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Thread: Rolex v/ IWC

  1. #1
    Master ingenioren's Avatar
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    Rolex v/ IWC

    Morning all,


    Just a 'feeler' to ask what is the forums' view on Rolex Submariner 4060 versus the IWC Aquatimer 3536 ?

    I definitely feel the bracelet/clasp of the IWC looks much better finished/quality than the 4060 - is this reflected throughout the product ???

    Which would be considered ''the better watch '' ? as opinions as always will differ - and did the 3536 ever come with a 'proper' IWC works ??

    cheers, Peter
    :?:

  2. #2
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    You probably haven't seen this little goldmine on the IWC:

    viewtopic.php?t=31130


    It's a fantastic looking watch but personally I think that IWC's decision to use the ETA 2892

    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db. ... ETA_2892A2

    as their default base calibre rather than the JLC 889

    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db. ... ltre_889_1

    has to mark the point that they nosedived below Rolex with, in this case, the 3130.

    http://www.omegarolex.com/details/3130.html

    I still can see no sane reason why IWC did it.

    So, my take is that you want the outside of the IWC and the inside of the Rolex 1406. So if insides matter to you then go Rolex if not, then the IWC is a very handsome watch.

  3. #3
    Master doug darter's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt

    I still can see no sane reason why IWC did it.

    So, my take is that you want the outside of the IWC and the inside of the Rolex 1406. So if insides matter to you then go Rolex if not, then the IWC is a very handsome watch.

    Hi,

    The decision to use the ETA 2892 instead of the JLC 889, was taken simply because in general use, it was unreliable, service dependent, and expensive to maintain. The movement was (like the watch) intended for military use, where cost and regular servicing requirements were not really an issue. Service was recommended at 6 monthly intervals, which with a JLC movement was very expensive. The movement itself was a real jewel, and still is, but unless it received regular attention, it was problematic.

    The ETA 2892 (which is already considered one of ETA's finest and most accurate calibres), is given so much attention, and modified so higly by IWC, that it bears little resemblance to the basic ebauche. IWC recieve the ETA movement as a kit of parts, and use only what they do not manufacture themselves. In a very real sence, this movement could be considered as manufactured by IWC. Despite not being chronometer rated (IWC will not generally submit watches for COSC testing, as the COSC tests allow a watch to run slow), the movement is timed in 5 positions to an higher standard than that of COSC.

    Here is a pic of the IWC 2892:



    And here is a pic of the basic movement. The pictures speak for themselves. The 2892 in IWC guise is at least as good as the JLC, and probably 'real world' better.


  4. #4

    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Thank you for this detailed information Doug - I'm currently awaiting
    delivery of an IWC Aquatimer 2000 (with great expectations!) and this
    kind of background detail only adds to the pleasue of watch collecting.

    Regards,

    TTPS

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    Master Flashharry's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Just buy both... I got the 3536 and the frogmariner sub and I love them both equally




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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by doug darter
    The ETA 2892 (which is already considered one of ETA's finest and most accurate calibres), is given so much attention, and modified so higly by IWC, that it bears little resemblance to the basic ebauche. ...

    Here is a pic of the IWC 2892:

    Looking past all that frankly amazing bling and I see kinda the same basic movement. Same rotor bearing, same kind of balance, same rate adjustment. Maybe some of the internal parts are re-made but, who can tell underneath all that shiny-shiny!
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  7. #7
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew
    Quote Originally Posted by doug darter
    The ETA 2892 (which is already considered one of ETA's finest and most accurate calibres), is given so much attention, and modified so higly by IWC, that it bears little resemblance to the basic ebauche. ...

    Here is a pic of the IWC 2892:

    Looking past all that frankly amazing bling and I see kinda the same basic movement. Same rotor bearing, same kind of balance, same rate adjustment. Maybe some of the internal parts are re-made but, who can tell underneath all that shiny-shiny!

    It's a movement, it is very accurate and that's all that should interest buyers, sometimes if you look too deeply you miss what is actually important.

    As for the Rolex, it's not exactly a movement that looks good, it's a robust movement that's been made to be accurate and capable of taking a few bumps.

    The best way of putting one movement up against the other is in real life, regulate them both to the same level, let them go into their natural environment for a few years and then see what the difference is, and to be honest both these watches and movements have done well through the years, hence why they are both very collectable and have been used for their intended purpose by many users.

