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If someone wants to tear down an ETA calibre and a Grand Seiko or Omega or Rolex or IWC calibre and compare them really closely, head to head, and come up with detailed results and estimations between those two specific movements, I'd be very interested, but I don't think anyone's going to do that for ALL movements in existence. And it'd still be somewhat speculative.
Been done ... And it wasn't Rolex that came out on top ...

http://tablet.donanimhaber.com/showTopic.asp?m=56443615&p=1#56443615
 

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The design of the 7750 is very different from a 2824. They could easily have different weak points in terms of longevity (and in fact do). I wouldn't be surprised if there is overlap between designers, but there is clearly a line of Valjoux spinoffs distinct from the rest of ETA's stuff.

My point being, can we even talk about ALL ETA movements? If we want to get this right, we're going to have to choose our ETA movements, one by one. It would simply be incorrect to suggest all ETA calibres have virtually identical wear. They're just too different.

I understand the car analogy, but I'd think the 2824 is more like an SBC than a B18 (a compliment in my opinion, I run an SBC LS2 in real life). Not to get off on a tangent though.
 

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Been done ... And it wasn't Rolex that came out on top ...

Rolex Cal. 3135'in detayl
But it HASN'T been done. That's just two movements. You have to cover ALL ETA movements, ALL Rolex movements, ALL Seiko movements (not just Grand Seiko), ALL Patek movements, ALL JLC movements and so on. There isn't just ETA and Rolex movements out there. That's not even a current generation Rolex movement--the comparison has to be against a 3136 to stay relevant.

My point isn't that it can't be done, I'm sure if we had $10,000,000 laying around for comprehensive testing we could get this done, but I'm saying it's a practical impossibility. It's a discussion worth having, but it's GOT to be narrowed in focus between a particular ETA movement and a particular outside movement.
 

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I have got a watch with an ETA movement these days. It is a quartz movement and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't go on working. Anyway if it did stop working, I could get a replacement from ETA for just over £30. It is also true I once had a 40 year old second hand Rolex that was still going well and keeping accurate time, which in the end I sold and got most of my money back. As I don't intend to buy any more watches, I will see how the ETA in the watch I have now does. I don't anticipate any problems however.
 

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:-! I've been doing my own testing on the AS 1673 and it get an A+ after 50+ years.
+1 I have 2 Eterna-matics one is more than 50 yrs old and the other is about 45 yrs old, they get an A+ as well.

John
 
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But it HASN'T been done. That's just two movements. You have to cover ALL ETA movements, ALL Rolex movements, ALL Seiko movements (not just Grand Seiko), ALL Patek movements, ALL JLC movements and so on. There isn't just ETA and Rolex movements out there. That's not even a current generation Rolex movement--the comparison has to be against a 3136 to stay relevant.

My point isn't that it can't be done, I'm sure if we had $10,000,000 laying around for comprehensive testing we could get this done, but I'm saying it's a practical impossibility. It's a discussion worth having, but it's GOT to be narrowed in focus between a particular ETA movement and a particular outside movement.
Well, barring lot's of money, there are a few generalities you can learn after having worked on a few of each.

1) Rolex like Breguet overcoils, even on their small ladies movements. ETA tends to keep the flat hairspring.

2) Rolex likes a bridged balance, with easily adjusted endshake through moveable bridge posts. ETA prefers simpler balance cock without simple end shake adjustments.

3) Rolex prefers free sprung balances. ETA prefers regulated balances.

4) Rolex prefers a jeweled bearing for the rotor. ETA prefers a ball bearing for the rotor.

5) Roles uses KIF shock protection mounts. ETA uses Incabloc (or Etachoc).

6) Both Rolex and ETA like banking shoulders machined into the pallet bridge rather than independent banking pins.

7) Rolex sometimes uses cap jewels on the escape wheel. ETA rarely uses cap jewels on the escape these days.

8) Rolex prefers rather large easily accessible teeth on a two piece reverser wheel. ETA prefers smaller one-piece assembly reverser wheels.

