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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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...
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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As far as I can see, Citizen profits come from the mass production regular (or standard) quartz watches, which sell a lot worldwide. I love their watches, a terrific value for money, for me a lot better than Seiko when we restric the discussion about mid-priced watches.

When it comes to high accuracy luxury watches, I see a complete different story. In this area Seiko has a better brand awareness and is best appreciated worldwide. And in fact it is easier to find a GS than a Chronomaster outside Japan. Also in Japan Citizen lacks that "allure" that Seiko has and Seiko invest a lot more money in advertising than Citizen does (I'm talking about the luxury market).

So if we talk about technical aspects, probably Citizen has the edge but if we talk about the luxury market I see Seiko more dominant. I don't have the figures but I suspect that the worldwide earnings of Citizen are superior than those of Seiko. I can also say that, always in my very personal opinion, I see Seiko and Citizen simply positioned differently, where Citizen is predominant in the mid market, Seiko is predominant in the luxury market.

Of course and as always we are just speculating and these 2 companies know well what to do as they are successfully profitant over decades. Probably they chose not to fight too much one against the other.
 

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I think the biggest misconception watch nerds, WIS, or WUS members have when it comes to marketing is that watches are being designed and marketed for them. The internet has a way of making the minority feel like the majority because of like minded enclaves like WUS.
The majority of the things discussed here no one else in the world cares about. I would guess 90% (that is on the conservative side) of the people purchasing a GS 9f are buying a piece of jewelry more than anything else and as long as the watch doesn't start erratically losing minutes they'll never care or notice whether it is +10 spy or +20spy. All the +10spy does for them is offer a bit price justification if they need it or a conversational piece.
So when we criticize watch manufacturers for missing the mark in terms of design and marketing, most of the time we are just saying, "They didn't make a watch designed and marketed the way my niche group of WIS friends like it."
 

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You did a good point. However if the customer is looking for a piece of jewelery then I'm pretty sure they go for mechanicals. Everyone I know associates the word "quartz watch" to "cheap" and "mechanical watch" to "prestige". Maybe it's just me, but I won't be so sure that the high accuracy of a 2K watch is just something to be used to justify the purchase.

We all know at the f9 subforum that we are a niche of nerds. But to me, the moment I started to be here and read all the threads I also started to be a lot aware of what I was purchasing. And in less than 10 years I've changed my watches to a new collection of watches (4 in total) that I know for what they truly ARE and not for what they could represent to other people. I'm sure a lot of people here aren't just nerds but also very very aware of what they have and, I think, this gives them and me a great sense of confidence I must say I like !
 

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You did a good point. However if the customer is looking for a piece of jewelery then I'm pretty sure they go for mechanicals. Everyone I know associates the word "quartz watch" to "cheap" and "mechanical watch" to "prestige". Maybe it's just me, but I won't be so sure that the high accuracy of a 2K watch is just something to be used to justify the purchase.

We all know at the f9 subforum that we are a niche of nerds. But to me, the moment I started to be here and read all the threads I also started to be a lot aware of what I was purchasing. And in less than 10 years I've changed my watches to a new collection of watches (4 in total) that I know for what they truly ARE and not for what they could represent to other people. I'm sure a lot of people here aren't just nerds but also very very aware of what they have and, I think, this gives them and me a great sense of confidence I must say I like !
Agree man, I love the community here. I hope I wasn't coming off as derogatory. When I say nerd I mean it in a self mocking inclusive way...I mean, I am on here too scrolling through watch threads incessantly. Take care.
 
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I'm definitely more a nerd than anyone ^_^ My friends don't understand my love for quartz... In the end how could it be possible to spend all that money into such a junk of common electronics...? Nevertheless I'm strangely more than fine with myself for that !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Honestly, I think you probably got quite a bit lucky with the 0.7 spy. How long was your measurement inerval?
=5,000 minutes as of now, time monitored with <5ms precision by custom NTP software.

Total error (after the watch was off for about 10min/day for shower) is 0.39 SPY.

During this time AQ4030 ran away forward visibly to naked eye.
 

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You did a good point. However if the customer is looking for a piece of jewelery then I'm pretty sure they go for mechanicals. Everyone I know associates the word "quartz watch" to "cheap" and "mechanical watch" to "prestige". Maybe it's just me, but I won't be so sure that the high accuracy of a 2K watch is just something to be used to justify the purchase.
yep, if you're going to compare cost to accuracy that's a waste of time, mechanicals are proof of that. My Omega Seamaster in quartz (circa 2003) looks visibly identical to the mechanical version of that era minus a few words on the face and the second hand movement, so it has nothing to do with "jewelry" or "style" in that case. Its pure snobbery regarding automatic movements that makes the automatic version of that watch far more valuable than the quartz version, even though the accuracy of the quartz is significantly better than the automatic. BTW, at 16 years old that watch is still within 1 sec since I adjusted it for DST back in March, even though its not claimed to be a HAQ watch.
 

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now I see why there are so many double posts on this forum, I got a message on the first attempt regarding "not being able to post within 10 seconds of a previous post, wait 9 seconds and re-post" which then double-posted my reply above. Couldn't figure out how to delete the post, only edit it.
 
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