  8. #8
    Master doug darter's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Here is what Greg Buhyoff, a respected horologist and WIS has to say about the IWC 2892:

    Lot's more detail regarding the modification.....

    http://www.timezone.com/library/comarti ... 8435961807

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    Master ingenioren's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    To Doug and M4tt


    :idea:
    MANY thanks indeed - obviously from true enthusiasts, and think that it will be heading towards a 3536 for my next 'armcomfort' !


    thanks again

    Peter



    Every day IS a schoolday !!

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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Whoops !!



    Forgot to ask, suggestions what would be a correct price these days for a decent IWC 3536 with bracelet ??




    Thanks !!!

  11. #11
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    I think I have set myself up to appear to be being rude about the 2892. As anyone who remembers my repeated arguments about the descendent of the 2892 with Georges Zaslavsky over on WUS, (for example):

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread ... light=2500

    can attest, I am a great fan of the 2892, especially when the compromises of the 2892 are addressed as in both the (I assume) IWC and the Omega 2500.

    However, I am not sure that I agree with your conclusion that the 2892 (as modified by IWC) is a better movement than the 889 (as modified by IWC). I am even less certain that IWC's decision was motivated by anything less than the relative costs verses the relative advantages. I very much doubt that we would ever see a press release that admitted that cost was the motivating factor. I don't deny that the 2892 offers a better bang for your buck. However, high end horology isn't about bang for buck, it's (according to every manufactures' publicity department) about the insane pursuit of perfection at any cost (or at least within the constraints of a price point).

    The decision to use the ETA 2892 instead of the JLC 889, was taken simply because in general use, it was unreliable, service dependent, and expensive to maintain ... Service was recommended at 6 monthly intervals, which with a JLC movement was very expensive ... The movement itself was a real jewel, and still is, but unless it received regular attention, it was problematic.
    Now I own an 889 powered JLC and, I have to admit that I do not remember the manual recommending a service every six months. I cannot, much to my irritation, find the manual right now. However, I have had it serviced every five years and it has always run like a top despite the fact that I am both clumsy and quite horrible to all my watches. I know that the 889 has a reputation for fragility but, just like the 3135's reputation for robustness, I can find little hard evidence for it. (Yes, apart from 'the little engine' which everyone has read and I suspect has skewed internet debate somewhat.)

    More to the point, the fact that the 889 appears to remain in frontline service for JLC after so many years, and JLC still seem to have a decent reputation. makes me think that the ebauche must be more robust than it's reputation. (not to mention the complete absence of posts on internet forums complaining, from personal experience, about the unreliability of the movement). The indestructible 3135, on the other hand, seems to have a problem with wear and winding (which I personally think is a direct result of people failing to service it properly as a result of its reputation)!

    If anyone can point me at evidence of the 889 being fragile, beyond the little engine, I would be genuinely most grateful. Finally, My last service for the 889 cost me about thirty pounds more than my last service for a 2892 based 1109. I know that JLC would have charged more but I doubt that any army would use them directly.

    The movement was (like the watch) intended for military use, where cost and regular servicing requirements were not really an issue.
    I'm really not sure about this. I'm trying to think of a military service anywhere that uses the IWC Aquatimer. I know IWC produced some fine military watches following the old MOD specification shortly after the war, but I am not certain that either their prices, or levels of finish, would commend them to any current military procurement department. They seem to me to be a luxury watchmaker who are clearly producing luxury watches.

    The 2892 in IWC guise is at least as good as the JLC, and probably 'real world' better.
    Now I'm not sure what IWC do to the 2892. The way it is regulated, the balance and the escapement look identical, the winding bridge looks identical and the jewel count remains identical. This is unlike the Omega 2500 which addresses all of these weak spots with a modified winding bridge, increased jewel count, freesprung balance and the peerless Daniels' coaxial escapement. This brings me to my point. These are the weak points of the 2892 and Omega addressed them. The 2892 in chronometer grade really doesn't have many other weaknesses that I am aware of (and I hope to be corrected as that's how we learn) and so it is unclear what IWC actually do to improve it. Whatever they do, they seem to be focussing in the places where the 2892 is just fine. The ultimate evidence for this is in the power reserve. Despite all the improvements, it remains at 44 hours for both the IWC and the ETA versions of the 2892 while Omega's changes in the 2500 take the reserve up to 48 hours. IWC certainly make it look pretty though!