9) Generally, Rolex balances are larger in proportion to the mainplate diameter than ETA balances.

So what? Well, you can see that Rolex has tailored their design for easily passing of the chronometer testing (just about all of them will be run through that testing), while retaining as much of the 1950 durability they built their reputation on. ETA has tailored their design for ease of production and servicing, while using fairly tight tolerances and post production tweaking for their chronometers (a very small percent of ETA's production are chronometer tested). Both companies have good designs, just sligthly different in the details. Just two different philosophies based on two different production requirements...

You could do a similar comparison between any two manufacturers and probably come up with the same answer, two different design philosophies for two different ideas on what is most important to that company.
 
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I can't help but laugh when I see posts about how in house movements costs more to repair compared to eta and this is justified by choosing ETA as the sensible choice. I have both mind you. Your "expensive" repair is highly subjective based on outlook, passion for the movement and watch, income, ETC. You want a reliable watch to tell time, that is readily available for sub $100 but from what I understand this is a hobby forum where 99.9% of any member here spent more then they had to, relatively speaking ...your sense of practicality went out the window already as soon as you entered this hobby. If you find a competent local watchmaker many times you can find fair prices to repair in house movements as long as its nothing exotic BTW.
 

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Been done ... And it wasn't Rolex that came out on top ...

Rolex Cal. 3135'in detayl
To say that the 2892A2 "came out on top" is a bit of a misstatement. He said that they were all pretty much equal and he admits that his preference is of one over the others may not be shared by others. Like saying "I like red", but that does mean you think red is better than any other color....

Of these three movements which one do I like the best? If accuracy is your only criteria, then it doesn’t matter which one you choose as there really is virtually no difference between them in that regard. Sure some individual movements might time out marginally better than others, but overall the differences in time keeping between them is insignificant. All three are capable of exemplary accuracy in all six positions, and do so with a minimum of variation and loss to the balance amplitude. More importantly, they should provide excellent accuracy and reliability under real world conditions too.

As for me . . . . I prefer the ETA 2892-2A . . . . I wouldn’t have any qualms about someone who preferred either of the other two movements though
 

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Not if you consider also the price. If accuracy and reliability are more or less equal much cheaper movement should be the clear winner.
We admire products that achieve quality outcomes at a lower price, as a sign of good engineering and production. But we don't buy them. This forum has thousands of posts with some variation of "I won't buy that watch with its cheap ETA movement." We prefer to be more exclusive. Even when the manufacture movement we'd prefer really isn't any more reliable (and this thread is about longevity).

But we'll still bid up a vintage Eterna with a relatively unrefined forerunner of a modern ETA movement. But those work very well, too, given the right expert ministration.

Anything can be maintained given enough money. The question is whether anyone thinks the watches that house them are worth the trouble. ETA are more maintainable than most.

Rick "who has ETA-powered watches worth maintaining" Denney
 

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Not if you consider also the price. If accuracy and reliability are more or less equal much cheaper movement should be the clear winner.
OK, I'll bite, how do you know which one is cheaper?

The watch may be more expensive, but we have established in many threads that the cost of the watch is not connected to the cost of the movement....

So, the next question...

How much does a chronometer grade ETA 2892A2 movement alone cost? A Rolex 3135 movement alone?
 

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Well, barring lot's of money, there are a few generalities you can learn after having worked on a few of each.

1) Rolex like Breguet overcoils, even on their small ladies movements. ETA tends to keep the flat hairspring.

2) Rolex likes a bridged balance, with easily adjusted endshake through moveable bridge posts. ETA prefers simpler balance cock without simple end shake adjustments.

3) Rolex prefers free sprung balances. ETA prefers regulated balances.

4) Rolex prefers a jeweled bearing for the rotor. ETA prefers a ball bearing for the rotor.

5) Roles uses KIF shock protection mounts. ETA uses Incabloc (or Etachoc).

6) Both Rolex and ETA like banking shoulders machined into the pallet bridge rather than independent banking pins.

