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For me the hand winding upgrade is a big deal. I prefer a hand winding watch (have a dk105), and have been holding off on a damasko chronograph, either a dc57 si or a dc80, as the watch will be hand wound often (pretty much every day) and the eta auto hand winding weaknesses are well know. If damasko rolls the winding upgrade into the chronos, the wallet will open :)

I wonder how many here who comment negatively on the price increase, especially compared to low wage asian produced "microbrands" and giant conglomerates (who also produce in low wage countries), have ever owned, or even worked for, a small, family business who is concerned about actually producing something THEMSELVES while paying adults a fair wage. I applaud damasko for the course they have chosen. It would certainly be easier to slash production costs of the actual product by outsourcing everything, pay hodinkee to review, spend a lot on marketing and ultimately charge more for less.
I applaud them too, just don't applaud the 40% increase in price for the movement in what is essentially the same watch but with a see through case back. And I am not comparing it to other microbrands, I am comparing it to Damasko themselves, and to the Sinn 556 I suppose. To me Damasko presents a fantastic value for what you get. I love that they are a small, family run company with their own home-grown tech, making incredibly robust and accurate watches with great attention to detail. The DS30 at under $1000 was a great value for what you got. Now at $1450 or $1650 for the DK3x it no longer is IMO. Factor that out to the DA3/4 series with the A26 movement and you have $2k watches now! I buy the watches I do because I like them and see the value in how they are priced, not because I want to support the company/family. I wish them well, and applaud that they did it with this movement, but I just don't see these selling very well at that price point.
 

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Dear forum members


Thank you all for your feedback which is always very important for us.
Regarding Mike we are very sad that Mike is not active in the WUS Forum anymore, however, we wish him all the best for the future.
Maybe he comes back :-(

Besides we think that there are a few misunderstandings. The A26 family was developed to fit in every 2824-2 case. The customer can choose, if he wants ETA or in-house.
As everyone might know the purchase of ETA movements is very difficult and will get even more difficult. The quality of the other available movements don´t meet the quality standard of DAMASKO or would lead us to a totally different price range. The above mentioned movements included.

The ETA reverser gears are technical a very good option, if everybody would give his watch for service in a period of approximately 3-5 years (as a preventive measure). In reality the watches come back when the auto winder stops working. Very often the movements have to be serviced completely because of dirt and abrasion. After many years of servicing the ETA movements we have seen that there were always problems with the winding, this means we all love to wind up the watch manually which causes abrasion not in the gears but in the brass mounting on the plate . These problems were one of our main issues which we have successfully solved in the A26 family. The A26 family has a completely new development base of which several expansion levels will follow. The movement itself is not just an hybrid or a clone it is a combination of construction which we think are the best. Please take in mind the auto winding is also filed for patent by DAMASKO.

Regarding the price point the A26 is an in-house movement with technical refinements produced in low quantities here compared with mass standard movements. The surcharge was held as minor as possible, please compare to the surcharge of the in-house movements of other companies. But at least at DAMASKO you can choose between an ETA or an in-house.

for further questions and suggestions it will be a pleasure for me to answer.

Best regards and all the best for the new year. Most of all stay safe and healthy!

Konrad

Hi Konrad - much appreciated your participation in the discussion.

I agree that reverser wheels are more sensitive to poor maintenance, excess of oil or dirt in the movement than Seiko Magic lever system. This is because the tiny tolerances between their internal parts. (Unfortunately, this can lead to excessive demand to the ratchet wheel teeth duting hand-winding. Those teeths are the ones I have seen getting damaged during hand-winding, I have not seen any damage on the movement plates or in the jewels where the gears are mounted).

You are also stating that there is no issue with reverser wheels as long as you service your watch every 3-5 years. Implicit to this statement is that your A26 will have a recommended service interval greater than 5 years - what service interval are you recommending for A26? If it is also 5 years I dont see any improvement here.

For what I see an A26 is not a product superior in any way to the ones you choose to call "mass produced", i.e. ETA 2824, Sellita SW200 or STP1-11 (All of them Swiss made and supplied in several levels of quality/grades for the consumer to choose).

Please, tell us what are the A26 factory performance especifications/ acceptable deviation per day? so, we consumers, can have an objective value to compare your product with the other contenders.