    So, as it stands, I don't really think I am convinced that the 2892 in IWC spec is a better 'real world' movement. I don't deny that the 2892 in uprated Omega or IWC spec is a very good movement, however my real life experience is that the 889 is a better one: it winds with a discrete 'zip' noise rather than the startled rattle of a soviet era tractor breaking down. It is a doddle to regulate to close to zero deviation on the wrist and simply stays there from service to service, Now, my 2500 can achieve this (and I leave regulation of this to my betters) but then I agree that this is a better movement. My experience is that the 2892 in 11xx spec is marginally harder to regulate to a similar accuracy and needs fettling annually to keep it there.

    So, I'm happy to be shown the error of my ways here but, as it stands, I stand by my assertion that the move from the 889 to the 2892 was a retrograde step based primarily on the relative expense of the two movements. It is hardly surprising that their publicity department hasn't put it that way though!

    Lovely cases though. (almost as nice as Eddie's :wink: )

  12. #12
    Master JCJM's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Well...

    All mechanical movements are prone to wear and tear and need occasional TLC... I dont have a Sub but I do have the 3536-001 which is at the movement at my watchmaker receiving some. I know I´ll be happy that it is a ETA derivative instead of a bonified inhouse (Rolex) movement when I need to pay the bill. I have in fact thought sometimes that the AT would be the perfect watch if it housed a high-end quartz instead of the mechanical ticker inside. Sacrilege? Yes, but it would be much more convenient and economical in the longer run.

    Just my 002

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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Rolex Sub everytime.....

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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakir Khaja
    Rolex Sub everytime.....
    Why?

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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Very much agree with M4tt regarding the JLC being a "better" movement, but not for a sports watch. The right word would probably be a more refined, further developed, more high tech movement in my opinion. But fact is that the 889 has a very weak mainspring and is not suited as a sports watch by design, no matter how much they try to deny that. This I was told by a watchmaker I respect and trust. He is not a Rolex AD or big fan but when it comes to Sports watches he recommends the Rolex movements. Their main spring and the whole design are second to none. Very robust and at the same time refined, simple and easy to service. So is the 2892, a tractor movement and when customised like in the IWC or Omega its very close to the Rolex, but not quite. The JLC are much nicer, more elegant movements but also more complicated.
    I would again very much agree that the use of the 2892 in the IWC was a simple question of cost but also reliability and the fact that IWC had a long lasting relationship with ETA, even now being part of Group Richemont. Their so called in-house designed movements are ETA based with the Engineers movement based on the ETA Valgrange. I am sure if they put the same efforts into customising the 889 they would be able to overcome all the weaknesses, but its a more expensive movement altogether and I think also less bullet proof and more costly for IWC at the end. Dive and Sports watches need to be reliable and robust, easy to service, maybe even a bit primitive.

    It will be an eternal argument; which of the two Rolex or IWC are better. I have had a couple of IWC's and only once I had a problem which was due to a bad service and not due to the watch and I would not hesitate to buy another. Rolex are just not my taste.

    If you want a display back, then the JLC is the one 8) :lol: :lol:


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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    M4tt


    Many thanks indeed for very interesting comments & pics - being a 'rookie', can you please elaborate on your comment

    " It is a doddle to regulate to close to zero deviation on the wrist '' ?

    Also where can read 'adjusted to 5 positions' (or similar)

    How and why is this done ?

    Thanks, Peter





    Every day is a schoolday

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    Master doug darter's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt

    However, I am not sure that I agree with your conclusion that the 2892 (as modified by IWC) is a better movement than the 889 (as modified by IWC). I am even less certain that IWC's decision was motivated by anything less than the relative costs verses the relative advantages. I very much doubt that we would ever see a press release that admitted that cost was the motivating factor. I don't deny that the 2892 offers a better bang for your buck. However, high end horology isn't about bang for buck, it's (according to every manufactures' publicity department) about the insane pursuit of perfection at any cost (or at least within the constraints of a price point).
    Hi Matt,

    Let me first say that in considering the two movements, I cribbed from a previous post where I was defending the use of the ETA movement in my Mk XV, against that of the JLC in the Mk XII. This is where the confusion over military use arises. Mea culpa.

    I'd also like to say that I would have been more than happy to have purchased a Mk XV with a JLC992, or even a MkXII. Unfortunately, neither was possible.

    The JLC 992 is, as I stated, a gem of a movement, but there is definitely a body of opinion that it is 'fragile'. This may of course be based on a false assumtion, but there is certainly some evidence to support the fact that it is not.

