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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I apologize this is a dumb question, but when I see a Top Grade 2824-2 movement, is that different from other 2824-2 movements? Are there different levels? If so, what are the differences? If a watch description just stated 2824-2 should I assume it's the "standard" grade? What is the 2895-2?


Lastly, considering the following watches, are they all in the same league, any stand out or don't belong?

Sinn 556
Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot, Oris BC4
Beaume and Mercier Hamilton ($999)
Mido Barconelli Chronograph, or multifort (with a screw down crown) looks like a chronometer?
Hamilton Jazzmaster Chronograph
Maurice Lacroix Pontos
Steinhart

All in about the $700 - $800 range


I realize these are different style watches. My question is with this group is it all about personal preference or are their watches that don't belong in this group for quality reasons?

Thanks
 

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Where should I start: with the lecture, or with fixing the incorrect spelling of just about every watch on your list? ;-)

That the manufacturer does not provide the name of the grade, does not mean it's the basic one. So no, that it just says "2824-2" does not mean it's the Standard grade, and not- for example - the Top grade.

There are usually four grades of ETA movements: Standard, Elabore, Top, and Chronometer. I don't think all their movements have a Standard version.

Usually, the difference between the grades is in the finishing, and things like the regulator, the hairspring alloy... Once it used to be the jewel count as well, but that's rarely the case these days.

"Looks like a chronometer..." Nope. Is or is not a chronometer. If it is, it should be correctly described as such by the manufacturer, and there should be an appropriate inscription on the watch itself. If it is a chronometer, this means the movement has been tested by the COSC and has fit within the COSC requirements for accuracy.

The 2895-2 is one of the versions of the good old 2892.
Generally, it's the same base movement, with minor differences.

Of the watches you have listed (still choking with laughter over the "Beaume", which is a Hampton, not Hamilton!) only Steinhart (pretty much all of Steinharts) is well below that league- they mostly deal in "hommidges"- which is what some call homage or tribute watches, and what I call knock-offs, if a brand (like Steinhart alright) fails to limit it to an inspiration, and just takes the whole design without substantially altering it. Maybe spare for their pilot watches, as the B-Uhr is a generic design.
 

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Hi TimothyO, you have listed some fairly different styles of watches. What are you looking for, or is it more a case of what's on offer (nothing wrong with that)?

The Sinn 556 is a forum favourite and, I believe, comes with the Top grade 2824. I would describe it is a cross between a pilot watch and an explorer type watch. It is fairly small at 38.5mm but looks great on the wrist.

People rave about Oris, solidly made, decent history. I personally find them a little plain, but the Pro Pilot is a nice watch. Somewhere comparable to the Sinn in style but not exactly.

Baume are good for dress watches, not sure about the one you listed but they tend to be quite big for dress watches at 42mm. They seem to have a mixed rep on here. Nothing wrong with that though, so do many other brands which are still objectively excellent in the grand scheme.

Mido and Hamilton are both on the same level and both marketed as such by Swatch (who own them both). I would focus on Hamilton between the two, great history and in the flesh they look and feel better than you'd think for the price. The Jazzmaster chrono is a solid bet.

Maurice Lacroix seem to be going through problems at the moment, with some questioning if they will survive or be bought. They are somewhere similar to Baume, a little cheaper and lower quality perhaps, but somewhere just above Hamilton and Mido. The Pontos is their nicest line in my view.

Steinhart are certainly the cheapest and do tend to make homages, e.g. their diver and the Submariner. Love or hate, but plenty seem happy with them if you are after that kind of thing.

I would say of the brands listed, the rankings would generally be seen as Sinn, Baume and Oris as a general tier one, ML tier two, Mido and Hamilton tier three, Steinhart tier four.

Check out Raymond Weil, Longines, Stowa, Ball, Frederique Constant and the like too.

P.S. Haven't proof read the above, so go easy mqws...!
 

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From what I've read, the most common version of the 2824-2 used is the Elabore grade. The higher (and lower) grade movements differ in finishing and some small parts. The higher grade movements are generally adjusted (edit: not regulated... brain fart while typing) to a finer degree. It's entirely possible for most Standard grades to be adjusted to keep time just as well as a Chronometer grade, it just isn't done by ETA in the manufacturing process. Some makers advertise that they have adjusted their movements to meet Top or Chronometer grade, and they can.. it doesn't mean the movement is worth more, just that the builder has adjusted it to run more true.

