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Alternatives to Off-the-Shelf Swiss ETA and Sellita Movements, with Seagull, Seiko and Miyota

Alternatives to Off-the-Shelf Swiss ETA and Sellita Movements, with Seagull, Seiko and Miyota

Perfect Replica

When talking about contemporary watches, companies for the most part utilize either in-house or off-the-rack movements, the last provided by different manufacturers. Some very good quality brands like Patek Philippe, Piaget, Rolex and Breguet can create in-house movements that are advanced for their portfolios. A watch company is considered “complete” when it can deliver its own development, yet many actually depend on reevaluated ones from huge Swiss manufacturers like ETA and Sellita. However, the market has changed. A couple of set up brands have chosen to bring to the table passage range programmed watches and mostly, microbrands are everywhere, with the need to offer mechanical movements at open costs. Choices to the common Swiss generic calibres have along these lines become crucial.

The time and cost to plan and fabricate an in-house development is anything but a practical choice for some more modest brands, and even significant companies with their own development creation offices likewise depend on off-the-rack types for some models. It’s been this route since the beginning of watchmaking. Brands like Panerai and IWC have watches with rethought ETA or Sellita movements, and a portion of these get changed to a point where they’re practically unrecognizable. Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin had cooperated with Lemania for chronograph movements (Lemania has since become an in-house maker for Breguet). The utilization of rethought movements from ETA and Sellita permits brands to stamp their dial with the desired “Swiss Made” assignment, yet there are a few Asian manufacturers that produce off-the-rack movements too. These types are more affordable, all the more promptly accessible and can be similarly just about as dependable and functional as their Swiss partners. We should investigate the three most mainstream providers outside the watch air pocket of Switzerland – Miyota, Seiko and Seagull.


Before we get to options, here’s a speedy outline of the two significant off-the-rack Swiss development manufacturers. (ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse – which is presently claimed by The Swatch Group Ltd.) is the most commonly known Swiss development provider for companies going from youthful microbrands to top of the line set up players. ETA was established in 1856 by Eterna, in spite of the fact that parts of its creation go right back to 1793. The company produces both quartz and mechanical movements and is equipped for assembling complete watches, acquiring it the assignment of manufacture d’horlogerie (watchmaking manufacturer).

Headquartered in Grenchen, Switzerland, ETA is the biggest maker of Swiss watch movements and has a disputable (later) history as its action has often been seen as monopolistic. The Swiss government has examined the company on a few events and it currently complies with certain represented strategic policies. Inconvenience started in 2002 when Nicolas Hayek, then director of The Swatch Group Ltd., intended to cut supplies of ébauches (partial or unassembled movements) to all companies outside of The Swatch Group. This revolutionary competitive methodology took steps to bankrupt numerous competitors and the Swiss Competition Commission dispatched an examination in 2003. It finished up, in 2005, that ETA could decrease generally speaking conveyances yet needed to keep providing competitors or it would abuse Swiss cartel laws. ETA is permitted to keep lessening supplies today and may ultimately be allowed to single out companies it will supply movements to. The sharp decrease since 2005 has incited brands outside The Swatch Group to look for options, both from Switzerland and beyond.

There are a few ETA types that have become virtual symbols. The Valjoux 7750, also called the ETA 7750, is the most inescapable Swiss chronograph development today. This programmed workhorse is accessible in three evaluations – Elaborated (adjusted in three positions, normal pace of +/ – 5 seconds out of each day), Top (adjusted in five positions, normal pace of +/ – 4 seconds out of every day) and Chronometer (must fulfill severe COSC guidelines with a greatest variety of +/ – 5 seconds of the day). Both the Elaborated and Top evaluations can differ by as much as +/ – 15 seconds out of every day. A 4th grade is Standard, which is changed in two positions and has the most noteworthy suitable variety of +/ – 30 seconds for every day.

Other famous workhorses are the ETA 2824-2 automatic (25 gems, 28,800vph, 38-hour save, accessible in four evaluations from Standard to Chronometer) and ETA 2892.A2 automatic (21 gems, 28,800vph, 42-hour hold, accessible in three evaluations from Elaborated to Chronometer). The 2824-2 is mainstream with brands like Hamilton, while the 2892.A2 is seen in some very good quality brands like IWC and Breitling (despite the fact that the two brands currently fundamentally source from Sellita). Omega’s popular Seamaster line recently utilized a changed 2892.A2 too (however remember that ETA and Omega are both piece of the Swatch Group.)