    Jack Freedman writing here:

    "The movement, although of exceptional high-grade quality, requires careful maintenance and must be kept in fresh condition to assure top performance for accuracy and reliability. A sluggish movement, one whose timepiece has been kept unwound for a few months, may result in insufficient winding due to a lazy or sticky rotor and inaccurate timekeeping due to poor amplitude of the balance wheel.

    A complete maintenance and service, covering an overhaul (cleaning, oiling and regulating) and reseal with watertest, is recommended once every three years or sooner if watch hasnít been used for an extended period of time. Since this high-grade movement must be very precisely oiled (not too little, not too much) with the proper lubricants, it is suggested that the Mark XII be serviced by an authorized service center.

    The movement, although of exceptional high-grade quality, requires careful maintenance and must be kept in fresh condition to assure top performance for accuracy and reliability. A sluggish movement, one whose timepiece has been kept unwound for a few months, may result in insufficient winding due to a lazy or sticky rotor and inaccurate timekeeping due to poor amplitude of the balance wheel.

    A complete maintenance and service, covering an overhaul (cleaning, oiling and regulating) and reseal with watertest, is recommended once every three years or sooner if watch hasnít been used for an extended period of time. Since this high-grade movement must be very precisely oiled (not too little, not too much) with the proper lubricants, it is suggested that the Mark XII be serviced by an authorized service center.


    There are more rumbles elsewhere on the internet if you care to spend time searching.

    When you consider the price of these movements (as a proportion of the cost of the watch), I doubt the JLC 889 costs IWC considerably more than the modified cost of the ETA 2892. Why then, would IWC take the decision to replace it for the Mk XV? As you so eloquently put....high end horology isn't about bang for buck, it's (according to every manufactures' publicity department) about the insane pursuit of perfection at any cost IWC, at least at the time the Mk XV was introduced, was not known for penny pinching, so I believe that the use of the 2892 was a pragmatic decision not based entirely on any cost saving, more that the ETA was probably a better 'real life' movement for a 'mass produced' watched, especially in terms of reliability and ease of service.

    Your contention that the 2892 in the IWC looks to be the same as the stock movement is not unreasonable, for apart from the decoration of the movement, they do indeed look similar.

    However, the truth is different. Renee Schwartz, head of the IWC service department in Switzerland said:

    "IWC replaces most of the critical parts with parts of their own specification, including replacing the wheels with a stronger metal composition, and also the use of a longer mainspring for theoretically greater accuracy. When I met with IWC in Schaffhausen, l learned that IWC finishes its movements to its higher specifications and assembles all base movements from scratch -- even when they use JLC ebauches. A 2892 is really a design -- and there is nothing wrong with the design. If it is implemented with high quality parts, finished meticulously and assembled with painstaking care, it can be a very good movement."

    Greg Buyhoff writes:

    "IWC uses a 2892 KIT -- not an assembled ebauche. They take this kit and replace parts or use parts of their own design to meet their own specifications for tolerance and strength. These include:

    the gear train
    wheels and levers
    mainspring and barrel
    a 21 K gold mass is added to the rotor for winding efficiency
    all parts are finished and assembled by hand
    Is this a stock 2892? No. ls it based upon the design of the 2892? Yes. ls it likely to be a fine movement, given the finishing and the parts specifications used ( metalurgy and tolerances) used by IWC? Yes, definitely. Was it a smart choice for IWC? I think so, definitely. IWC has based their caliber on a tough, proven design but likely made it tougher and one with greater expected longevity due to the application of their specification standards, finishing and hand assembly
    ."

    None of the above is ever likely to support any conclusion that the 2892 is in any way a better movement than the JLC 889. Neither of the above are IWC manufactured movements, but outsourced movements modified to IWC specifications. In the final analysis, which you prefer is a personal choice. My choice is reliability over aesthetics every time, especially in the Mk XV which is worn daily.

    In conclusion, here is an article about the 2892: http://www.chronometrie.com/eta2892/eta2892.html

    The final paragraph concludes....

