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That's an ugly movement but this is afterall a cheap movement that is not targetted at the discerning watch collectors.

Also is the escapement truely plastic? I won't ignore the possiblity that it might be silicon.
 

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Ouch! Brutal review!
 

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It looked like plastic to me, but not all plastics are created equal. If it's just the stuff ordinary everyday objects are made out of, it'll self destruct pretty quickly. I wonder how they react to varying temperatures.

I wouldn't mind the bad performance and construction if it were cheap. But the Seiko 5 is apparently far superior and available for a third the price if you shop around. Even assuming the price comes way down on the Swatch, it'll still be twice as expensive. Seiko 5s are being made now with 4R36s that hack and handwind too, further making me to wonder why you'd skip a decent but metallic watch with a proven metallic movement for the far more expensive plastic watch and plastic movement Sistem51. Other than curiosity anyway. Or funky looks, which I understand.

Alllllllll that said, I have been able to test a Sistem51 on a Timegrapher, dial up position alone, and it did fine there. Not great, but fine for the price point.

 

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Wow.

Huh.
So - too early to state that currently, this Swatch movement is the absolute worst auto-movement made these days?
 

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That's an ugly movement but this is afterall a cheap movement that is not targetted at the discerning watch collectors.

Also is the escapement truely plastic? I won't ignore the possiblity that it might be silicon.
For under $200?

I had high hopes for these, despite the styling. Now I'm glad I didn't pick one up, they weren't kidding when they said they were disposable!

Subscribed to this thread, it could get interesting. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It looked like plastic to me, but not all plastics are created equal. If it's just the stuff ordinary everyday objects are made out of, it'll self destruct pretty quickly. I wonder how they react to varying temperatures.

I wouldn't mind the bad performance and construction if it were cheap. But the Seiko 5 is apparently far superior and available for a third the price if you shop around. Even assuming the price comes way down on the Swatch, it'll still be twice as expensive. Seiko 5s are being made now with 4R36s that hack and handwind too, further making me to wonder why you'd skip a decent but metallic watch with a proven metallic movement for the far more expensive plastic watch and plastic movement Sistem51. Other than curiosity anyway. Or funky looks, which I understand.

Alllllllll that said, I have been able to test a Sistem51 on a Timegrapher, dial up position alone, and it did fine there. Not great, but fine for the price point.
Agree, but I'm not sure what this trying to compete on with the 4R36 besides disposability. I guess that's a feature to be touted now?

I guess it's good that they time decently well new, but with that type of build, I wonder how that test will look in 3-4 years? Good thing is, there will be plenty of them to tear apart when they do start wearing down and breaking, you'll just have to go dig around in some trash cans. :p
 

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I don't know what to expect from a %100 machine assembled movement at $200, but this conversation will be interesting.

Things to note:

ABTW remarked in 2013:

"The components are welded together to form an assembly centered around a single screw"
http://www.ablogtowatch.com/baselworld-2013-swatch-sistem51-only-100-swiss-francs-for-a-mechanical-watch/

That the screw didn't hold together the entire assembly was known somewhere at the time.

A different perspective:

"At this point, Denis Asch goes wide-eyed. He cannot believe it: the entire lever is in plastic, including the pallet stones, “this is the real prowess,” he exclaims, “because this is what determines the rate! I have never seen that before! And what’s more, in this plastic, the axes are metallic!”
SWATCH GROUP - Stripping down the SISTEM51 | Europa Star Magazine
 

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I don't know what to expect from a %100 machine assembled movement at $200, but this conversation will be interesting.

Things to note:

ABTW remarked in 2013:

"The components are welded together to form an assembly centered around a single screw"
http://www.ablogtowatch.com/baselworld-2013-swatch-sistem51-only-100-swiss-francs-for-a-mechanical-watch/

That the screw didn't hold together the entire assembly was known somewhere at the time.

A different perspective:

"At this point, Denis Asch goes wide-eyed. He cannot believe it: the entire lever is in plastic, including the pallet stones, “this is the real prowess,” he exclaims, “because this is what determines the rate! I have never seen that before! And what’s more, in this plastic, the axes are metallic!”
SWATCH GROUP - Stripping down the SISTEM51 | Europa Star Magazine
I have a lot of trouble imagining that escapement is going to be remotely useful in a few years. Maybe a much more knowledgeable member can correct me on this, but it seems like the movement is self-cannibalizing.
 

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I have a lot of trouble imagining that escapement is going to be remotely useful in a few years. Maybe a much more knowledgeable member can correct me on this, but it seems like the movement is self-cannibalizing.
They made a disposable watch. 'Not so bad', some of us said at the time. 'We have watches that have been ticking for decades without a service'.

The engineers at Swatch seem to have found a way to counter this problem so that you have to buy a new watch every couple of years.
 

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I have a lot of trouble imagining that escapement is going to be remotely useful in a few years. Maybe a much more knowledgeable member can correct me on this, but it seems like the movement is self-cannibalizing.
Everything I feel and think about this movement hinges on the fact it is clearly meant to be disposable... As the article puts it:

And that’s it. Our watchmaker is dumbfounded: “It’s a miracle that it works, bravo…!"

To me, it seems as if they've min/maxed (to borrow a term from gaming) in regards to functionality vs. parts. They’ve taken many shortcuts; that it works decently with an impressive power reserve (thanks to that large barrel) comes off as somewhat impressive to a complete dilettante of watchmaking like me.

 

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Everything I feel and think about this movement hinges on the fact it is clearly meant to be disposable... As the article puts it:

And that’s it. Our watchmaker is dumbfounded: “It’s a miracle that it works, bravo…!"

To me, it seems as if they've min/maxed (to borrow a term from gaming) in regards to functionality vs. parts. They’ve taken many shortcuts; that it works decently with an impressive power reserve (thanks to that large barrel) comes off as somewhat impressive to a complete dilettante of watchmaking like me.

I accept up front that it's disposable, but I thought that meant it would have a slow degradation of accuracy into uselessness 6 or 7 years later. I'm thinking more like a year after seeing that, but time will tell.

I'm also concerned that the material used will expand and contract more than the rubies and metal in a conventional escapement, so you may see wild fluctuations in very high or low temperatures. Plastics are not ordinarily associated with great dimensional stability when exposed to heat or cold.
 
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