View Post
    Any chance you're talking about Tissot's Swissmatic movement (70-80 hr PR) which uses plastic parts (essentially a Swatch Sistem51 movement) vs the C07.111 Powermatic 80, which is a modified ETA2824?
    One is to a greater extent than the other, but both have similar problems. The Swissmatic is essentially a disposable mechanical movement. The Powermatic 80 is derived from the 2824, but it has some "nylon" (plastic) parts in it to help with the longer PR and make it less serviceable.
    IN THE BOX: Seiko SARB033, SKX007 (NH36), SNA411, SNK809 (rebuild), SUP880; Orient Bambino V3; Casio DW5600E; Timex Fairfield Small Seconds; Red Star 1963; Vostok 420059; Hamilton Khaki Field Auto; Tissot Le Locle Chronometre
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  10. #9
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    Re: powermatic 80 nylon components and shorter service interval?

    I was assured by a Tissot AD that the P80 movements used in Tissots could be serviced whereas those used in Swatches were “sealed for life”

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    Re: powermatic 80 nylon components and shorter service interval?

    Quote Originally Posted by sticky View Post
    I was assured by a Tissot AD that the P80 movements used in Tissots could be serviced whereas those used in Swatches were “sealed for life”
    I've been told the same.

    The real question is what does "service" mean. If you have your Tissot P80 movement "serviced" by Tissot, they will give you a 2 year additional warranty from the moment your servicing is completed. It may very well be that they simply swap the entire movement out with a "remanufactured" one. And the one that came out of your watch then goes to the factory for remanufacturing itself, to be swapped into someone else's watch at some point.

    Are you OK with that ? People can be very finicky with these types of things, for whatever reason. Personally, I'd be fine with a swapped out movement. Some people wouldn't be.

    If you don't go the Tissot-route for servicing, I'm sure a competent watchmaker could service the movement (cleaning, lubricating, etc). If parts were needed, however, that's where it might get a bit tricky.
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