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Thread: Automatic Movements - ETA, Sellita etc

  1. #1
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Automatic Movements - ETA, Sellita etc

    About 10-years ago, everything used to be ETA powered...you could find an ETA2892-A2 in most three hander watches. Over the years I've kind of lost track with automatic movements. Where did Sellita come in? Are they as good movements as ETA...as widely serbiceable?

    I also see that Swatch group seem to use a modified ETA in many of their mid-range watches...a Powermatic that has a lower beat frequency to extend the power reserve to 80 hours. Are these decent movements or does the slower frequency make them inferior to unmodified movements?

    I also noticed Swatch group now using nivachron mainsprings in their budget watches.

    Just wondering if different movements sway your opinion to particular watches, or is it not worth bothering about? If it does make a difference, which is seen as the best workhorse for the mid-range watches without an in-house movement.

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    Iirc, ETA is part of Swatch group.

    Sellita used to make errrrm either parts or whole movements for ETA. The sellita sw200 is a clone ETA. I've a Christopher ward with a sellita and it is very accurate, couple of secs a day. Just as good as an ETA. I prefer them to cheap seiko

  3. #3
    Craftsman Idontgram's Avatar
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    My understanding (and not in any way educated) is that a sellita is just as good as an ETA of equivalent grade. There are other Swiss clones out there which have varying degrees of manufacturer uptake, that I know even less about.

    Having said that, as you highlighted, ETA have started to experiment and expand their movements and have developed a number of variants and exclusives for swatch brands like Longines, certinha and mido, as well as changing the basic 2824 to the powermatic 80, perhaps to differentiate themselves from the clones.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how sellita respond in the coming years.

  4. #4
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Thanks. I was doing some reading last night and found some criticism of the Sellita SW200 (the ETA2824 clone) saying it was susceptible to broken ratchet wheels. The SW200-1 was meant to have fixed this but can still also suffer.

    Trying to work out if things like this should put me off watches that use certain movements. I always used to think that something with an ETA2824 or ETA2892 was bomb-proof.

    This seemed to be a good site to read about them: https://calibercorner.com/

  5. #5
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    ETA is as susceptible to the hand-winding issue as Sellita, and I must say it seems wilfully cynical of both manufacturers to continue to use brass wheels in their winding mechanisms when the problem is well-known and has existed for years. Presumably they sell more parts that way... It's one reason why Damasko among others are making in-house movements - lets them use hardened steel parts instead.

    OK, let's all grab a drink and wait for the first "blame-the-user-not-the-maker" post...

  6. #6
    Craftsman Wandril's Avatar
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    For what my experience with these movements is worth, I have yet to encounter an issue with sellita.

    I have read quite a bit on the ETA vs sellita in the past.
    Almost everyone seem to agree on the fact they prefer ETA since it's the "original", all the other ones (sellita, stp,...) being clones of it.
    Some people say the ETA movements are finished better than the sellitas, more robust,... But not too sure on what this statement is based.

    As far as I understand, sellita has been working for ETA for years and producing, as said before, from parts to complete movements. Now that ETA is stepping back and wants to keep its movements for the swatch group, naturally, sellita stepped in, and continues to develop.
    Since they've been working on this and with ETA for a long time, they seem to be the most legit ones to replace them, especially for mid tier watches.

    I have been experiencing sellita movements in watches from christopher ward, hanhart, Sinn, oris, yema, without any issue or real difference I could feel (on standard and élaboré grades)
    Just like my experience with ETA movements.

    Since brands I do trust, like sinn but also tudor more recently use sellita movements, I'm not too concerned.
    They wouldn't take the risk to get a bad reputation with low quality movements when they're trying to develop and produce better watches and a desirable image I think.


    There will also be more controls and quality checks, including for the movements, for big brands like tudor I think, preventing the customers from bad surprises

    I therefore don't see the use of an ETA or a sellita as a dealbreaker personally.


    As a side note, I made an enquiry to get a sinn 356 last year, to which the answer from the seller was that they didn't want to sell this one anymore, as it was equipped now with a sellita equivalent of the valjoux 7750, and apparently quite a few came back under warranty for issues regarding this movement.



    The new generation of ETA movements (powermatic etc...) overall seems to keep better timing (feedbacks from owners), but as I understand it seems it's not designed to be easily worked on by independant watchmakers? (free sprung balance or something)

  7. #7
    Craftsman Wandril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    ETA is as susceptible to the hand-winding issue as Sellita, and I must say it seems wilfully cynical of both manufacturers to continue to use brass wheels in their winding mechanisms when the problem is well-known and has existed for years. Presumably they sell more parts that way... It's one reason why Damasko among others are making in-house movements - lets them use hardened steel parts instead.

    OK, let's all grab a drink and wait for the first "blame-the-user-not-the-maker" post...
    +1

    I've read and heard the same regarding this brass wheel from my former watchmaker.
    "use the hand winding as little as possible, and with care"

  8. #8
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Yes, I'd read this too about the new ETA movements. They have no regulating system and come out of the factory laser regulated and aren't great to work on.

    I'm not sure whether this should put me off or not...I guess, like many quartz movements, a service probably involves recycling the old movement and putting a new one in. Seeing as I rarely manage to keep a watch long enough to hit a service interval it shouldn't matter, but the disposability seems to take some appeal of a mechanical watch away!

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