On a side note - I fail to see the innovation on the A26 that can be protected by a patent. If the patent protects:
  • the use of a ball-bearing to operate the pawl... this is a marginal improvement over something that Seiko has solved via a jewelled bearing and steel-Steel bearing with no remarcable issues to improve upon.
  • Ceramic ball-bearings: you may achieve marginally less friction than with steel ball-bearings - but this is at the expense of introducing a material that can chip, crack or break when it is subject to a shock.... again, an example of finding a solution for a non-existent problem.


Best regards and all the best for the new year. Most of all stay safe and healthy you too!
 

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Would love to have seen 3 or 4 arabics on the blue dial, with a red or yellow sweep. I really like the Sinn 556 A RS, but prefer the gorgeous blue face of the Damasko. As it is I won't be pulling the trigger on either.
 

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It does say adjusted in only three positions. I wouldn’t be expecting stellar accuracy.
The ETA élaboré grade 2824-2 Damasko use already is likewise only adjusted to 3 positions. I do however wish this movement had targeted top grade instead of élaboré at least in adjustments, even if the overall timekeeping of top grade was out of reach for material reasons.
Hardened steel handwinding components instead of brass impresses me. Who else has done that?
That was a standout to me also. Though I don't often handwind an automatic, the fact that doing so to the 28[23]x movements and their direct clones risks damaging them simply annoys me. Also I suspect that the full balance bridge will result in marginally better consistency on an active wrist (though perhaps I am ascribing too much to it).

The price seems fair to me. It's a slight improvement but a big move. In-house doesn't necessarily make for a better movement, but it does IMO make for a healthier industry, which I welcome and am content to pay for. I have not enjoyed the years-long hostage situation to which so many brands I like have been subjected by the tightening ETA supply and the often insufficient supply of Sellita and other replacements, not to mention that bringing production in-house opens the door to future development and improvements impossible (or at least more difficult and expensive) to those forced to purchase movements from the outside.
 

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On a side note - I fail to see the innovation on the A26 that can be protected by a patent. If the patent protects:
  • the use of a ball-bearing to operate the pawl... this is a marginal improvement over something that Seiko has solved via a jewelled bearing and steel-Steel bearing with no remarcable issues to improve upon.
  • Ceramic ball-bearings: you may achieve marginally less friction than with steel ball-bearings - but this is at the expense of introducing a material that can chip, crack or break when it is subject to a shock.... again, an example of finding a solution for a non-existent problem.


Best regards and all the best for the new year. Most of all stay safe and healthy you too!
Patents on broad concepts are uncommon nowadays except in new areas of technology (think of buckyballs back in the day). In mature mechanical technologies patents often focus on specific aspects of structure (for example, the invention could involve the configuration or materials used for the bearing race, perhaps the process used to form the ceramic balls, or a myriad of other things). Of course I'm hypothesizing and have no knowledge of Damasko's patent strategy.
To find out what the Damasko patent(s) protect one has to look at the patent claims, not the body of the patent.
Edit - when people refer to a movement as 'patented' I have to smile, that's just not how patents work - would someone patent an entire auto engine? No - they'd patent many aspects of the engine, but to try to cover the exact engine woudl result in a patent so limited that it could be easily avoided by making a minor change, and there the patent would have limited value. Basic patent strategy is to develop a portfolio of patents that together cover the many special features that make something superior to the competition - since the competition can't use any of those features, they'd be at a competitive disadvantage.
 

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The ETA élaboré grade 2824-2 Damasko use already is likewise only adjusted to 3 positions. I do however wish this movement had targeted top grade instead of élaboré at least in adjustments, even if the overall timekeeping of top grade was out of reach for material reasons.
Sorry for the slow reply - while my DA46 has a plebian elabore 2836-2, ~ a year after purchase it was regulated by WatchMann and now runs as one of my most precise and accurate watches, during 7-10 successive days of wearing it consistently runs +1/day to +3/day - both accurate and precise in my view.

So I agree with others on WUS who point out a lower-grade movement can still be regulated to a high level of accuracy.

I agree with your point that, out of the box, a top grade movement should perform better than a standard/elabore.
 

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Sorry for the slow reply - while my DA46 has a plebian elabore 2836-2, ~ a year after purchase it was regulated by WatchMann and now runs as one of my most precise and accurate watches, during 7-10 successive days of wearing it consistently runs +1/day to +3/day - both accurate and precise in my view.

So I agree with others on WUS who point out a lower-grade movement can still be regulated to a high level of accuracy.

