There is no doubt that a comparison among movements is very complex, yet without the skill and knowledge to differentiate between differing breeds of internal mechanisms, the enjoyment of timekeeping would instantly be lost. So what makes us tick?
In order to reach the deciding factor in finding the right calibre, one would need to ask what it is that they are looking for in terms of engine capabilities. The powerhouse of a watch is the beating heart – thus we want to nurture and protect that element to ensure a longer lifespan. Similar to buying a car, the mechanics of the motor become a fundamental decider in our overall investment. Some watch enthusiasts want the most complicated of movements – others the most accurate. Those who appreciate a watch from an aesthetical point of view will choose a beautifully decorative movement, whilst those enthusiasts who want a long and reliable service out of their purchase, desire value.
From a pure quality perspective, Swatch ETA movements epitomize reliability. Luxury Watch brands such as Longines and Tissot produce watches at an accessible price point without the somewhat unnecessary complication due to their mass production. Huge volumes of Swiss ETA movements have been produced each year for decades, allowing time for slight issues to be remedied in order to reach excellence on an equal measure throughout all brands under the Swatch Group umbrella. TAG Heuer equip many of their models with the prestigious ETA Valjoux 7750 movement (also known as the Calibre 16) – a development which is renowned for performing flawlessly.
Those more exotic watches which are produced on a much lower scale, offer the wearer a personalised and unique experience of time keeping. Whilst all focus is applied to incorporating rare designs and an unparalleled uniqueness, the beauty of the creation usually lies within the individualised movement. Nomos Glashutte watch company have been impressing us with the continual growth and development of their in-house formations for years, the Metro being the latest example of elegant engineering thanks to the newly named Swing System Escapement movement creation. With that comes the consideration of price. The benefits of a hand assembled, limited edition piece or a specially manufactured movement for one particular model design, goes hand in hand with an increase in cost. Recouping the investment through character appeal and class, makes up for the company’s loss of revenue, normally earned through production quantities.
Technically very similar to the Swiss ETA movements are those that are still manufactured in high quantities, yet are created independently by world-established watch making brands. The calibres produced within the Breitling watch company perform with the same dependability and accuracy however, have the additional benefit of easy servicing. Large watch companies employ their own servicing sector, complimented by internally-trained watch technicians skilled enough deal with the intricate difficulties of their own thoroughbred movements.
Seiko watch makers – masters of cutting edge innovation, are the perfect example to use in terms of a brand which successfully utilizes the incredible quality of Japanese movements. Some may think that Japanese movements are the cheapest and therefore less effective, however the likes of Grand Seiko prove this theory wrong. Some of the very best multi function watches on the market, operating with extremely low variables in accuracy come from the high-grade calibre manufacturing, courtesy of Seiko watch company. The calibre 9S65 for example, found within the Grand Seiko 62GS Limited Edition, offers a beautiful commemorative interpretation of the brands successful breakthroughs, with a price point to reflect this level of quality.
Mechanical movements may not be as accurate as the trusty quartz movement, however certainly win on beauty and attractiveness with their varying degrees of presentation and exquisite elegance. Deciding on the right movement before adorning the wrist with your next companion, really does require some significant consideration.