Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

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Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby koimaster » November 7th 2012, 1:43pm

Last edited by Anonymous on November 7th 2012, 8:55pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby elau » November 7th 2012, 2:25pm

That's it!! I am changing my hobby to collecting stamps.

Or should I stop hating Android and start hoarding them instead? It appears even the so called in-house movements are bogus.

These are the most depressing articles I read.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby koimaster » November 7th 2012, 2:49pm

elau wrote:That's it!! I am changing my hobby to collecting stamps.

Or should I stop hating Android and start hoarding them instead? It appears even the so called in-house movements are bogus.

These are the most depressing articles I read.



Well at least the good news is they banned the tool lactos intolerent.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby jason_recliner » November 7th 2012, 3:47pm

elau wrote:These are the most depressing articles I read.


Not if you're a fan of Casio, Citizen and Seiko!
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby elau » November 7th 2012, 4:24pm

I am sure given enough time Koi will find some articles about their movements too.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby jason_recliner » November 7th 2012, 5:12pm

Actually, Casio did use a few Citizen movements. Or was it the other way around?

But generally speaking, these three are true manufacturers in every sense of the word. You don't have to spend Rolex money to get full vertical integration. Thank god.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby wottime » November 7th 2012, 5:30pm

Great reads. Thanks for posting. Do agree with JR. Love my Orients as well.

jason_recliner wrote:
elau wrote:These are the most depressing articles I read.


Not if you're a fan of Casio, Citizen and Seiko!
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby Gators5220 » November 7th 2012, 6:38pm

Thanks. This article proves what many knew.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby smellody » November 7th 2012, 7:47pm

Great post. Good info.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained) (ETA "modifications & upgrades")

Postby Don Barzini » November 7th 2012, 10:22pm

This dude gets some air time with this from time to time, but he is completely missing the boat. Yet all the WUS guys cum all over him. His analysis is stupid!

He simply notes that decorative items are available pre-ordered from Swatch(ETA, Valjoux). So what? He neglects to inspect the modified ebauches or finished Calibers against the Swatch finished movements or talk to any knowledgeable watch maker and assumes modifications are only to the rotor and blued screws. So because Swatch offers some decorative options that proves….uh, that doesn't prove anything, unless you are only concerned with decorative changes.

The issue of true modification is NOT decorative – it’s substantive. Really, this guy is a clown – not a WIS.

Here is a Sticky Thread with a misleading title, but it applies to other manufacturers How do I know? IWC, on the other hand, recently decided to continue with ETA and Valjoux movements on their lower end models rather than switch to other makers faced with the Swatch embargo on modifying finished movements or ebauches.

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f39/how-much-does-breitling-modify-their-eta-movements-comparison-omega-tag-heuer-iwc-487935.html

And here is what is important about substantive modification and mindful that the bigger higher end manufacturers typically only purchase “ebauches,” which are not finished movements.


Here is a part of that sticky Thread –

“You cannot merely “re-work” an ebauche. An ebauche is a partial movement in kit form, but importantly it does not include mainspring, mainspring barrel or any of the escapement. If you add the missing pieces to an ebauche then you have a chablon, still in kit form.


Breitling [and other brands like Omega, etc.] does not reveal the specifics, but it is widely known they are starting with an ebauche and then add a new glycodur balance and the new hairspring is a nivarox 1 (1 being the highest grade, lowest is 5) or even anachron. The mainspring in the new barrel is also a nivarox (nivaflex) or anachron assumedly. Some screws in the ebauche are replaced by blued versions. The oscillating weight is decorated with "Côtes de Genève" and signed in 18K gold. Even the raw ebauches Breitling begins with are top grade ( 3 ) also which is obviously a better base for the modifications.

Also, well before the cessation of supply of ebauches from Swatch, Breitling began producing a number of additional pieces of components of these movements in house (through the subsidiary company Kelek) which removes the need for any reworking / refinishing because they can simply produce them to their own specifications initially. (NOT referring to the completely in-house 01 movement) This was possible as the patents/copyrights on the various ETA/Valjoux movements had long since expired.

