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I recently picked up a new Seiko Alpinist (SARB017). This is the fourth watch that I have owned with the Seiko 6R15 movement. I also have owned many watches with ETA 2824 base movements. In my experience the Seiko 6R15 is superior in many ways to the ETA 2824:

  • Longer power reserve (48-50 hours vs. 38-40 hours);
  • More consistent, and generally more accurate, timekeeping;
  • Much smoother hand winding;
  • More efficient and smoother self-winding mechanism;
  • More shock resistant; and
  • More reliable and less prone to mechanical problems.

I don't know what the direct cost comparison is between the two base movements, but Seiko's with the 6R15, particularly Japanese domestic market models, are priced very competitively and are an excellent value. Based on this, I am assuming that the 6R15 base movement costs less, and if so I think that makes it far superior to the ETA 2824.

That's my take. What's yours?
 

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I did not have as good experience with the 6R15B (which did not have the higher power reserve) in the Seiko SARB035 that I used to own. I suspect the issue was the lack of isochronism, i.e., the rate depended on the remaining power reserve, and possibly positional variance. I sold it before I got my Timegrapher, so I can't test these hypotheses rigorously.
 

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While you make some good points but:

1) the 6R15 has a lower beat rate than the 2824 (which is significant to some, but not to others).
2) The rotor has a tinny/clinky sound that takes some getting used to (a skeptic might say it makes it feel cheap)

I like and appreciate both. I like owning a variety of movements because this makes each one seem unique and fun.
 

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As far as accuracy, I've had mixed experiences with both movements. IMO, any movement that isn't COSC rated or top grade can still be very accurate if they're well regulated out of the factory and sometimes, it just comes down to plain luck.
 
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I disagree on the part about better accuracy.

The 6R seems designed to be accurate as long as you vary it's activities and orientations throughout the day. You know what? That's actually pretty darn clever with a daily wearer.

Properly regulated, the 2824 can be deadly accurate, especially in higher grades.

Just thrown out, slapped in a watch with no regard for regulation, they may be similar in performance, but I greatly prefer the 2824 for a watch that I rotate and from a company that regulated it.
 

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I've had a few SARBs and I can say that I did notice (and appreciate) the slightly longer power reserve. Also noticed the very smooth winding though TBH I actually prefer a bit more resistance. Can't say I noticed much else, all of my Japanese and Swiss movements have been quite accurate and reliable if not too long between service.
 

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Well, i have had good experience with both. Sort of seems like trying to argue that a Camry is so much better than an Accord...both perfectly sufficient, me thinks.
 

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For me 6R15b was a disappointment - low positional accuracy, also easily magnetised and sensitive to temperature changes. I heard 6R15c is better due to longer power reserve but I never tested and perhaps never will.
My standard 2824-2 seems within COCS specs: -4s/day and very insensitive to positional changes. The watch (Atlantic Worldmaster) was at the same price as the SARB.

IMHO 6R15 is a mediocre movement - perhaps robust but not accurate. Also, I do not find it so attractive as the standard 2824 - the balance wheel is too small and the bridges shapes too plain. I also do not like the lack of micro-regulator.

PS: You should have made this a poll and you could see who is the real ruler of the low-mid end range mechanicals.
 

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It's like saying a Lexus IS250 is better than a Mercedes C Class. (Yes, I couldn't resist the car comparison)
There's no comparison, really. It's simply a matter of personal preference.
 
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also easily magnetised and sensitive to temperature changes. I heard 6R15c is better due to longer power reserve but I never tested and perhaps never will.
How often did you happen to magnetise your 6R15 watch. Who's fault was it then? Did you expose your swiss mvt. the same amount of magnetism?
All the 6R15 have the same power reserve (> 50h).

Don't get me wrong. I don't care what the OP stated. I'm a Seiko fan, not a fanboy.
But claiming imaginary pros and cons, that you "never tested and perhaps never will" isn't really helpfull.

Michael
 

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My SARB033 has terrible positional variation. I left it crown up last night after a solid two mins of handwinding, set the time to atomic and in the morning after less than 10 hours, it was -20 sec compared to atomic time. I mean, dang!!! Dial up it will only lose about 6-8 sec per day and on the wrist its about -4 to -6. While that's better than some, its really irritating that it is so sensitive to position. My Trident with a base ETA 2824-2 gains a solid 10 seconds every 24 hours no matter what. On the wrist, off, dial up, dial down...its always just +10. I haven't had it very long, but if it stays this consistent after about 3 months, I'm going to have it regulated.

So, while there are measurable attributes that one could classify as "better" than the other (such as power reserve or beat rate), it really just depends on what is important to you.
 

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How often did you happen to magnetise your 6R15 watch. Who's fault was it then? Did you expose your swiss mvt. the same amount of magnetism?
All the 6R15 have the same power reserve (> 50h).

Don't get me wrong. I don't care what the OP stated. I'm a Seiko fan, not a fanboy.
But claiming imaginary pros and cons, that you "never tested and perhaps never will" isn't really helpfull.

Michael
Michael, the higher power reserve on the 6R15 was introduced with the 6R15C revision. The older 6R15s had a more pedestrian power reserve. See below for some of the changes.

As Jake mentioned last time, SII has upgraded popular 6R15B movement to 6R15C. If you use TMI products, that's NE15 to NE15B. The upgrade includes:

1) Add one jewel on main plate, barrel hole (6R20 has that jewel already)
2) Modify ratchet sliding spring
3) Modify date indicator maintenance plate
4) New balance wheel
5) New barrel

Looked carefully, adding jewel and modify ratchet spring are all related to upgrading of barrel (to higher power reserve, so higher torque). Modify date plate is due to widely complains of date misalignment. SII upgraded balance wheel might aim to increase long term stability. The previous 6R15 all have difficulty maintain long term (1-2years) stability in accuracy.
 
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I have both, so i think i am qualified to comment...
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I am actually very disappointed by the 6R15, it has all the problems that the basic 7S26/36 or even down to the 7009s have. Low amplitude (even at 53 lift angle), no microadjuster screws, inefficient magic lever winding system that requires nearly 170 turns for 1 arbor rotation (although actual winding is quite smooth), low beat rate and a winding stem that does not skip the auto winder components (although the ETA2824 is guilty of that as well). All this contributes to poor isochronism, poor daily rate that is very very hard to regulate to 5 positions given the lack of microadjusters (mine is a poor +13 seconds a day), the lower beat rate gives a choppier second hand movement and motion that matches the lower frequency will speed up the watch (running, jumping etc), the ETA2824 fixed all of these problems. The Incabloc shock abosrbers are just as good as the Diashocks, and have been tested for far longer (think 70+ years). Reliability in my experience is about the same as well and even the undecorated ETA2824s have better finishing that the 6R15s.

Having worn Japanese watches all my life i've only recently made a jump to Swiss and German watches and i have to say they are quite a bit better on the whole. With the 6R15 it as if Seiko just took a $40 7S26, added a trench to the baseplate, winding stem and hacking lever and put it in $600 watches. If your budget is around that i will strongly suggest picking an ETA. It's a shame Seiko didn't put a better movement like the 8Ls in my Sumo.
 
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