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I'm considering buying a Stowa Airman at some point and I'm trying to decide on what movement to get. The standard Airman comes with the ETA 2824-2, however, it is possible to upgrade to the COSC certified version of the same movement (for another 177 euros).

I'm sure there are a few of you out there that have struggled with this same decision. What decision did you make and what helped you make your decision? Thanks in advance!
 

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There are threads on this very question. I bought and received my Airman in December 2007 and did not get the COSC movement. I've been wearing my Airman for the last day and a half; in that time it's gained 7 seconds. Certainly COSC tolerance from a non-COSC movement. Ultimately, I did not want to spring for the extra dough, but it's a very nice watch and if having a COSC movement will enhance your ownership experience, then I say why not? For me, if I am looking for the ultimate in precision, I have 3 quartz watches to choose from- inlcuding a g-Shock with an atomic clock receiver. It's the most reasonably priced watch I have ($77) and yet the most accurate. Increasing price in watches certainly does not yield, in my experience, increasing accuracy. So sit back, make your decision, and enjoy!
 

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Hey welcome neighbor! I'm 55 miles from Dallas, in Commerce. I've got an FO2 incoming, you might what to see it to help you decide on the Airman. Me, personally I never check the accuracy of my watches. I have a phone with a clock that I keep in my pocket, my computers all have clocks, and frankly I never have to be anywhere within COSC time. It would be great if my mechanical watches were as accurate as quartz, but that's not why I buy them. ;-)
 
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Let me answer with some standard answers:

1) Please use our serach function. The question "COSC or not" has been discussed on WUS a couple of times. Just type "COSC".
2) Stowa watches are regulated very well so it comes down to a personal decision.

3) ETA movements are available in different grades which have some impact on their performance.

The performance differences are the big differences between the various grades: ("The limit values are subject to interpretation: 95% of the pieces delivered in a lot must be within the specified limits.")

Standard:
2 positions (CH, 6H)
daily rate: +/-12 sec/day
Maximum positional variation: 30 sec
Isochronism (between 0 and 24 hours): +/- 20 sec

Elabore:
3 positions (CH, 6H, 9H)
daily rate: +/-7 sec/day
Maximum positional variation: 20 sec
Isochronism (between 0 and 24 hours): +/- 15 sec

Top:
5 positions (CH, FH, 6H, 9H, 3H)
daily rate: +/-4 sec/day
Maximum positional variation: 15 sec
Isochronism (between 0 and 24 hours): +/- 10 sec

Chronometre:
As per COSC specifications, which as far as most owners will notice, isn't much different from Top grade.

The "material differences" are listed below.

Standard and Elabore:
Mainspring - Nivaflex NO
Shock protection - Etachocs
Pallet stones - Polyrubies, Epilame-coated
Balance - Nickel gilt
Balance staff - Epilame coated
Collet - Nivatronic
Hairspring - Nivarox 2
Hairspring heat treatment - Etastable

Top and Chronometre:
Mainspring - NivaflexNM
Shock protection - Incabloc
Pallet stones - Red rubies, Epilame-coated
Balance - Glucydur gilt
Balance staff - Epilame coated
Collet - Nivatronic
Hairspring - Anachron
Hairspring heat treatment - Etastable
 

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I bought a Marine Auto with a non-COSC version of the ETA 2824-2. I was checking it against my computer for the first week and it lost about 3 seconds in the first week. I just checked it again today, after 2 weeks of continuous wear, and it is dead on, not even +/- 1 second from the time I set it to 2 weeks ago. So clearly Stowa are able to regulate this movement very accurately.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all you guys! Overall, sounds like a fairly minor difference in the movements (for all intents and purposes).

Mike, I'll search for a "COSC or not" thread for further reading, thanks for the tip!

Hi, Roseskunk. Thanks for the offer to see your watch, I may have to take you up on that before I get one!
 

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I have a Stowa Airman with COSC that ran +7.5 secs/day which I have had sent off for regulation at my own expense to a local watchmaker and it now runs +5 secs/week.

COSC is worth it for looks and stable rate, but don't expect it to be accurate within COSC specs as Stowa won't automatically take it back if running out of COSC specs, which I thought was the point of buying the movement upgrade.
 

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I'm considering buying a Stowa Airman at some point and I'm trying to decide on what movement to get. The standard Airman comes with the ETA 2824-2, however, it is possible to upgrade to the COSC certified version of the same movement (for another 177 euros).