Overall, ETA offers a tremendous scope of movements, remembering programmed ones for time-just, little second, day-date, world time, GMT, enormous date, power hold, or hand-twisted types in different styles (counting the notorious Unitas design or the 2801 or the Peseux 7001), lastly chronographs (basic, day-date, schedule, moon stage. ETA isn’t just giving practically unlimited answers for brands yet it is additionally notable for the dependability and (critical) the workableness of its movements – any good watchmaker can support an ETA 2824. These numerous characteristics, in any case, have a cost as ETA is often the most costly option.


Sellita is a generally new Swiss development manufacturer and often considered as an ETA copycat. To spare the nitty-gritty details, companies can be conceded licenses for movements, yet those by and large keep going for just twenty years and Sellita has benefited from that. The patent on the previously mentioned ETA 2824-2, for instance, which dispatched during the 1970s, has lapsed and is liberated from rights. The two companies have an intriguing history and were really accomplices at a certain point. ETA had re-appropriated gathering of its movements to Sellita yet in the long run chose to cut ties and resume all get together inside the company.

This made Sellita go into endurance mode and start delivering ETA clones. It had just amassed broad experience collecting ETA types and ETA’s copyright on plans had terminated, so delivering movements it was so acquainted with was a legitimate advance. Furthermore, not exclusively was Sellita personally acquainted with ETA yet additionally had set up key associations with part providers, giving it a competitive favorable position over others.

As Sellita developed throughout the long term, it consummated creation and both the quality and dependability of its movements are by and large viewed as comparable to ETA. The Sellita SW500, for instance, is a duplicate of ETA’s Valjoux 7750, however somewhat more affordable and more open to brands outside The Swatch Group. The Sellita SW300 is a duplicate of ETA’s better quality 2892.A2. At last, the generally utilized Sellita SW200 is based (with enhancements for) the ETA 2824 architecture.

Targeting ETA’s most famous movements like this has demonstrated effective for the expanding Swiss manufacturer. As ETA supply diminishes and conceivably stops altogether for competitors, Sellita may become the following titan in the business as it also allows brands to retain the “Swiss Made” assignment without losing the certainty of knowing shoppers. It is likewise to be noticed that Sellita has an advancement group and works intimately with brands to make uniquely designed movements (typically an alternate presentation dependent on a current engineering, or better quality details, for example, with chronometric directing organs). The nature of Sellita movements doesn’t should be demonstrated any longer and the workableness is destined to be comparable to ETA.


The term “Swiss Made” is somewhat disputable in its own privilege and often misjudged. It’s a significant “brand name,” however doesn’t consequently infer unrivaled quality. Top of the line German brand Glashütte Original and American brand RGM are just as respected as their Swiss adversaries. In any case, similar to the individuals who request Italian roots with their games vehicles, Switzerland and watches are often a necessary blend. How might it look in real terms to be Swiss Made? A watch can be marked as Swiss Made if it’s gathered in Switzerland, its last assessment happens in Switzerland, and at least 60% of assembling costs are in Switzerland. The legitimate norm for a brand to print “Swiss Made” on its dial isn’t exactly however high as many might suspect and little escape clauses seem to be likewise exploitable. The most commonly perceived rule is for the development to be manufactured in Switzerland, by and large from ETA or Sellita – if not in-house. Other necessities are that the development is introduced in Switzerland and once more, that the last assessment happens in Switzerland. Numerous erroneously accept, notwithstanding, that “Swiss Made” exclusively requires a Swiss development inside the case.

For the individuals who approve of an Acura/Honda NSX over a Ferrari 488 GTB (in a manner of speaking), there are development manufacturers outside of Switzerland that produce comparable motors (albeit on the lower end of the scale). The three significant companies, all from Asia, are Miyota, Seiko and Seagull. Arrange is a fourth manufacturer out of Japan, however it produces movements carefully for its own image. And keeping in mind that they all void the “Swiss Made” moniker, watches pounding to their drum aren’t really second rate and these movements are crucial for youthful brands to dunk their toes into mechanical waters. So how about we investigate and see what these options in contrast to Swiss movements need to offer.


Miyota movements are delivered by Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. (Japan) and have immediately become a most loved provider for both microbrands and set up players looking to deliver more moderate models. For instance, Timex as of late delivered its  Marlin Automatics  with a Miyota 8215 running the show. Presented in 1977, it’s the most used programmed workhorse with 21 gems, 21,600vph (3Hz) and a 40-hour power hold. There several tradeoffs while picking this development over, say, an ETA 2824-2, for example, the absence of hacking seconds and a precision variable that can reach – 20/+40 seconds of the day (which is in excess of an ETA Standard grade takes into account). In any case, this development has a demonstrated history of unwavering quality, is effortlessly adjusted and substantially more moderate and available than its Swiss partners. Both the ETA 2824-2 and Miyota 8215 have stun insurance frameworks, with ETA utilizing the Swiss Incabloc framework and Miyota utilizing its proprietary Parashock system.