I agree with your point that, out of the box, a top grade movement should perform better than a standard/elabore.
Well, a poorly regulated top grade will be worse for the user than a well regulated standard grade, so my point in wishing for more adjustment would simply be that a well regulated watch should experience less unpredictability from a movement that has been adjusted to more positions prior to regulation. It could be though that without an exotic balance and spring, there are diminishing returns in trying to adjust for more than three positions. Or perhaps job 1 was simply to match élaboré.

In the end I'm just happy Damasko are freeing themselves from the supply crises of recent years while also building a base from which to strike out on their own with future improvements and elaborations. I understand the price shock many are feeling, but price and supply shocks seem to be becoming the norm for those who can't control the supply of the movements they use.

My DA37 was reasonably precise out of the box but always ran notably slow*, 10-15 seconds per day as I recall. Its new owner plans to send it to WatchMann soon, so it's excellent news they take such care in regulation. Élaboré movements are by no means garbage.

* I suspect in some old posts here I praised its accuracy, for to that point I was mostly acquainted with the Seiko 7s &4r, Miyota 8015, low-end Chinese and Russian movements, and a couple of old and tired standard grade ETAs, most of which ran rather miserably.
 

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Patents on broad concepts are uncommon nowadays except in new areas of technology (think of buckyballs back in the day). In mature mechanical technologies patents often focus on specific aspects of structure (for example, the invention could involve the configuration or materials used for the bearing race, perhaps the process used to form the ceramic balls, or a myriad of other things). Of course I'm hypothesizing and have no knowledge of Damasko's patent strategy.
To find out what the Damasko patent(s) protect one has to look at the patent claims, not the body of the patent.
Edit - when people refer to a movement as 'patented' I have to smile, that's just not how patents work - would someone patent an entire auto engine? No - they'd patent many aspects of the engine, but to try to cover the exact engine woudl result in a patent so limited that it could be easily avoided by making a minor change, and there the patent would have limited value. Basic patent strategy is to develop a portfolio of patents that together cover the many special features that make something superior to the competition - since the competition can't use any of those features, they'd be at a competitive disadvantage.
Exactly - the background reason to patent their "different" processes/manufacturing specifics is to be able to maintain their commercial statements claiming their uniqueness. This is the same reason why they are chosing to go the 'in-house' route for simple 3 handers with date.

Are their calibers, manufacturing methods or materials better suited for the application? this is questionable, at best... just marginally and surely not sufficient to back-up the additional cost.

An example of this is the historical use of sapphire ball bearings - this is a solution that can be traced back to the 1960's... at the time, this was sold as an "improvement" due to the improvements in friccion and wear.... if this was so good why this didnt become widespread?The answer is, there was also a significant number of failures caused in the event of shocks (chipped, crack and broken sapphire balls).
 

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Hope this isn’t a dumb question, but if Damasko made this movement with some of the silicon parts (as have been mentioned), would the DK30 then have similar magnetic resistance to that of the DA series? I find I really like the thinner profile of the DS30 over the DA, but just nerding out, I find myself wanting the “full“ tech found in other Damaskos.
 

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So maybe the question really should be “what WOULD a DK30 cost if it had the full anti-mag silicon movement updates (plus longer power reserve)”? The A26 seems nice but not nice enough to justify the increase? But what if you could get all of this at $2k. Then would it justify the price? That, is the question.
 

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So maybe the question really should be “what WOULD a DK30 cost if it had the full anti-mag silicon movement updates (plus longer power reserve)”? The A26 seems nice but not nice enough to justify the increase? But what if you could get all of this at $2k. Then would it justify the price? That, is the question.
Those are great questions. I think the market is now pretty invested in longer PRs and silicon components and is willing to pay a bit more from them. the ETA moments may be flawed but they're time-tested, have a massive user base, and can be very accurate and stable for years. The USP needs to include longer running and antimagnetic features to resonate more convincingly, IMO, especially when your competition now includes some of the Swiss heavyweights.
 

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I don’t know. On one hand, I still think it’s cool that they’re doing this movement, and if it is more inline tech wise with a Top grade movement (plus some other “features”) AND is reliable, then maybe the pricing doesn’t seem that bad. Maybe this is a sign of things to come - maybe ETA 2824/SW200 watches all go up 20% due to availability or manufacturing costs etc. We’re basing the price jump on the current watch costs, but maybe that’s not fair. In an industry I’m more familiar with, I’ve seen some costs go way up in recent weeks for future products. My gut reaction is “woah that’s way too much” but I’m basing that solely on what it would have cost me a year ago, not what everyone else’s product will cost this coming year. What something cost last year is irrelevant if everything else goes up this year (obviously I’m hopeful this isn’t the case).