I'm sure there are a few of you out there that have struggled with this same decision. What decision did you make and what helped you make your decision? Thanks in advance!
I bought a watch with a standard 2824-2. It was 13 seconds fast per day and I was disppointed. But I then realized how easy it is to open it up and turn the Etachron fine regulator screw with a jewlers .8mm screwdriver and loupe. It now runs +1.5 seconds per day.

However, if you go with the COSC version, you can then say you have watch you can "navigate the oceans with" like my father in-law, who spends 800 bucks every couple of years servicing his Rolex to keep it accurate. I don't have the heart to tell him that my 50 dollar quartz watch is far more accurate than his watch. :-d
 

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Given the wide variability of ETA 2824 performance--accuracy and stability--the COSC'd version would be your best bet. You just don't know what you are going to get with that particular movement. My Breitling based COSC 2824, performs much better than most of my unCOSC 2824s.

Good luck with your choice,
heb
 

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I have two Anteas - one COSC, one not...



Do I notice the difference in timekeeping, build quality, components or decoration?
Nope - sorry :roll:.

Do I enjoy knowing that I have two similar but different variants of the same movement?
Yep - for sure!

I enjoy having two models of the same watch but;
One black, one creme.
One date, one not.
One bracelet, one strap.
One COSC, one not.



Does one 'perform' better than the other - I truly don't know, but I doubt it.

Think of it as model of car but with a different trim level :think:.
 

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I went with the COSC for my airman date, knowing that you are getting the best grade for a ETA2824-2 at an acceptable price.
You can't go wrong with either movement grade. Stowa elaboree grade are very well regulated too.
 

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Hello,

The Stowa website does NOT state that the chrometer movement is an ETA Chronometer Grade (or Top Grade), just that it is COSC certified (and therefore can be called a chronometer). My guess is that it is a decorated, precisely regulated and of course COSC tested movement, but not a significant upgrade.

I still think the extra money is well spend, not because of an improvement in quality but because the movement looks better. The COSC papers are a nice extra.

To be clear: more expensive watches also use movements below Top Grade...
 
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Hello,

The Stowa website does NOT state that the chrometer movement is an ETA Chronometer Grade (or Top Grade), just that it is COSC certified (and therefore can be called a chronometer). My guess is that it is a decorated, precisely regulated and of course COSC tested movement, but not a significant upgrade.

I still think the extra money is well spend, not because of an improvement in quality but because the movement looks better. The COSC papers are a nice extra.

To be clear: more expensive watches also use movements below Top Grade...

Your guess is wrong. It has to be "chronometre" otherwise it wouldn't pass the COSC testing (www.cosc.ch). Standard and Elabore wouldn't fit the remit.
 

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Any Swiss movement can pass the COSC test as long as it is accurate. It doesn't have to be an ETA and it doesn't have to be a specific grade. A movement that is accurate, but is not Swiss however, can not get a COSC certificate. (The Swiss don't like Seiko :)

The Top and Chronometer grades from ETA have better components, but that doesn't mean that a Standard or Elabore movement (or a non ETA movement) can't pass the test.

I own two Breitling watches, both are COSC certified, but contain Breitling movements (actually ETA 2824-2 movements, but finished by a company that is owned by Breitling), not Chronometer Grade movements that were purchased as such by Breitling.

An even better example is Rolex. Rolex doesn't use ETA movements, but their movements are COSC certified.

The whole COSC test isn't that relevant, it doesn't test the watch, only the movement and any decent movement that is carefully regulated will pass.

The 'Qualite Fleurier' certificate however... :)
 

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I asked the question about the movement to Stowa. Their reply:
"Our COSC movement is elaboré"
This means that, from a technical point of view, it isn't that much better than a regular Stowa movement.
I would still get the COSC certification though. It looks better.
In the end: I feel you can't go wrong with Stowa, whatever choice you make.
 

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WimS wrote:

I asked the question about the movement to Stowa. Their reply:
"Our COSC movement is elaboré".


Does that mean the COSC ETA 2824-2 movement is not a Top grade movement? That would be very disappointing and quite different what Mike wrote before. :-|
 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COSC

"COSC testing generally applies to watches manufactured/assembled in Switzerland.Notwithstanding, the normative standards are set by international agreement and are the same whether they are nominally labeled ISO or DIN standards. Some German, Japanese, and even non-certified Swiss movements can surpass the normative requirements. The Japanese have largely abandoned the accolade, replacing it with in-house testing to a slightly more strict standard as with, for example, the Grand Seiko. On the other hand, the Germans have set up their own testing facility in Saxony at the Glashütte Observatory where the DIN 8319 standards, which mirror the ISO standards used by COSC, are employed."
 
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