End of the day, the 2824-2 is a workhorse of a movement that is well respected for is durability and ease of repair. Any of the brands you mention make a good watch in that price range, I would say that the Sinn and Oris stand out as the nicest of the group however.
 

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Just to include the image gangrel is referencing in his post above:



Edit: Oh, and perhaps a slight clarification of terminology. "Regulating" via moving the regulator to change the oscillation rate to improve the accuracy is one thing, whereas "adjusting" to the multiple positions is another, involving disassembly and modification of the parts involved, as far as I understand it, or at least their positioning (someone more knowledgeable chime in here).
 

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The other joys of movement grades is that they aren't fixed. Components and decorations can be mixed and matched. You can throw an Incabloc shock protection on a Standard and it looks like an undecorated Élaboré. I've seen decorated Élaboré grades with Glucydur balance wheels, too. But in both those cases it's the lower timekeeping range that still applies.

And as for the 2895, new 289X family movements are not available in Standard, only Élaboré and above.

And it's factory adjustment people, not regulation. Adjustment affects the precision (size of the variance in a group) of the movement, and regulation affects the accuracy (how close the group is to where you want it to be).
 

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Thanks for posting that chart Iandk... exactly the one I was thinking of.
The Elabore grade 2824-2 used by many makers is upgraded when they use it... look at the Hamilton Khaki autos for example. They upgrade the shock protection to Incabloc from the lesser Etachocs. So the 2824-2 used by Hamilton are somewhere between Elabore and Top. They also then refer to it by some 'in house' caliber number. I can't recall if Hamilton does other changes to the 2824-2's they use in that line.
Other makers do other changes to the base movements... Oris does modifications to base Sellita (and ETA) movements to make it their own for example.

I suppose I should have used a different phrase than "small parts" in my initial post. The Mainspring and Hairspring are obviously important pieces to overall rate of the movement and how precisely it can be adjusted.

There was a micro-brand diver maker that used Elabore grade 2824's but had adjusted them in-house to Top grade rates/errors/iscochronism... I can't say for certain if they changed parts in the movements, but they advertised as having done positional rate adjustment to the movements in their watches.
 

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Then there's the Thomas Prescher version.
Where should I start: with the lecture, or with fixing the incorrect spelling of just about every watch on your list? ;-)

That the manufacturer does not provide the name of the grade, does not mean it's the basic one. So no, that it just says "2824-2" does not mean it's the Standard grade, and not- for example - the Top grade.

There are usually four grades of ETA movements: Standard, Elabore, Top, and Chronometer. I don't think all their movements have a Standard version.

Usually, the difference between the grades is in the finishing, and things like the regulator, the hairspring alloy... Once it used to be the jewel count as well, but that's rarely the case these days.

"Looks like a chronometer..." Nope. Is or is not a chronometer. If it is, it should be correctly described as such by the manufacturer, and there should be an appropriate inscription on the watch itself. If it is a chronometer, this means the movement has been tested by the COSC and has fit within the COSC requirements for accuracy.

The 2895-2 is one of the versions of the good old 2892.
Generally, it's the same base movement, with minor differences.

Of the watches you have listed (still choking with laughter over the "Beaume", which is a Hampton, not Hamilton!) only Steinhart (pretty much all of Steinharts) is well below that league- they mostly deal in "hommidges"- which is what some call homage or tribute watches, and what I call knock-offs, if a brand (like Steinhart alright) fails to limit it to an inspiration, and just takes the whole design without substantially altering it. Maybe spare for their pilot watches, as the B-Uhr is a generic design.
 

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To add some photos...

Sinn 556i movement. My only 2824-2 with blued screws, more engraving i.e. "25 Jewels/Swiss Made", whiskering, and the balance wheel is noticeably different. The "spokes" of the wheel are shaped differently than any of my other ETAs.

IMG_0242.JPG

IMG_0250.JPG

Standard looking ETA2824-2 movement in an Archimede pilot. Archimede definitely regulated it though as it was within +/- 2s/d. But definitely not as decorated.

20151121_111643.jpg

The Mido Multifort's ETA 2836

20161106_145335.jpg

Hamilton Navy Pioneer 2895

20161106_144634.jpg

And not to hijack the thread but does anyone know why the Seiko 6R15 has a noticeably smaller balance wheel? Does this have any barring on performance? It's definitely not a smaller movement...

20161106_145052.jpg
 
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