7) Rolex sometimes uses cap jewels on the escape wheel. ETA rarely uses cap jewels on the escape these days.

8) Rolex prefers rather large easily accessible teeth on a two piece reverser wheel. ETA prefers smaller one-piece assembly reverser wheels.

9) Generally, Rolex balances are larger in proportion to the mainplate diameter than ETA balances.

So what? Well, you can see that Rolex has tailored their design for easily passing of the chronometer testing (just about all of them will be run through that testing), while retaining as much of the 1950 durability they built their reputation on. ETA has tailored their design for ease of production and servicing, while using fairly tight tolerances and post production tweaking for their chronometers (a very small percent of ETA's production are chronometer tested). Both companies have good designs, just sligthly different in the details. Just two different philosophies based on two different production requirements...

You could do a similar comparison between any two manufacturers and probably come up with the same answer, two different design philosophies for two different ideas on what is most important to that company.
No, you couldn't. How similar is a 9R86 spring drive to a 9S65 automatic? How similar is an IWC cal 5000 to an IWC cal 80110? How similar is a Jaeger 899 to a 986? The answer is: not really at all. They have virtually nothing in common. And I'm intentionally being charitable and excluding exotic things like the gyrotourbillon and Credor sonnerie and Portuguese Perpetual.

And your list of known facts demonstrates precisely my point. #5 is false. Rolex has switched to in house Paraflex shocks on the 3136, which was the movement I was discussing. Who knows what myriad details they changed we don't even know about--small things that only a teardown would reveal. I'm not trying to imply you don't know what you're talking about, you clearly do, my point is that this claim is a practical impossibility (a claim you didn't make, again, in fairness).

There are other movements than the now obsolete 3135 and the ETA 2824. Even Rolex makes a much wider variety of movements. How about the Skydweller? How about the Cellini Prince? How about the Daytona? Those are three substantially different movements, particularly the Prince:



You can also see here that they're not using a Kif shock. They still do use Kifs on the last gen models, as they're updating gradually.

Again my point here isn't to discourage anyone, I'm just saying, the claims a number of people are making here are practically impossible to justify. Which isn't to say they're false, it's just, who knows.
 

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How much does a chronometer grade ETA 2892A2 movement alone cost? A Rolex 3135 movement alone?
I would say the Rolex is at least 5x more expensive. I don't know the exact price for the movement as a spare part at an authorised dealer, but on ebay you can buy 3135 for $2500
Rolex Cal 3135 Double Quick Set Movement | eBay

ETA 2892-A2 (not chronometer grade) is $180-200 on ebay, I'm pretty sure you can get the chronometer grade for $500 (or less).
 

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That's a really good observation, but I suspect a Rolex movement costs much less to Rolex given that there's no profit margin and R&D has long ago been paid off. Now with some brands, let's say Tissot, the situation is pretty similar for their ETA movement, but for TAG or another third party, the price might get closer.
 

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That's a really good observation, but I suspect a Rolex movement costs much less to Rolex given that there's no profit margin and R&D has long ago been paid off.
For a consumer the only relevant criterium is the retail price, not the internal production costs. And on that note, I have argued numerous times how much is a Rolex overpriced:)
 

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How does a discussion of ETA longevity with respect to small-batch manufactures end up being a Rolex argument? Is Rolex the anti-Swatch? I see them as similar, differing mostly in price point (not so much cost point).

If Timex pin-lever watches were worth thousands of dollars on the used market, people would be maintaining them. That doesn't mean they are easily maintainable.

Rick "not seeing Rolex in the thread title" Denney
 

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:-s How often does a thread say on point around here?
How does a discussion of ETA longevity with respect to small-batch manufactures end up being a Rolex argument? Is Rolex the anti-Swatch? I see them as similar, differing mostly in price point (not so much cost point).

If Timex pin-lever watches were worth thousands of dollars on the used market, people would be maintaining them. That doesn't mean they are easily maintainable.

Rick "not seeing Rolex in the thread title" Denney
 
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