In 2009, Miyota presented its 9015 movement that is for the most part the spin-off of the praised 8215. Numerous redesigns permitted the 9015 to be more competitive with ETA and Sellita, including a knock to 28,800vph (4Hz), 24 gems, a 42-hour power save and hacking seconds. Generally exactness was likewise improved with a greatest variety of +/ – 30 seconds out of each day, which conforms to ETA standard grade movements. The completing on ETA movements is additionally esthetically higher when seen through a display caseback and many are adorned with Geneva stripes and perlage. With few special cases, Miyota movements are often undecorated, however from a practical and dependability point of view, Miyota could before long become competitive with ETA and Sellita in the moderate watch class (for the most part under USD 1,500).

Miyota movements normally just have time and date capacities (day-date too), yet its most complicated type, the 9132, adds power save and 24-hour time complications. A Swiss identical would be expensive, yet Miyota offers the 9132 at comparably deal costs with competitive particulars. 26 gems, 28,800vph (4Hz), a 40-hour power save, hacking seconds, power save marker at 12 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock and 24-hour sub-dial at 6 o’clock. That is a stacked development and permits brands both of all shapes and sizes to offer modern pieces that are open. The Martenero Edgemere Reserve  is a genuine illustration of a microbrand piece with a Miyota 9132 and sells for just USD 695 (with early Kickstarter costs as low as USD 459).

As a comparison, the Pharo BigDate with Power Reserve from German brand Limes has a major date complication and force save pointer through an ETA 2892-2 (Top evaluation) with an additional module for the complications, with a cost of EUR 1,640. Not exactly a ‘apples to apples’ comparison, however close enough to find out about value contrasts. In spite of the fact that Miyota is a suitable option for watch companies, it for the most part just applies to the lower end. You will not discover a Miyota chronometer, for instance, and complications are restricted to what movements like the 9132 can offer.


Seiko (Seiko Holdings Company) is another Japanese company and probably the greatest name in the watch business. Like Citizen (Miyota), it manufactures its own movements and furthermore supplies an assortment for competitors. Established in 1881 in Tokyo by Kintarō Hattori, the company began as a watch and gem dealer. After eleven years, it began fabricating timekeepers under the brand “Seikosha” (House of Exquisite Workmanship), yet it wasn’t until 1924 that wristwatches were created with the recognizable Seiko name. Seiko has a huge history with quartz movements, delivering the main creation quartz watch in 1969. It additionally created the main creation quartz chronograph. This not just added to the “quartz emergency” of the 1980s yet permitted Seiko to flourish during those tempestuous occasions accordingly. That being said, the company is likewise a pioneer with regards to mechanical movements. In 1968, for instance, it presented a hello beat type that beat at 36,000vph (5Hz), giving better precision and protection from stuns compared to more traditional movements. The primary greetings beat jumper on the planet was Seiko’s 1968 Ref. 6159-7001, which was as of late resurrected as the Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 . Seiko additionally incorporates sub-brands like Grand Seiko and Credor, which produce very good quality, sublimely designed movements with complications (up to a tourbillon or brief repeater). Nonetheless, those aren’t created in similar offices as the movements we are going to take a gander at. However, it gives a thought of what the brand is proficient of.

Outsourced movements from Seiko are on a lower level compared to the Grand Seiko and Presage lines, yet that doesn’t make them terrible. One of its sparkling workhorses likewise turns out to be one of the most affordable programmed movements from a significant brand accessible. The Seiko 7S26 programmed calibre, found in numerous reasonable Seiko pieces and utilized by a wide assortment of competitors, has 21 gems, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz) with a 40-hour power hold. It likewise incorporates a day/date complication, which is an exceptionally decent advantage for a particularly reasonable development. The Seiko 5 SNK809, for instance, can be found for under USD 100 and runs on the 7S26, highlighting the day/date complication, Hardlex show caseback and Diashock stun assurance. That is an extraordinary deal and a couple of minor penances are made – no hacking seconds or manual winding (and precision appraised at – 20/+40 seconds out of every day). Presented in 1996 (supplanting the Seiko 7002 arrangement), the 7S26 is famous with microbrands offering truly reasonable automatics.

