There are many factors to consider when you are looking to purchase a luxury mechanical watch and one of the most essential things to get right is the automatic movement used within. With so many luxury watch manufacturers making their own calibres in-house nowadays, we are completely spoiled for choice when it comes to quality and accuracy.
But what is the best automatic watch movement out there? Simply put, there is no straight forward answer to this question and it completely depends on what you as a wearer value in a watch. Do you want a watch that has a long power reserve? Or would you prefer a watch with an unbeatable accuracy? Others care less about the functions of a mechanical calibre and want something that is beautifully decorated.
With that being said, there are some companies that are famed for their high-quality movements. ETA movements which are produced by the Swatch Group are known for being incredibly reliable and durable, hence why they are so common in the industry. Other movement manufacturers like Sellita are also widely recognised for their impressive mechanical calibres, becoming particularly popular with watch collectors excited by chronographs.
Luxury watch manufacturers like Rolex, Omega, TAG Heuer and Breitling have also become widely popular for their dependability. However, it also worth noting that many of these companies use the same mass produced ébauche movements from manufacturers like ETA and Sellita and make small changes to them to call them their own. But there is a reason they do this. Since the ébauche movements created by these external movement manufactures are already basically perfect, there is very little point making any dramatic changes.
Nevertheless, many watch manufacturers still choose to make their own in-house calibres from scratch alongside their altered ébauche movements. Rolex, Omega, TAG and Breitling have all chosen to make their own in-house movements with each boasting a many that are highly valued by collectors and connoisseurs. Breitling in particular has ensured that every one of their movements, both quartz and mechanical, are COSC certified meaning they have an accuracy of -4 to +6 per day. If you are someone who prizes accuracy in a mechanical watch, then choosing one with a COSC certified movement is a must.
Seiko is another fine example of a luxury watch brand that makes most of their mechanical movements in-house. Rather than being Swiss like the other brands mentioned, Seiko create Japanese movements. They have managed to design some impeccable calibres like their 9R Spring Drive movement which offers an incredible accuracy of +8/-1 seconds a day. Nomos Glashutte are another illustration for fine in-house manufacturer with another range of quality mechanical calibres from Germany that are beautifully decorated, incredibly thin and offer amazing precision.
As you can tell, its no easy feat deciding which automatic movement is the best. There are so many mechanical calibres to choose from that it completely depends on what you are looking for in a watch. If you are someone who requires accuracy, then look for something COSC certified and if you want something affordable and reliable then an ETA movement might be the perfect choice for you. On the other hand, if you are someone who cares less about function and more about the effort and craftsmanship that has gone into the movement, then hand assembled in-house calibres from brands like Nomos are more likely to get your pulse ticking.