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Thread: NH35 Watches

  1. #1

    NH35 Watches

    I have noticed recently that more and more £500 - £600 watches are being fitted with a low end Seiko NH35 movement, I see that the same movement is fitted in to some watches that can be purchased for way under £100, my question is since going to the trouble of designing a watch and then marketing it at a several hundred pound price point why not fit a better movement, since the movement is the heart of the watch for me I would prefer something a bit better, I think it is acceptable to put this workhorse movement in a £150 watch but £500 I see no reason apart from greed on the manufacturers side. Your opinions please guys

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    I would agree with you. I think that they should be putting at least a Miyota 9000 series movement which is considerably more expensive than the NH35. I have also seen some new models from Lorier and Baltic that are using the Swiss Made Soprod movement, of course it is their GMT complication but you get the picture.

  3. #3
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevecross View Post
    I have noticed recently that more and more £500 - £600 watches are being fitted with a low end Seiko NH35 movement, I see that the same movement is fitted in to some watches that can be purchased for way under £100, my question is since going to the trouble of designing a watch and then marketing it at a several hundred pound price point why not fit a better movement, since the movement is the heart of the watch for me I would prefer something a bit better, I think it is acceptable to put this workhorse movement in a £150 watch but £500 I see no reason apart from greed on the manufacturers side. Your opinions please guys
    I think this can be applied across the entire watch spectrum, IWC with ETA anyone?
    Looking at it objectively what alternatives are there out there? If you run a business is it not a good idea to try to maximise profits?

  4. #4
    For me it depends on the watch and the maker. If the watch is something like a Steeldive where everything is off the shelf and the only differential is a stamped brand name on the dial £100-£150 is ok. If it’s more in the Zelos category where they have done much more of the design and manufacture themselves I’m happy to pay more.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    I think this can be applied across the entire watch spectrum, IWC with ETA anyone?
    Looking at it objectively what alternatives are there out there? If you run a business is it not a good idea to try to maximise profits?
    For me, so many times I like the look of the watch, start reading the specs and then finally get to the movement and when I see the NH movement and it just puts me off, as said £150 what can you expect £500 and there is no need to skimp apart from as you say cutting costs/maximising profit

  6. #6
    Grand Master
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    My experience with NH35 movements is limited, but as a generalisation I find performance is variable and they benefit hugely from careful adjustment. That means ensuring the hairspring sits centrally in the regulator, the regulator is adjusted to give a fine clearance, the watch set carefully into beat and then regulated carefully. In some cases the movements are poorly lubricated and the only answer is to strip, clean and re- oil.

    Here’s the dilemma for small manufacturers: if every movement was carefully ‘tuned’ or stripped if necessary the unit cost of each watch would have to increase. There’s also the question of finding the bodies who can do this work.

    If quality control for the cheap NH35 movements was to improve they would no longer be so cheap!

  7. #7
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by kneadking View Post
    I would agree with you. I think that they should be putting at least a Miyota 9000 series movement which is considerably more expensive than the NH35
    You’re assuming the price difference equates to a significant improvement in quality!

  8. #8
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevecross View Post
    For me, so many times I like the look of the watch, start reading the specs and then finally get to the movement and when I see the NH movement and it just puts me off, as said £150 what can you expect £500 and there is no need to skimp apart from as you say cutting costs/maximising profit
    As a watch collector, movements are half the draw of the watch, I like to have different movements in my collection, I would say we are the minority though, most buyers won’t care and are focused on what the watch looks like; which is why the makers can get away with it.
    A NH movement would not necessarily put me off as they are a good robust movement that offer good power reserve and accuracy. I would not expect a > £800 to have one inside though.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    As a watch collector, movements are half the draw of the watch, I like to have different movements in my collection, I would say we are the minority though, most buyers won’t care and are focused on what the watch looks like; which is why the makers can get away with it.
    A NH movement would not necessarily put me off as they are a good robust movement that offer good power reserve and accuracy. I would not expect a > £800 to have one inside though.
    The movement is such an important part of the watch, I do not recall Eddie using this movement in many or any of his watches, I may be wrong but when I look at most of his watches he takes in to account he movement when he designs his watches. Not just opts for something to give him the most profit.

  10. #10
    Master senraw's Avatar
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    The NH35 is a great movement.

    It is is not only cheap, but also easy to obtain and an absolute workhorse.

    I'm guessing many companies are using this movement as it is quite simply and cheaply, removed and replaced instead of serviced.

    I have quite a few watches that have the NH35 and there accuracy seems to be pretty damn good too.

    My favourite, being the Alsta:
    Last edited by senraw; 23rd January 2021 at 15:14.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by senraw View Post
    The NH35 is a great movement.

    It is is not only cheap, but also easy to obtain and an absolute workhorse.

    I'm guessing many companies are using this movement as it is quite simply and cheaply, removed and replaced instead of serviced.

    I have quite a few watches that have the NH35 and there accuracy seems to be pretty damn good too.