Back to my original point/question... We’re mainly having this conversation BECAUSE the A26 Is competing directly with the 2824 version, and therefore price becomes the real sticking point. If this watch was clearly a more unique movement (ie had features like the Si), within reason it almost wouldn’t matter what the cost was because it wouldn’t be a 2824 clone. We’d be debating the merits of that technology and if that tech is worth the price, which to me is really where a brand like Damasko should sit. they have all this cool and interesting technology (including movement technology) - why make a not that extra special movement only to have to compete directly with 2824 in everything except the one thing people really care about (price).

* PS I’m a novice watch guy so take my opinions with a grain of salt, though I see the industry I work in (and the brand I work for) to have a lot of similarities...
 

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Who wasn't disappointed when Sinn moved (downgraded!) to the Selitta movements? That would have been Damasko's only other option, and they say quite publicly (without calling them out by name specifically) that the Selitta could not meet their quality standards. For me, a watch that can't tell the time is not worth the trouble. If the A25/26 comes out of the box with higher overall accuracy (as I suspect they will!) and increased reliability (as already shown in this discussion re: hand winding), then I will be happy with the added cost. The new K series watches will save me a bundle compared against the cost of ORIS, Tudor, Omega, or Rolex in-house movements which also offer only "nominal" (but important!) improvement over ETA. Perhaps Sinn is doing a decent job with the SW200 movement, but I'm not convinced that any Selitta-based watch is worth the $1,270 that Sinn is charging for a 556 now.
 

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@dpfaber What makes Sellita movements worse quality than ETA?
This topic has been discussed at length on WUS forums and elsewhere. Many experts will tell you that current Selitta movements are just as good as the original ETAs which they copy, while just as many others will say that Selitta movements require more frequent servicing and use inferior parts or assemblies. Absolutely no one will claim that Selitta is a better movement than ETA, so it is either inferior or, at the very best, it may be "as good" which, to me, still makes it a disappointing replacement. Sinn made made their choice due to expediency and economics, they most certainly did not choose Selitta movements in an attempt to improve their watches and I cannot help but feel that the change is negative, either in real mechanical terms or at least subjectively. You may disagree, but only by claiming that you don't really care who manufactured the movement in your thousand-plus dollar watch. I do, and I would prefer a genuine ETA movement over a clone unless the copy can demonstrate improvements with no loss in quality, a claim Selitta cannot make.
I cannot give more expert testimony than what you may find here:
 

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Thanks @dpfaber, it's a valuable and informative thread (y) about the general consensus. Compared to Sellita, now I can see more advantages of Damasko's in-house movement.

Also, I agree with @benny that Damasko's hand-winding upgrade is a big deal. Many of us like to wind our watches, and the new Damasko movement solves the problem of damaging ETA movements through hand-winding.
 

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Also, I agree with @benny that Damasko's hand-winding upgrade is a big deal. Many of us like to wind our watches, and the new Damasko movement solves the problem of damaging ETA movements through hand-winding.
I am no watchmaker nor do I tinker with movements much. But, Archer who I think is on this forum, the Rolex forum and on various others is a Canadian watchmaker and have posted many pictures and description on the 2824 and sw200-1 From his experience both are good movements, however, the Sellita tends to cost more to service if parts are needed because parts cost more, from his experience.

With regards to the handwinding of the ETA, hand winding doesn't damage the movement. The reason why it can "fail" is because the reversing wheel gets gummed up, which is a sign that the movements needs to be serviced.

Having the "magic lever" doesn't make the movement less susceptible to wear and tear either. As the tooth that ratchets the wheel can wear down over time, again from his experience with Seiko movements.

All in all, it's a give and take situation.
 

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I noticed the new A26 Damasko movement has only 20 jewels compared to the 25 jewels of an ETA 2824. That seems like a substantially lower number especially considering the A26 was based on or highly influenced by the ETA. Anyone know exactly where in the A26 movement these five jewels disappeared and what impact this might have (if any)?
 

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I noticed the new A26 Damasko movement has only 20 jewels compared to the 25 jewels of an ETA 2824. That seems like a substantially lower number especially considering the A26 was based on or highly influenced by the ETA. Anyone know exactly where in the A26 movement these five jewels disappeared and what impact this might have (if any)?
Perhaps in the automatic works? The pawl winding system does away with reverser wheels. The 2824-2 data sheets would show the jewel locations.

Edit: yep, from Wikipedia:

 
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