    So how does it compare to the competition? There are some movements that match it in terms of accuracy and reliability, but in my humble opinion, none exceed it. The Rolex 3035 and 3135 match it toe to toe. But they are a lot thicker and considerably more expensive too. The PPs, while being very pretty to look at, do not match it for accuracy and are more delicate as far as reliability is concerned. Of course they’re also slightly thinner, so that does put them at a disadvantage. The JLC 889/2 does match it for accuracy, but is also too delicate to give it any competition in the reliability department. The main reason for the latter is its very weak mainspring. The whole design, while being well thought out and superbly executed, relies too much on everything being just perfect. It is just thrown out of wack too easily, when even minor things go out of adjustment. I don’t have too much experience on the Blancpain/Piguet movements. But from the few that have crossed my bench, they don’t seem to deliver the same accuracy that the 2892 has no trouble delivering. Let me know if I’ve left any of your favorite movements out, and I’ll gladly comment on them.

  18. #18

    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    rolex everytime

  19. #19
    Master doug darter's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by rawawatches
    rolex everytime
    Why????

  20. #20
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by doug darter
    Quote Originally Posted by rawawatches
    rolex everytime
    Why????
    Quote Originally Posted by JCJM
    Quote Originally Posted by Shakir Khaja
    Rolex Sub everytime.....
    Why?
    I guess lex fans arent good at argumentation Doug :lol:

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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by JCJM
    Well...

    All mechanical movements are prone to wear and tear and need occasional TLC... I dont have a Sub but I do have the 3536-001 which is at the movement at my watchmaker receiving some. I know I´ll be happy that it is a ETA derivative instead of a bonified inhouse (Rolex) movement when I need to pay the bill. I have in fact thought sometimes that the AT would be the perfect watch if it housed a high-end quartz instead of the mechanical ticker inside. Sacrilege? Yes, but it would be much more convenient and economical in the longer run.

    Just my 002
    Yes, an Aquatimer with the Grand Seiko 50 year service interval quartz movement.
    MMMMMM, that would be a treat :) .

    Cheers,

    Daddel.
    Got a new watch, divers watch it is, had to drown the bastard to get it!

  22. #22
    Master JCJM's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddelvirks
    Quote Originally Posted by JCJM
    Well...

    All mechanical movements are prone to wear and tear and need occasional TLC... I dont have a Sub but I do have the 3536-001 which is at the movement at my watchmaker receiving some. I know I´ll be happy that it is a ETA derivative instead of a bonified inhouse (Rolex) movement when I need to pay the bill. I have in fact thought sometimes that the AT would be the perfect watch if it housed a high-end quartz instead of the mechanical ticker inside. Sacrilege? Yes, but it would be much more convenient and economical in the longer run.

    Just my 002
    Yes, an Aquatimer with the Grand Seiko 50 year service interval quartz movement.
    MMMMMM, that would be a treat :) .

    Cheers,

    Daddel.
    :shock:

    :drunken:

  23. #23
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    I'm now in the surreal position of arguing about modified 2892 movements from two different directions:

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread ... 4#poststop

    How odd.

    However, Doug, has made some good points which I will have a go at responding to:

    Firstly, he has risen to my challenge of finding more evidence of weakness. Having spoken to a watchmaker about this I am chastened to repeat his opinion: He compared them to tanks: the 889 is like a WWII German tank, beautifully (over) engineered,
    and lovely to work on if you are not in a hurry, but ultimately flawed, in this case due to an slightly gracile mainspring which also has a tendency to wear the winding barrel. Apart from that, he felt they were bulletproof. The 2892 he compared to a Russian tank as it sounds like one, but is infinitely better than it should be. He would not be drawn on whose tanks a 3135 was like.

    So I think I just have to accept that there does seem to be some consensus that the 889's mainspring is problematic. I'm not sure that I am happy to go as far as saying 'case closed', but Doug definitely has me on the back foot here. My only response remains that mine has been rock solid. However, I would assume, on no evidence whatsoever, that, if it exists, an IWC rebuild would address this putative weakness as they replace the mainspring on the 2892 even when this isn't needed.

    When you consider the price of these movements (as a proportion of the cost of the watch), I doubt the JLC 889 costs IWC considerably more than the modified cost of the ETA 2892.
    I agree that they don't cost much more for JLC to produce but I am prepared to bet a fair bit that IWC paid a significant premium for the 889. However, it sounds like we are nearing a compromise here and I am happy to concede that there will have been a range of factors, including cost and many others, if you are.

