Watch Movements : We Can See Right Through You – A Call For Transparency

The importance of transparency

Microbrands and established brands take note – free advice from a watch enthusiast and collector!

We get it!!

Fears a Brand that is always straight forward in telling you what is under the hood

 

Microbrands:

I get it, you are immensely proud to have created your very own watch brand. You are an entrepreneur, you might have lived out of your car and slept on the office floor for months. You invested your own money, sweat and energy to build this brand. You WANT to call your watch movement that you purchase from a reputed Swiss movement manufacturer the way YOU want, after all it’s in your watch. It’s made to your requirements. You think to yourself – look at Lotus Sportscars – undeniably brilliant, a micro-car brand. They use Toyota V6 engines that usually live in Camrys – of course they are “tuned” differently…so?

Martins of Glasgow Watch Servicing and Repair

Guess what – we are FINE with that. We applaud you for the effort, the risk you took and all the work you put into your company. Call your watch movement Flux Capacitor FC-008W if your marketing department (the left side of your brain) is telling you that’s the best name you could come up with.

But….

Established brands:

I get it, you have been around for many decades, even centuries. You make your own movements for longer than most of your customers are on the planet. You KNOW things. However, for some of your watches your accountants have told you that an in-house movement is not feasible – production numbers are too low, you need something cheaper, something you can purchase as needed that does fit your quality requirements and suits your heritage, sort of.

So you buy from a reputed Swiss movement manufacturer. But since you have all the heritage and brand equity – you feel your customers should not really bother about these minute details. It’s a watch you stand behind 100%, you give 8 years of warranty on it! It’s YOU!  You think to yourself hey, Toyota uses in their own sports cars engines from Subaru (in the Toyota GT86) and BMW (Toyota Supra). So what gives…. Let’s call it our own.

Guess what – we are FINE with that. We understand that at specific price points – it might not make any financial sense to use an in house movement. And movements from Selitta, Soprod, STP, Eterna, Kenissi, ETA, Seiko, Citizen perfectly fit the bill – they all produce some mighty fine movements that can be used. They might be even produced for you exclusively.

But….

For everything that is holy in the world of horology:

Tell us what you did!!

The “How should I tell?” question:

Easy. Like this:

The Flux Capacitor FC-008W movement:

  • 28,800 bph
  • 42hrs power reserve
  • 21 Jewels
  • Hours, Minutes, Second, Date
  • Now the shocker: BASED ON ETA 2892-A2 movement with these customizations:
    • Custom rotor with Marty McFly portrait in gold
    • Added Time travel module with in-house fairy dust (19
    • Proprietary Doc Brown shock absorber

You decorated the movement, tell us! You regulated the movement in 100 more positions, tell us!!

Anything you did to make this movement better – share it!! That’s the stuff that’s appreciated.

But don’t tell stupid things like this (sorry Monta you are the bad example): “Movement MONTA Caliber M-23 – Self-winding, highly-tuned movement manufactured and assembled in Switzerland” – when that’s seriously all you have to say? About this supposedly so awesome and “highly tuned” movement? Nope – not good enough. Just TELL US – we can handle the truth!!

The “Why should I?” question: Because EVERYBODY wins. In fact it’s a triple win. Let me explain

  • Win 1: The non-watch-nerd doesn’t care what you call it or what’s inside the watch at all, he wants a watch from your brand for the heritage, tradition, design, social status, etc. NEUTRAL WIN
  • Win 2: The watch nerd does care and appreciates the transparency. Instead of spending valuable time to figure out what your Hublyflub FU-L8R movement actually really is, you can be proud of it and boast it, own it. Trust me, watch nerds give you oodles of respect for being transparent. WIN
  • Win 3: You don’t have to live with something you deep down know is wrong like all pretenders do. Your company wins respect with watch aficionados and collectors resulting in better word of mouth, nicer reviews, fewer mentions of obfuscation, cheating, greedy bastards swearwords – WIN

Watchnerd Appreciation And Respect Quadrant (WAARQ):

© Koolpep – Research Institute & Center of Horological Transparency (RICHT)

Some Examples

Bremont MBIII/BZ with BE-93-2AE movement – modified ETA2892-A2 COSC certified, decorated, though never to be seen behind solid case back and soft iron cage)

Chanel J12 (old version) ETA 2892 movement – undecorated replaced with the new 12.1 movement by Kenissi (joint venture with Tudor) exclusively for Chanel

Bulgari Octo Roma – in house movement 191

Longines Master Collection L687.2 movement – Caliber L687.2 is Longines version of the ETA / Valjoux 7751 movement, updated with column-wheel and a longer power reserve. This self-winding movement features a full calendar with indicators for the day, date and month, a chronograph, a moonphase indicator and an 24-hour indicator. (from watchbase)

Frederique Constant Worldtime – in house movement FC-718

Ulysse Nardin – in house movement

Longines VHP L288.2 movement  – based on ETA 56.111 (exclusive for Longines)

Porsche Design with ETA 2894-2 37-jewel automatic chronograph movement with in-house modular chronograph Dubois Dépraz 2030 module, decorated with blued screws, Geneva stripes, polished plates. And a rotor in the design of the Porsche Design 2 wheels.