    My favourite, being my Alsta:
    I like that watch, very nice

  12. #12
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevecross View Post
    For me, so many times I like the look of the watch, start reading the specs and then finally get to the movement and when I see the NH movement and it just puts me off, as said £150 what can you expect £500 and there is no need to skimp apart from as you say cutting costs/maximising profit
    Same here.

    The NH35 is a very cheap movement (and looks it). You can buy a new replacement movement for £30.

    Personally I have always found timekeeping variable on them and would not buy a watch with an NH35 again.

    Of course on something like a Steeldive they really have no option with their low prices.
    Cheers,
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  13. #13
    I’d much rather a Seiko NH35 movement, in a Seiko design homage than a Miyota movement. Other than that it all comes down to price and spec. I still have a huge preference for an ETA movement, and then Seiko - but preferably the NE15, but something based off the 6R20 would be even better.
    It's just a matter of time...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    Same here.

    The NH35 is a very cheap movement (and looks it). You can buy a new replacement movement for £30.

    Personally I have always found timekeeping variable on them and would not buy a watch with an NH35 again.

    Of course on something like a Steeldive they really have no option with their low prices.
    Spot on, I have no complaints with this movement in a low end watch, even recently I have seen watches selling used for £500 that are fitted with like you say a thirty quid throw away movement. To me if they cut the cost by using the cheapest movement available, why would I assume they have not used the cheapest of everything else throughout manufacture. Just my take.

  15. #15
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Well, I'm going to buck the trend (with the exception of Senraw, I think) and say I'm a big fan of the NH3*.

    While I like an attractive movement (and think most Sub-£1000 watch - and probably more these days - Seiko movements are better hidden behind a solid caseback), I put far more store in the design and finish of the case and dial, provided the movement is robust, accurate and reliable.

    Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've found NH3* movements (a sample of 10 watches over the last 12 months) to be very accurate from new - I have Selita and Miyota movements that don't come close to the best of my NH3*s, so I'm far from convinced that paying a £100 for a 'better' movement is a sensible move (In fact I've just chosen to buy a KS watch with an NH35 rather than a Selita one - Same watch, 'lesser' movement, but I'm betting it'll tell the time as well for £100 less!).

    This is a bit like the 'in-house' vs 'ETA' argument - If you're really worried about having a 'better' movement, why not, but my experience with the Seiko NH3* is that it's a great little movement for peanuts and allows a variety of watch designs at great prices.

    If it bothers you that a £45 Cadisen has the same movement as your £300 Helm, that's your choice, but when they're both delivering single digit S/d accuracy, I'm just thinking it's a marvel that Seiko can make a hacking, hand-winding movement with such good accuracy at such a good price!

    If you can't see where the Helm is better than the Cadisen, perhaps you're not as au faux with watches as you think?

    M
    Last edited by snowman; 26th January 2021 at 12:29.
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  16. #16
    Craftsman Idontgram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Well, I'm going to buck the trend (with the exception of Senraw, I think) and say I'm a big fan of the NH3*.

    While I like an attractive movement (and think most Sub-£1000 watch - and probably more these days - Seiko movements are better hidden behind a solid caseback), I put far more store in the design and finish of the case and dial, provided the movement is robust, accurate and reliable.

    Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've found NH3* movements (a sample of 10 watches over the last 12 months) to be very accurate from new - I have Selita and Miyota movements that don't come close to the best of my NH3*s, so I'm far from convinced that paying a £100 for a 'better' movement is a sensible move (In fact I've just chosen to buy a KS watch with an NH35 rather than a Miyota one - Same watch, 'lesser' movement, but I'm betting it'll tell the time as well for £100 less!).

    This is a bit like the 'in-house' vs 'ETA' argument - If you're really worried about having a 'better' movement, why not, but my experience with the Seiko NH3* is that it's a great little movement for peanuts and allows a variety of watch designs at great prices.

    If it bothers you that a £45 Cadisen has the same movement as your £300 Helm, that's your choice, but when they're both delivering single digit S/d accuracy, I'm just thinking it's a marvel that Seiko can make a hacking, hand-winding movement with such good accuracy at such a good price!

    If you can't see where the Helm is better than the Cadisen, perhaps you're not as au faux with watches as you think?

    M
    I have to agree.

    It’s something of a trope for collectors to assign so much value of a watch to the movement inside.

    At £500, I would rather a larger proportion of that budget went towards case and dial manufacture (which I experience more directly, when I wear the watch) rather than a higher grade, non-chronometer movement. I think the NH35 is a good fit at this price point. I can’t comment on the myota 9 series but I previously had an 8 series and it wasn’t the best, though I guess that’s widely recognised.

    At £1000, I’d expect something Swiss

    At £4000, I’d expect something in-house.

    I wouldn’t say a £2500 watch with a sellita is rubbish because you can find a sellita in a sub £1k watch...

  17. #17
    Grand Master
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    Never had one before but I guess I'm going to find out as last year I pre ordered one of the Cincinnati Field watches which comes equipped with a TMI SEIKO nh38 movement, iirc it was less than 200 squids on the pre order deal, they claim it'll be assembled in the USA by their in house watch maker, seemed like a pretty good deal...slightly domed saphire crystal, screw down crown, 100 m WR and looks quite nice/interesting textured dial, nice size 39 x 47mm, metal bracelet. According to the latest update I'll get a shipping notice fairly shortly.

    https://www.cincinnatiwatch.com/watc...field-v2#specs
    Last edited by Passenger; 23rd January 2021 at 18:17.