Another well known Seiko development is the Seiko NH35A type automatic with 24 gems, 21,600vph (3Hz) and a 40-hour power hold. This one has both hacking seconds and can be physically twisted, yet just has a date complication (no day). A move up to the 7S26 and quite possibly the most famous re-appropriated automatics today, microbrands like UNDONE and Humism (and bigger brands like Invicta) depend on this workhorse over anything Swiss. Invicta has a progression of plunge watches with NH35A movements that can be found for under USD 100. Those value focuses would be inconceivable with an ETA or Sellita in the engine. Like the 7S26, exactness is evaluated at – 20/+40 seconds out of every day, which is 10 seconds more than the greatest from a Standard grade ETA, albeit most customers in this value reach can live with a potential 10-second deviation.


Seagull (Tianjin Seagull Watch Group) is a Chinese manufacturer and the biggest maker of mechanical movements on the planet. It is answerable for one-fourth of complete worldwide creation. The company was established in 1955 as the Tianjin Watch Factory and Seagull movements have really had Swiss birthplaces for more than 50 years. It obtained Swiss development manufacturer Venus during the 1960s, along with its apparatus and plans, and Seagull movements are as yet manufactured on Venus hardware (and are comparable to those vintage movements in both plan and unwavering quality). Seagull has developed into a modern manufacturer and today delivers section wheel chronograph and tourbillon movements, among numerous others. A Seagull tourbillon  piece can be had for as low as CHF 3,865, which is unfathomable among Swiss opponents. Label Heuer’s in-house Carrera Heuer-02T is the most affordable Swiss tourbillon from a significant brand at CHF 15,000. Quality, accuracy and dependability contentions aside, it’s a great accomplishment from Seagull.

Keeping things standard, the Seagull ST1901 is a well known hand-wound chronograph development with a section wheel. Many contend that it’s essentially a Venus 175 clone, which is for the most part evident, however it’s a refreshed and refined adaptation. Seagull makes its own watches including this (or very much like) movements, similar to the Seagull 1963, but on the other hand it’s a top choice among microbrands also. The Mercer Lexington Chronograph  has a ST1901 and is among my number one moderate chronographs. The completing is shockingly first rate given the cost and looks extraordinary through a display caseback. The ST1901 has 23 gems, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz) with a 40-hour power save. The ST1901 additionally has gained notoriety for both dependability and functionality and permits companies to offer mechanical chronographs at value focuses a lot of lower than something with an ETA 7750.

The Seagull ST36 is another common development, this one is a hand-wound, time just motor. Like the Unitas/ETA 6497 (often alluded to as a clone), it’s famous with microbrands as an economical option in contrast to both Swiss and even Japanese movements, with microbrands like Marloe Watch Company utilizing it in its Cherwell line. Seagull will in general have an unmistakable completion on its movements with wave examples and star themes, which some may not discover as engaging as Geneva stripes and perlage, however they present well through a presentation caseback nonetheless. And keeping in mind that “Made-in-China” can sound somewhat startling, particularly with respect to mechanical watches, Seagull movements have a demonstrated history, Swiss roots and take into consideration cool, charming watches for not exactly their Swiss and often Japanese counterparts.


As an author and watch lover, I unmistakably perceive the brand allure of Swiss Made watches. I have numerous Swiss pieces myself. All things considered, Switzerland and watches go inseparably like Hollywood and motion pictures. In any case, we as a whole realize that extraordinary films are additionally made outside of California. ETA and Sellita permit brands naming their watches as “Swiss Made,” which is a compelling method to showcase their items as top quality. Also, by and large, Swiss Made watches are a protected decision with regards to unwavering quality, workableness and the vast majority of all, brand acknowledgment. That being said, much the same as motion pictures delivered in Europe, the absolute best watches are manufactured outside of Switzerland. A Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Caliber 9S twentieth Anniversary or a  Lange & Söhne Triple Split give any comparable piece from Switzerland a run for its money.

If you’re not hung up on the Swiss Made assignment, there’s a whole universe of extraordinary (and reasonable) watches out there with Miyota, Seiko or Seagull movements. I’m often more keen on a new plan and compelling story behind a watch over Swiss causes. What’s more, essentially having a Swiss development doesn’t really make a specific piece 100% Swiss Made. The Airfoil from Mercer Watch Co. , for instance, has a Sellita SW200 in the engine, however not “Swiss Made” imprinted on the dial as gathering happens in the United States. Obviously, that doesn’t just make it a second rate item. Miyota, Seiko and Seagull permit the business to grow well past what might be conceivable if Swiss providers like ETA and Sellita were the lone parts around (outside of in-house creation). Furthermore, regardless of the essential commitments and recorded meaning of Swiss watchmaking, that is an awesome thing.