    However, the assertion that the IWC 2892 is radically different from the ETA one is one point I wish to contend further and which I do not think my argument was addressed. The fact is that the bridges of the 2892 remain brass, it keeps the same regulation system and the same winding bridge and does not show an improvement in reserve, remaining at the same 44hour reserve of the stock movement. This is particularly odd given that it is claimed that the IWC calibre has a longer mainspring. More to the point, 2892 has never been short of torque, being able to run, for example, the DD chrono module in the Speedmaster Reduced with ease.

    In short, IWC have made changes where the 2892 is not weak and not made changes where it is. For example the old Eterna style winding system used in the 2892 is robust but disgracefully loud and remains agricultural in the MKXV. Now I am prepared to concede that using properly case hardened parts may make the movement far more resistant to wear in the very long term, but this is a watch for which spares are plentiful and which has an admirable reputation for longevity when serviced correctly.
    In the same way, the gold rotor mass must be a red herring, the 2892 has always been more than efficient enough in winding, it's just been too damn loud for such a high end watch. IWC are solving a non existent problem while ignoring real ones.

    In short, I totally agree with you that the 2892 is a fine movement. However, it is a movement with compromises. It seems to me that Omega actually address the compromises, while IWC just tidy up around them. The jewel count remains the same, the reserve is unchanged, the winding death rattle remain and the regulation and balance remain merely businesslike. The regulation system on the 889 is incredibly precise, allowing one to home in on perfect regulation with ease (answering another question) while the 3135 has the freesprung balance which, while beyond most home fiddling, does ensure remarkably stable regulation over the long term. However, I am still not convinced that it is a better movement than the 889 as I really cannot see how the stock 2892 has been improved upon beyond addressing wear issues that are really not a problem and finishing it beautifully.

    The final quote comes from the little engine that could, which I mentioned before. It's a great review but it does seem to have become rather too central for a single review. There are movement reviews, comparing the 2892 to its Chinese cousin in TZ-UK's classic posts section that feel far more forensic to me.

  24. #24
    Master doug darter's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt
    I'm now in the surreal position of arguing about modified 2892 movements from two different directions:

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread ... 4#poststop

    How odd.

    However, Doug, has made some good points which I will have a go at responding to:

    Firstly, he has risen to my challenge of finding more evidence of weakness. Having spoken to a watchmaker about this I am chastened to repeat his opinion: He compared them to tanks: the 889 is like a WWII German tank, beautifully (over) engineered,
    and lovely to work on if you are not in a hurry, but ultimately flawed, in this case due to an slightly gracile mainspring which also has a tendency to wear the winding barrel. Apart from that, he felt they were bulletproof. The 2892 he compared to a Russian tank as it sounds like one, but is infinitely better than it should be. He would not be drawn on whose tanks a 3135 was like.

    So I think I just have to accept that there does seem to be some consensus that the 889's mainspring is problematic. I'm not sure that I am happy to go as far as saying 'case closed', but Doug definitely has me on the back foot here. My only response remains that mine has been rock solid. However, I would assume, on no evidence whatsoever, that, if it exists, an IWC rebuild would address this putative weakness as they replace the mainspring on the 2892 even when this isn't needed.

    When you consider the price of these movements (as a proportion of the cost of the watch), I doubt the JLC 889 costs IWC considerably more than the modified cost of the ETA 2892.
    I agree that they don't cost much more for JLC to produce but I am prepared to bet a fair bit that IWC paid a significant premium for the 889. However, it sounds like we are nearing a compromise here and I am happy to concede that there will have been a range of factors, including cost and many others, if you are.

    However, the assertion that the IWC 2892 is radically different from the ETA one is one point I wish to contend further and which I do not think my argument was addressed. The fact is that the bridges of the 2892 remain brass, it keeps the same regulation system and the same winding bridge and does not show an improvement in reserve, remaining at the same 44hour reserve of the stock movement. This is particularly odd given that it is claimed that the IWC calibre has a longer mainspring. More to the point, 2892 has never been short of torque, being able to run, for example, the DD chrono module in the Speedmaster Reduced with ease.

    In short, IWC have made changes where the 2892 is not weak and not made changes where it is. For example the old Eterna style winding system used in the 2892 is robust but disgracefully loud and remains agricultural in the MKXV. Now I am prepared to concede that using properly case hardened parts may make the movement far more resistant to wear in the very long term, but this is a watch for which spares are plentiful and which has an admirable reputation for longevity when serviced correctly.
    In the same way, the gold rotor mass must be a red herring, the 2892 has always been more than efficient enough in winding, it's just been too damn loud for such a high end watch. IWC are solving a non existent problem while ignoring real ones.

