Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal
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  1. #1
    Member ppaulusz's Avatar
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    Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal

    This little article is based upon my 15 or so years of hands on experience with HAQ quartz watches without any form of calibration terminal.
    More specifically, I'm talking about watches like the Seiko 8J fitted ones, the latest ETA offerings of HAQ and all of the Citizen HAQ watches (after the days of the trimmer) but for making it simple, let's focus on the Citizen offerings as most of my watches of the past 15 or so years have been Citizen-made. It is important to note that these watches were specified accuracy-wise as either 10 SPY (the majority of them) or 5 SPY (the minority of them).
    We can forget the caveats that part of the specifications as my observation has based upon normal life-like condition/environment and wearing habit and because the caveats were worded similarly (remember, we are talking about Citizen-made HAQ watches).
    That article will also underline the importance of applied technology vs specifications (accuracy/perecision related) and what really matter and what does not really matter of the two.
    Please, note that Citizen never bothered to explain whether the 5 SPY specified watches offer any technological advance over the 10 SPY specified models. Remember, all these watches use a 32kHz quartz crystal and a thermocompensation scheme. Futhermore, it was easy to observe that some movements looked identical apart from their ID numbers still they were specified differently (5 SPY vs 10 SPY). Now, we know that just because the hardware are identical the software/firmware that run them might be different and that might result a different performance (accuracy/precision-wise).
    Not to mention that not every 32kHz quartz crystals perform alike and very small differences might result noticeably better performance. But as you will see Citizen did not use better selection of 32kHz quartz nor better firmware in the 5 SPY watches vs 10 SPY watches... Why? Because my observation of 60 or so watches over the years could not highlight significant performance differences (accuracy/precision-wise) between the 5 SPY and the 10 SPY models. Actually, the best performing top 3 of the 60 or so are specified 10 SPY. While it is also true that the worst performing bottom 3 watches were also from the 10 SPY basket. It is true that the 10 SPY models outnumbered the 5 SPY about 10:1 but that should not be a problem if the 5 SPY models were outstanding performers but they were not!
    The conclusion of the above:
    - Citizen won't offer advanced technologies with the 5 SPY specified watches over the 10 SPY specified models however it might give peace of mind in the form of a generous warranty in case of these 5 SPY watches. So you might get more generous warranty but definitely not necessarily a better (accuracy/precision-wise) performing watch if you happen to pick a 5 SPY model instead of the 10 SPY model!
    - Not the manufacturers' specifications but rather the applied technologies that set watches apart and our forum should appreciate that fact when we try to give a meaning of HAQ!

    And just for the record: my best performing Citizen is among the very few of my watches that perform within 1 SPY and the only one that does it without calibration after it left the factory (I'm very conservative with accuracy performances and officially would not award 1 SPY to any of my watches as the best award in my book is 2 SPY but unofficially I can declare that a very few indeed perform to 1 SPY)! It is a limited edition Citizen Exceed (Cal.A715) in a mono-block housing, rated for 10 SPY, 100m WR, with date (but not perpetual), Eco-Drive, bicolor titanium, it was manufactured in around 1997-98:
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    Last edited by ppaulusz; 1 Week Ago at 10:46. Reason: spelling
    caesari likes this.
    Referring to the specifications without being aware of the applied technologies is the telltale sign of incompetence!

  2. #2
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    Re: Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal

    Cool, so if I read correctly, in your 15 years, you don't know much about the "advanced technology" they employ other than the specs and info they give you, and you're not sure if the hardware or firmware is different between a 5spy or 10spy watch. Might get lucky and have a 10spy watch that performs really well and a 5spy perform worse, or they may perform to spec.

    Hey, but thanks for sharing, I'm not sure if this helps anyone choosing their next watch. I mean put simply you can send a 5spy watch that doesn't meet specs back, can't send a 10spy watch that doesn't get 5spy back. But you can get lucky.

    Don't need to know much about technolgy to buy what you want.

  3. #3
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    Re: Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal

    Thanks, PPAULUSZ I believe you have more to say, or have a hyperlink to include. I greatly appreciate the valuable testing you do.

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  5. #4
    Member ppaulusz's Avatar
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    Re: Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal

    Quote Originally Posted by wbird View Post
    Cool, so if I read correctly, in your 15 years, you don't know much about the "advanced technology" they employ other than the specs and info they give you, and you're not sure if the hardware or firmware is different between a 5spy or 10spy watch...
    Unfortunately, you did not read it correctly... Try one more time!
    Referring to the specifications without being aware of the applied technologies is the telltale sign of incompetence!

  6. #5
    Member ppaulusz's Avatar
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    Re: Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal

    Quote Originally Posted by caesari View Post
    Thanks, PPAULUSZ I believe you have more to say, or have a hyperlink to include. I greatly appreciate the valuable testing you do.
    You're welcome, ceasari, no I have nothing to add to my article. I tried to make it brief to the point.
    ronalddheld likes this.
    Referring to the specifications without being aware of the applied technologies is the telltale sign of incompetence!

  7. #6
    Member ppaulusz's Avatar
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    Re: Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal

    Quote Originally Posted by wbird View Post
    ...put simply you can send a 5spy watch that doesn't meet specs back, can't send a 10spy watch that doesn't get 5spy back. But you can get lucky...
    Exactly!
    Referring to the specifications without being aware of the applied technologies is the telltale sign of incompetence!

  8. #7
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Re: Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal

    Is it possible that when they needed a run of 5 SPY movements, they pulled the best-performing 10 SPY movements off the testing line, put on the appropriate ID number, and called it a day?

  9. #8
    Member ppaulusz's Avatar
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    Re: Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal

    Quote Originally Posted by odd_and_vintage_fan View Post
    Is it possible that when they needed a run of 5 SPY movements, they pulled the best-performing 10 SPY movements off the testing line, put on the appropriate ID number, and called it a day?
    Well, according to my experiences of the past 15 or so years involving around 60 watches, the 5 SPY movements did not perform any better (accuracy/precision-wise) than the 10 SPY movements. I do believe that the applied technologies (32kHz quartz combined with digital thermocompensation) are more than capable of delivering within 4 SPY without problem providing proper out of factory calibration (quality control that is). Quality control takes time and therefore money and manufacturers like to save cost. Let's not forget one important fact that helps the manufacturers: not everyone is complaining about his/her out of specification watch as for many the pure promise that the watch should perform within specifications is enough, only the minority complain and that is taken care of, mind you not always to the satisfaction of the owner of the watch (there are user reports in this HAQ forum that show that the returned from service watch did not perform any better than before).
    Referring to the specifications without being aware of the applied technologies is the telltale sign of incompetence!

  10. #9
    Member Fergfour's Avatar
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    Re: Out of factory calibration of HAQ watches without calibration terminal

    That’s the way I see it, the majority of customers who buy a watch where the manufacturer claims 5 or 10 seconds per year accuracy take it for granted, don’t bother to check it, or just like the idea that it’ll be very accurate in general compared to their other watches. Nothing wrong with that. There will be those that keep records of course but I imagine the percentage is very low overall.

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