When introduced with the competing countries, the question that many watch enthusiasts ask is: who makes a better watch? Since the most important thing that distinguishes a watch’s quality is its movement, we can look to watch movements to answer this question.
The movement drives the timekeeping functions and is essentially the reason a watch tells time. Many people associate fine mechanical watches with the Swiss, even though the Japanese have been producing high quality watch movements for decades.
The key advantages of a Japanese Watch Movement over a Swiss Watch Movement are in-house expertise.
Both mechanical and automatic watch movements are, technically, mechanical watch movements. The only difference is that automatic watch movements wind themselves using the motion of your wrist.
Mechanical movements are powered by a mainspring, which stores potential energy when wound. The spring unwinds slowly, releasing this energy to move the gears. Once wound, the average mechanical watch has a power reserve of 36 to 40 hours. For automatic watches, this means that if you don’t wear the watch for longer than 40 hours, you will have to manually wind and reset the watch before you wear it again.
A well-built mechanical watch can last for generations with regular upkeep (every few years).
Watch movements directly affect both the quality and cost of a watch. Price varies between 3 types of movements: stock movements, modified movements, and in-house movements.
A majority of Swiss watches utilize stock movements manufactured by the Swiss company ETA SA. Stock (or off-the-shelf) movements are typically cheaper because ETA mass produces watch movements and nothing else. However, with mass production, quality can suffer.
Every product is not always checked for quality, but instead a sample is taken to represent the effectiveness of the manufacturing process (for example, every 10th or 20th movement is inspected).
In order to carry the “Swiss Made” stamp, watches must contain only 50% Swiss-made components. This further lowers quality standards because outsourced work is not always held to the same quality standards. ETA holds a near-monopoly.
Some watchmakers alter stock movements by adding, removing, or changing parts. Modified movements tend to be the most expensive movements with the least value.
The extra cost results from the addition of the watchmaker’s “expertise;” but when it comes down to it, it’s still an outsourced, mass-produced stock movement. Many companies try to claim that modified movements are in-house movements.
In-house movements are produced completely by the watch company. Part of the luxury involved in mechanical watches is the complexity and fine detail. It makes sense, then, to choose a movement that has been exclusively designed by the company.
In-house movements are a way for watchmakers to demonstrate their technical expertise and experience. In-house movements are generally the best value because in-house production simultaneously cuts cost and increases quality.
Orient constructs all of their watch movements in-house. Purchasing a watch with Japanese movement ensures that you are getting a quality timepiece for an appropriate price.
Its simple design makes the CEV0M001B perfect for the everyday wearer. With an unobtrusive and clutter-free face, it is business-ready and easy to read.
- Apr 12, 2010: 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy Orient Automatic Watches - Just another WordPress weblog - Watches Channel