  18. #18
    Grand Master
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    I couple I have with this in seem fine but I doubt I’d go much over £200 for a watch with this movement. In the £100 ish range it’s fine and better than that stuttering miyota. I did like the 9 series miyotas though and they seem to have become less popular since the NH-35 was released.
    ktmog6uk
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by ktmog6uk View Post
    I couple I have with this in seem fine but I doubt I’d go much over £200 for a watch with this movement. In the £100 ish range it’s fine and better than that stuttering miyota. I did like the 9 series miyotas though and they seem to have become less popular since the NH-35 was released.
    That mirrors my thoughts, I think that price is the main factor for fitting the NH over the Miyota 9 series, most makers like already pointed out want to make as much as possible and if people are happy with the NH movement and willing to pay £500, why would they want to change anything.

  20. #20
    Apprentice
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    The NH is nothing less than a Seiko 4r movement and this movement is used let’s say from the new Seiko 5 to the Prospex Seiko turtle.
    This is precisely the 200/500£ range.

  21. #21
    Journeyman AmosMoses's Avatar
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    I’ve built a fair few mods/homages with NH movements. They are cheap, they work, and have a huge amount of parts availability. What’s not to love?

    They are pretty great value for the money and that why I guess manufacturers use them. Maximum profit and it does what they want it to.


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  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    NH35 Watches

    The only trouble with NH35 is just cost prejudice.
    I have a couple of watches with the NH35 and haven’’t found a noticeable difference between them, the allegedly “better” Seiko 6R15 and the ETA2824.
    Setting, winding, hacking are all very smooth and the timekeeping is as good as any of the “better” movements.
    Over the years the only bad timekeeper was a 6R15 which was +40secs a day.
    The only movement I’’d steer clear of is a Miyota 9015. I’ve had two Everests with them in and the noisy rotor isn’’t “characterful”, it’’s sh1t.
    Last edited by usedtobelurch; 23rd January 2021 at 23:02.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by stevecross View Post
    The movement is such an important part of the watch, I do not recall Eddie using this movement in many or any of his watches, I may be wrong but when I look at most of his watches he takes in to account he movement when he designs his watches. Not just opts for something to give him the most profit.
    Only Eddie will know the answer however I'd guess that a fair steer as to what he uses and chooses to put in his watches comes down to his audience/market as well as availability - he's a watch nut that mostly sells to watch nuts so he'll know that his market knows what movement is what. The NH35 is mostly marketed as a " Japanese precision movement" (with the Japanese part emphasising quality and reliability) or some such by brands that are, generally speaking, targeting a less knowledgeable market. Sure, many of us here pick up on such things, however many outside of this interest of ours wouldn't.

    I've recently bought a couple of OceanX models with the NH35 in both, considering the quality of the other constitute parts of each watch I've no issue paying what I did for them.

  24. #24
    Journeyman DONGinsler's Avatar
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    I see no one has mentioned availability. Maybe it''s just easier to buy a quantity of this movement.

    Not sure on the specs (time wise), but thought I read that the Miyota is +/- 40 seconds a day. That's not great timing in my view

    If the Seiko runs the same. Than why bother with the Miyota. Worse. Then maybe the Miyota is the better, but again. Getting them

    After a certain price though. I would expect a better quality movement as long as the seller of the watch is properly compensated after all is said and done to justify the more expensive movement

    DON

  25. #25
    Interesting Comments guys, thanks for your input.

  26. #26
    They're doing you a favour in keeping future servicing costs down, which makes sense if you're a 25*£500 watch kinda person like many who are into microbrands will be.

  27. #27
    My nh35 watch runs at approx 2 seconds a day.

    My 2824 powered watch at 10 times the price runs at 12 secs a day.

    Silly hobby isn't it?

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by acg View Post
    My nh35 watch runs at approx 2 seconds a day.

    My 2824 powered watch at 10 times the price runs at 12 secs a day.

    Silly hobby isn't it?
    A question, if the NH35 is running at that, will it hold that or will it start to drift off, 2 seconds is impressive and proves they can indeed keep fair time. You are right about the hobby though, I recall the first quartz watch I brought back in the 70s, thinking great no more having to put the time right and utter reliability and now 45 years later back talking about mechanical watches still lol

  29. #29
    Master
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    If anyone is worried about NH35s being cheap, I can sell you them to you for £200.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny View Post
    If anyone is worried about NH35s being cheap, I can sell you them to you for £200.
    Just put "Rare" in the title and I am sure someone will bite lol

  31. #31
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    Limited to 10 million pieces per annum.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Bondurant View Post
    Limited to 10 million pieces per annum.
    Lol, you could always say that the word "Rare" means it is rare for anyone to charge £200, that would not be untrue would it?

  33. #33
    All of the NH35 watches i have owned have been fine. The watch game is all emporers new clothes anyway.

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