Saturday, 24 February 2007

Ways to get over the fact that your $10,000 watch has an ETA inside

Instead of chanting "it can't be" over and over again or asking yourself why the hell did XYZ watch company put this *@$!@! $50-100 movement into such a nice watch. Relax, take deep breaths and let the Raphmeister help you.

Aids to help you accept the fact

- Watch companies using them and the owners probably push the message that it is a proven, accurate, robust and reliable movement. They've gotten so good at this that nearly all players in the industry agrees with this. There are loadsa magazine articles, critiques on ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse supplied movements, the Valjoux 7750, ETA 2892-A2, ETA 2824-2, Unitas 6497 and it normally comes out with the message that it may be ubiquitous but it is a proven, accurate, robust and reliable workhorse movements built like tractors.

AID 1 : Repeat these words often, "it is a proven, accurate, robust and reliable movement"

- Watch houses will dazzle you with statements like, we got the highest grade ETA produces and we've put in a lot of work into it, done extensive modifications to make it even better, finished it to a much higher level (see the Cotes de Geneve), tweaked this a little, junked that bit and replaced it with our own highly specced bits, added new bits in exclusive to us, refined and elevated it to a totally different plane, checkout the COSC certification too. Perfect medicine when you have the ETA shakes or is it the Valjoux wobble :)

AID 2 : Believe that it has been uniquely enhanced and improved to a point that it is almost not an ETA movement. Believe...

If the watch is from a company that has strengths as a manufacture and has its own in-house movements, you could think that it probably means that if they do use ETA, its been refined to about the same level as their in-house brothers. (Please note that this borders on deluding yourself and may not be that healthy)

AID 3 : The watch is from a true manufacture with their own in-house movements. Their models using ETA must be of a higher level, it's really almost like an in-house movement.

Thats it for the aids. Some good (or bad news depending on who you are) is that the Swatch group is actually going to cut down the supply of ETA movements outside of their group. This will probably see other watch houses trying to develop in-house movements or get their ebauches from other suppliers. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

For me personally, I have no qualms with ETA inside, as long as the watch companies are up front about it, don't bs their customers about what they do to the movement and tell us what exactly it is that they do do to it and charge us reasonably for them.

(All the watches shown on the right for this post have ETA inside it)

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