    In short, I totally agree with you that the 2892 is a fine movement. However, it is a movement with compromises. It seems to me that Omega actually address the compromises, while IWC just tidy up around them. The jewel count remains the same, the reserve is unchanged, the winding death rattle remain and the regulation and balance remain merely businesslike. The regulation system on the 889 is incredibly precise, allowing one to home in on perfect regulation with ease (answering another question) while the 3135 has the freesprung balance which, while beyond most home fiddling, does ensure remarkably stable regulation over the long term. However, I am still not convinced that it is a better movement than the 889 as I really cannot see how the stock 2892 has been improved upon beyond addressing wear issues that are really not a problem and finishing it beautifully.

    The final quote comes from the little engine that could, which I mentioned before. It's a great review but it does seem to have become rather too central for a single review. There are movement reviews, comparing the 2892 to its Chinese cousin in TZ-UK's classic posts section that feel far more forensic to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt
    I'm now in the surreal position of arguing about modified 2892 movements from two different directions:

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread ... 4#poststop

    How odd.

    However, Doug, has made some good points which I will have a go at responding to:

    Firstly, he has risen to my challenge of finding more evidence of weakness. Having spoken to a watchmaker about this I am chastened to repeat his opinion: He compared them to tanks: the 889 is like a WWII German tank, beautifully (over) engineered,
    and lovely to work on if you are not in a hurry, but ultimately flawed, in this case due to an slightly gracile mainspring which also has a tendency to wear the winding barrel. Apart from that, he felt they were bulletproof. The 2892 he compared to a Russian tank as it sounds like one, but is infinitely better than it should be. He would not be drawn on whose tanks a 3135 was like.

    So I think I just have to accept that there does seem to be some consensus that the 889's mainspring is problematic. I'm not sure that I am happy to go as far as saying 'case closed', but Doug definitely has me on the back foot here. My only response remains that mine has been rock solid. However, I would assume, on no evidence whatsoever, that, if it exists, an IWC rebuild would address this putative weakness as they replace the mainspring on the 2892 even when this isn't needed.

    When you consider the price of these movements (as a proportion of the cost of the watch), I doubt the JLC 889 costs IWC considerably more than the modified cost of the ETA 2892.
    I agree that they don't cost much more for JLC to produce but I am prepared to bet a fair bit that IWC paid a significant premium for the 889. However, it sounds like we are nearing a compromise here and I am happy to concede that there will have been a range of factors, including cost and many others, if you are.

    However, the assertion that the IWC 2892 is radically different from the ETA one is one point I wish to contend further and which I do not think my argument was addressed. The fact is that the bridges of the 2892 remain brass, it keeps the same regulation system and the same winding bridge and does not show an improvement in reserve, remaining at the same 44hour reserve of the stock movement. This is particularly odd given that it is claimed that the IWC calibre has a longer mainspring. More to the point, 2892 has never been short of torque, being able to run, for example, the DD chrono module in the Speedmaster Reduced with ease.

    In short, IWC have made changes where the 2892 is not weak and not made changes where it is. For example the old Eterna style winding system used in the 2892 is robust but disgracefully loud and remains agricultural in the MKXV. Now I am prepared to concede that using properly case hardened parts may make the movement far more resistant to wear in the very long term, but this is a watch for which spares are plentiful and which has an admirable reputation for longevity when serviced correctly.
    In the same way, the gold rotor mass must be a red herring, the 2892 has always been more than efficient enough in winding, it's just been too damn loud for such a high end watch. IWC are solving a non existent problem while ignoring real ones.

    In short, I totally agree with you that the 2892 is a fine movement. However, it is a movement with compromises. It seems to me that Omega actually address the compromises, while IWC just tidy up around them. The jewel count remains the same, the reserve is unchanged, the winding death rattle remain and the regulation and balance remain merely businesslike. The regulation system on the 889 is incredibly precise, allowing one to home in on perfect regulation with ease (answering another question) while the 3135 has the freesprung balance which, while beyond most home fiddling, does ensure remarkably stable regulation over the long term. However, I am still not convinced that it is a better movement than the 889 as I really cannot see how the stock 2892 has been improved upon beyond addressing wear issues that are really not a problem and finishing it beautifully.

    The final quote comes from the little engine that could, which I mentioned before. It's a great review but it does seem to have become rather too central for a single review. There are movement reviews, comparing the 2892 to its Chinese cousin in TZ-UK's classic posts section that feel far more forensic to me.

