$18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually
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  1. #1
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    $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    I recently bought two Ronda 763 5 jewel movements for $18 each.

    What stroke me up front was that both movements had a rather good accuracy and ran with precisely the same speed. Ronda clearly adjusts accuracy at factory very well.

    I did not pay much attention, but recently I tested their accuracy and now I cannot comprehend what I see. At room temperature, both movements are ~ +115 SPY.

    But when worn 24/7, they are +0.7 SPY.

    So, I have $3000 AQ4030, which is +9 SPY when worn 95% on wrist, and a ~ +1 SPY cheap movement worn with the same day to day usage pattern.

    In practical sense, this means that I paid almost $3000 for a "pretty watch", and not for the accuracy it provides...
    Last edited by Chasy; July 25th, 2019 at 10:23.
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  2. #2
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    Re: $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    It is well-established that the more consistent the temperature, the more consistent will be the rate of the quartz oscillator. With non-HAQ watches there is, perhaps, less careful selection of the crystal and less careful tuning of the rate, but besides the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel sub-$1 watches, by-and-large all manufacturers will at least try to set their quartz movements to perform optimally at around average worn temperature. When you get lucky, this can mean better than a second per year, on the wrist. Heaven forbid you should take the watch off for any length of time, though.

    One of my best-perforimg watches is a Seiko Solar (both worn and unworn) but it is luck-of-the-draw. Off the wrist, your watch with the Ronda movement is 115 SPY. When you are obsessed enough with precision to spend thousands on a HAQ, this off-the-wrist performance is just not acceptable. Even allowing for Citizen's propensity to overstate the accuracy of their supposedly 5 SPY movements, the standard we normally expect for good quartz watches is 10 SPY (or better), worn or unworn. Beyond that, a nominally HAQ watch will either be lambasted on this forum or sent back for rate correction.
    Last edited by Tom-HK; July 25th, 2019 at 13:10.
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  3. #3
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    Re: $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    What I don't like is that no matter how I will wear my Citizen, it will have larger error than a cheap Ronda worn in my most typical usage pattern.

    Not amazing to say the least.

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  5. #4
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    Re: $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    You could send the Citizen back to Japan for rate regulation. But yes, it is always going to be true that the price of a thing will not necessarily guarantee that its performance will outshine that of a lower priced thing under a specific set of circumstances.

    Of the HAQs in my collection - that vary in price from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds - the difference in performance does not always correlate to price. An old Longings VHP, for example, will probably cost about as much as a new Certina DS2, but my vintage VHP has consistently outshone my modern DS2 in part because its rate is user-adjustable. That being said, leaving vintage watches out of the equation, you do tend to get better, more consistently high-performing movements out of the more costly Chronomaster / GS product than out of a considerably cheaper watch with a lower end ETA HAQ movement.

    But when all of the HAQs in your collection are performing at better than 10 SPY then the small differences in performance become less relevant and you notice that besides having slightly 'better' movements (however you may define that), the higher priced Japanese watches also enjoy a higher standard of finishing (especially Grand Seiko) and (usually) very nicely aligned seconds hands. Depending on what model you get, you might also be getting a HAQ with a perpetual calendar, an independently adjustable hour hand and solar power. Or one with an extra powerful, double pulse stepper motor to propel along an improbably long and incredibly elegant second hand that reaches right to the edge of the dial. Or something that has an adjustable rate. Or a GMT hand. Basically, a lot of little luxuries that your $18 Ronda-powered watch won't have.

    Ultimately, the worth of a thing is defined simply as the highest price that someone is prepared to pay for it. That is why so many people disagree about whether this watch or that watch is worth its price, given that we all have slightly different priorities. So there's no pleasing everyone, but here on the HAQ forum you will find many people who would take a watch that is consistent 9 SPY regardless of wear pattern, over one that is cheaper but which runs at 115 SPY if you take it off.
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  6. #5
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    Re: $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    Honestly, I think you probably got quite a bit lucky with the 0.7 spy. How long was your measurement inerval?

