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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, forgive me for flooding the forum with my watch n00b questions. I tried searching the forums and internets and couldn't find any definitive threads started on this topic. Logic and deductive reasoning would suggest that the following applies:

1. More complications = more moving parts.
2. More moving parts = more failure points.
3. More failure points = increased susceptibility to malfunction & decreased durability.
4. A more durable watch will have fewer failure points and thus few, if any complications.
5. If I mistakenly bash my wrist adorned with a highly complicated watch, it's more likely to suffer than if I bang it while wearing a minimally complicated watch.
6. A watch without complications can be boring. Safer, but boring.

Is this always true? Are there watches that buck this trend? Am I completely off target here? Are some complications more resilient than others (ie date v. moonphase v. chrono v. small seconds)

I'm finding that even with my new Seiko SARB065 "Cocktail Time" that I wear at work, even desk diving subjects it to some abuse and so am now thinking about durability. Should someone who is harder on their watches avoid all complications or just certain ones? I've seen a lot of people suggest that automatic watches are generally not great if you're putting them through the wringer, but I'd love some more clarity on all of this...
 

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It is not always true. It's impossible to make a generalization that will cover all movements...a well designed, well made complicated watch can be more reliable than a poorly made three hander. I also doubt that ordinary complications (say, a day complication) will experience so much wear as to fail before the watch would have had a problem anyway even if it didn't have the complication.
 

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It is not always true. It's impossible to make a generalization that will cover all movements...a well designed, well made complicated watch can be more reliable than a poorly made three hander. I also doubt that ordinary complications (say, a day complication) will experience so much wear as to fail before the watch would have had a problem anyway even if it didn't have the complication.

Could you give some concrete examples?
How about some of the more common movements: Valjoux 7750, ETA 2824, 2836, etc, as opposed to those High Horology complications.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
CitizenM I agree with your point. A lot of it will have to do with the watch origins. While design quality and QC, etc are big factors, I'm more curious if there are at least some generalizations that can apply. Some sort of watch buyer's rule-of-thumb when it comes to evaluating the benefit of added complications versus the risk/costs. One would presume that a more complicated watch would also require more maintenance and detailed repairs, also ramping up the cost of ownership. It would be awesome to see a rating system for complications (and perhaps movement type as well), or a ranking list, generally speaking of those complications in terms of price, maintenance, durability, etc. Just wishing aloud of course...
 

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sounds like you should stick to G-shock....














j/k, i just had to say that
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Valjoux 7750 >> ETA2824 in the reliability department from my experience. But this is more a product of the design rather than complications. The stem is thicker, gears on the winding train are bigger and more robust. A Tourbillon is a delicate complication because everything has to be really thin and small.


Could you give some concrete examples?
How about some of the more common movements: Valjoux 7750, ETA 2824, 2836, etc, as opposed to those High Horology complications.
 

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All other factors being equal, yes, more complications = less reliable.

But, if you like complications, live a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
But, if you like complications, live a little.
I agree with this, but as someone with limited financial means, cost of ownership over the lifetime of a watch (assuming you're not just buying wear and toss casio/timex/invictas), is still a consideration with some merit.
 

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I agree with this, but as someone with limited financial means, cost of ownership over the lifetime of a watch (assuming you're not just buying wear and toss casio/timex/invictas), is still a consideration with some merit.
Get a sea-gull watch. I've heard good things about their retrogrades and moonphases.

Their chronographs are still a little dodgy though - I broke the column wheel lever by pushing the start/stop button too hard.
 

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Yes, in theory, the more complications a watch has the more can go wrong. However, any watch should run fine if it is serviced at suggested intervals and it is used in a manner consistent with what it is designed to handle.Sometimes the complications of a watch can have less to do with durability than the design of the watch and the case. For example, a simple three hand dress watch is probably less durable (i.e. resistant to shock, water resistant) than a chronograph or even tourbillon dive watch complication. Divers are often designed to roll with the punches a bit more.
 

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Keeping all other variable constant, perhaps more complications will be more fragile. Even if it's not more fragile, it'll still cost more in the event of any failure and maintenance is required.

Complications not only has higher capital cost, it has higher life cycle cost.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Theoretically?
Yes.

Practically?
Not really.

You can compare a 7750 to a 7751, which is about as close to “all things being the same” as you can get. The 7750 is a simple hour, minute, second chronograph, with date and day, the 7751 adds a 24 hour repeater hand, month and moon phase. The two movements will run about the same and take pretty much the same amount of abuse before failing. And there are about equal chances for the operator to break the watch by not following the instructions....

Of course, there are cases where the simpler movement is easier to “break”. An ETA 2824 is a much less complicated movement than a Heuer 12, however, it is quite possible for the operator to hang-up the date on a 2824 if you use the quick-set around 9 or 10 pm, with the Heuer, it’s impossible....
 
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