    Hello Matt,

    Let me say this..... from the outset, I was in no way trying to denigrate the use of the JLC 889, in any iteration. I've never owned a watch containing this movement, and I am unlikely to now that I have retired, and unlimited funds are now no longer available. I have no doubt that it is a fine movement - how could it be otherwise?, nor did I wish to put you in a position of having to defend the 889, rather it was me trying to defend the 2892. Let me explain.

    I have for a goodly number of years wanted to buy one of the 'Mk' series of IWC pilots watches. I did (foolishly) once buy the 'Spitfire' version of the UTC, which was a pale imitation of the original, and in truth, nothing like the Mk series at all. I have on a couple of occasions tried to buy a Mark XII, but circumstances conspired against me, and it's only recently that I have bought a beautiful Mark XV.

    Shortly after buying it, there was a thread here, decrying IWC's use of the 2892 in the Mk XV, and being an owner, I felt less than happy, and compelled to try and discover why IWC had changed from the Classic 889 to the 2892. It was this research which led me to believe that the 889 had it's shortcomings, and that perhaps IWC had utilised the 2892, essentially because of unreliabilty and service issues. I have been unable to find any empirical evidence to suggest that this is the case, but did find some anectdotal rumblings which I grasped in an effort to try and find some justification for my theory.

    During my search, I found a small article that implied that the MOD had found the 889 less than ideal when used in issue watches, and had, as a result, specified that the watches were to be serviced every six months, which rather added to my suspicions. I don't know where I found it, perhaps in the body of another article, but I have been unable to find it again.

    So, there we have it. Merely a suspicion in my mind that IWC must have had a good reason for using the 2892 other than with regard to cost. I have no proof, and I doubt I ever will. More likely as you suggest, it probably was a pragmatic cost issue.

    A couple of points however... Any comparison between the ETA and it's Chinese cousin must be made between the basic ebauche, and certainly not the better specified and modified movements found in the better Swiss marques. Secondly, the 2892 in my Mk XV has, at least has the quietest rotor I have ever come across on ANY ETA automatic movement. Thirdly, whilst I accept that the 889 allows close to perfect regulation, my 2892 has kept the Mk XV accurate to 1 sec daily since I put it on in January, and which is on my wrist 24 hours a day, which even by COSC standards is remarkable. Finally, I don't believe I ever made the assertion that the 2892 was a 'better' movement than the 889. I did suggest that it was a better 'real world application' for use in a mass produced watch, given the 889' possible frailty in regard to the mainspring and lube issues.

    I'd like to thank you for your replies to my posts. It's not often that anybody takes the time and trouble to post subjective replies regarding technical issues, and you write with such conviction and authority, that they are a joy to read. You obviously know your subject in great depth, unlike me - I generally tend to stick my toes in the shallow end only.

    You wrote: "However, it sounds like we are nearing a compromise here and I am happy to concede that there will have been a range of factors, including cost and many others, if you are."

    Indeed I am :D

  25. #25
    Master doug darter's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    I have just found this article, which may help the IWC/ETA debate move a little further forward:

    http://www.pmwf.com/Watches/Series/IWCG ... ments.html

  26. #26
    Master JCJM's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Well,

    according to my watchmaker who is as good as they come, if not better than most, the IWC tweaked 2892 is still pretty much a 2892, which is not to say that it is a bad movement at all. I spent some considerable time talking with him about this subject and he was pretty straightforward in that whilst there are some tweaks here and there they dont make the movement something other than what it is - a rugged and reliable ETA 2892 with better tolerances than most. I personally couldn't care less whats inside the case for as long as it looks the part and performs as expected. - Better still if maintaining costs are low and you have access to spare parts outside the official AD chain.

    Just my 002 of course.

  27. #27
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    Re: Rolex v/ IWC

    Hi Doug,

    I'm starting to feel like a bit of heel here. The fact is that I adore the 2892 and genuinely think it holds its own in pretty well any company. Ultimately, if I had to choose between my Kryos or my Aqua Terra, the choice would be Aqua Terra every time. I suspect that someone high up in IWC looked very closely at the 2892 and the 889 and simply couldn't justify the 889. Now I still think that this is a move away from the beautiful madness that gives us watches that have most of their beauty on the inside where the only person who ever gets to appreciate it charges you. But, much as I hate to concede, it is possibly a better watch.

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