  7. #6
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    Re: $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    I love how accurate cheap quartz movements can be. I regularly get between 70-90 SPY on virtually all my non HAQ quartzes.

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    Re: $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    Well, yeah, any Chronomaster or GS has a significant jewelry aspect to their presentation. All the little details cost money. We could hope that there might be a field watch with a really nice case and solid but more plain dial, that they toss an A060 into...that'd start giving you a better price sense. We don't know the true premium of the movement. But, that deflates the value of better-packaged A060's, so it's not likely...at least until the 0100 is in the regular rotation.

    My frustration isn't about the A060 and how it's packaged...I'd really love to see the G530 in the Exceeds, featured more prominently. Yeah, fine, I could be totally off base, but I think Citizen has completely missed the mark. Fine, I get I'm gonna talk mechanicals...but it's about market positioning. It translates. Seiko had the SARx lines, that were high entry-level to low luxury-level. They revamped lines into the Presage collection. Presage Prestige has been moved upmarket...its best are practically junior Grand Seikos. I'm saying Citizen has missed the chance to create a broad, complementary model line using the G530's. They've gone the other way; far as I can tell, it's been dropped altogether. At least, gauging by citizen.jp. Their watch search includes "high precision" as a feature; using that, we get 4 A660 models, the rest being A010 or A060. Perhaps they just didn't sell, but cripes, did Citizen ever give them a chance???
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  9. #8
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    Re: $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    The writing was on the wall when Citizen replaced the E510 with the G530. Why make your new entry level HAQ movement lower spec than your old one?
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    Re: $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    Spot on about Citizen. I'm not a marketing person by trade, but I've studied marketing and work in finance. Citizen's marketing is a complete, disconnected disaster. Their technology is superior, it just needs better market focus and positioning. I hope they get it sorted. I'm going to make a prediction that I hate to make and hope is wrong: the 0100 movement will never see regular (non limited-edition) production.

    Quote Originally Posted by gangrel View Post
    Well, yeah, any Chronomaster or GS has a significant jewelry aspect to their presentation. All the little details cost money. We could hope that there might be a field watch with a really nice case and solid but more plain dial, that they toss an A060 into...that'd start giving you a better price sense. We don't know the true premium of the movement. But, that deflates the value of better-packaged A060's, so it's not likely...at least until the 0100 is in the regular rotation.

    My frustration isn't about the A060 and how it's packaged...I'd really love to see the G530 in the Exceeds, featured more prominently. Yeah, fine, I could be totally off base, but I think Citizen has completely missed the mark. Fine, I get I'm gonna talk mechanicals...but it's about market positioning. It translates. Seiko had the SARx lines, that were high entry-level to low luxury-level. They revamped lines into the Presage collection. Presage Prestige has been moved upmarket...its best are practically junior Grand Seikos. I'm saying Citizen has missed the chance to create a broad, complementary model line using the G530's. They've gone the other way; far as I can tell, it's been dropped altogether. At least, gauging by citizen.jp. Their watch search includes "high precision" as a feature; using that, we get 4 A660 models, the rest being A010 or A060. Perhaps they just didn't sell, but cripes, did Citizen ever give them a chance???

  11. #10
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    Re: $18 Ronda vs $3000 HAQ - shocking, actually

    Quote Originally Posted by tomchicago View Post
    Spot on about Citizen. I'm not a marketing person by trade, but I've studied marketing and work in finance. Citizen's marketing is a complete, disconnected disaster. Their technology is superior, it just needs better market focus and positioning. I hope they get it sorted. I'm going to make a prediction that I hate to make and hope is wrong: the 0100 movement will never see regular (non limited-edition) production.
    The success of Citizen Watch Co. as a profitable enterprise speaks for itself. We won't show them how to make money for sure even if we studied marketing. To be that successful assumes that they know the technologies and they know how to trade as well. They must be excellent at both otherwise they would not be in the position where they are now!
    Of course, the 0100 movement will never see regular (non limited-edition) production, it was never intended for "mass production", it is Citizen's pride and would be yours as well if you fork out the money for it...

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