OT a bit, but the expiration of the patents coupled with in house production of many of the parts that comprise the ebauche actually retained in the finished movement, made the Swatch Group decision less damaging than many believe.

A finished Breitling Caliber is an excellent movement. On the other hand, IWC has elected to go a different route – on their non-in house pieces, they are purchasing fully finished Chronometer Grade movements from Swatch and installing them untouched (by IWC) in the watches.

Bottom line – Breitling does not apply window dressing to outside movements. A Breitling caliber is an excellent movement even if it doesn’t claim full “in house” recognition like the 01.”

I think we need a Newer New Testament. You know, the one where God reveals His new covenant with corporations.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby eddiea » December 8th 2013, 10:17am

Don Barzini wrote:This dude gets some air time with this from time to time, but he is completely missing the boat. Yet all the WUS guys cum all over him. His analysis is stupid!
Bottom line – Breitling does not apply window dressing to outside movements. A Breitling caliber is an excellent movement even if it doesn’t claim full “in house” recognition like the 01.”

I agree, funny thing is that I found most folks so ready to voice an opinion, have never seen an ETA/Valjoux based Breitling movement , the workmanship and high end components involved, make the original look cheap in comparison.
Technically speaking, still an ETA after Breitling work on them , just muuuuuuch better.....
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby 3Flushes » December 17th 2013, 4:04pm

This is a great thread for the new guys around here.

Given the interesting ripple effects ETA's hammerlock on movements is having; inspiring some brands to develop in house movements, causing others to seek Japanese or Chinese alternatives, I can't help but wonder how long it will be until Swatch's ETA stratagem begins to extend to Nivarox as well.

@eddie- looking forward to hearing your impressions of the 01
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby biglove » December 17th 2013, 6:27pm

3Flushes wrote:This is a great thread for the new guys around here.

Given the interesting ripple effects ETA's hammerlock on movements is having; inspiring some brands to develop in house movements, causing others to seek Japanese or Chinese alternatives, I can't help but wonder how long it will be until Swatch's ETA stratagem begins to extend to Nivarox as well.

@eddie- looking forward to hearing your impressions of the 01


Missed these. Thanks for bumping them. Quick, easy and informative reads.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby oak1971 » December 17th 2013, 8:31pm

Looks like he got the ban hammer over there. Too bad, as he had some good info but for failing to mention the amount of work some put into "modding" the movements.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby gerdson » December 18th 2013, 12:15am

I have a mid-eighties Tissot PR100 Chrono with Valjoux 7750. That thing was as raw as You can get them (before I modded it myself, different story), even only a 17 jewels version. Despite that it runs in incredible precision. You can tell me what You want, and they may be adding toppest grade balance springs and what not - ETA 7750, right out of the box, in lowest grade, is just about all anyone needs (if only it was not so ugly). That applies for the 2824 as well (which is less ugly, but still carries a rotor).
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby eddiea » December 18th 2013, 4:55am

gerdson wrote:I have a mid-eighties Tissot PR100 Chrono with Valjoux 7750. That thing was as raw as You can get them (before I modded it myself, different story), even only a 17 jewels version. Despite that it runs in incredible precision. You can tell me what You want, and they may be adding toppest grade balance springs and what not - ETA 7750, right out of the box, in lowest grade, is just about all anyone needs (if only it was not so ugly). That applies for the 2824 as well (which is less ugly, but still carries a rotor).

Gerdson.......
Following your rationale a plain Casio is "all anyone needs" to enjoy accurate time keeping...
Me thinking , when it comes to what we need, folks mileage vary .... as a rule of thumb, is best to speak for yourself and what your needs are and laid off assuming "all anyone else needs" according to the book of Gerdson.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby gerdson » December 18th 2013, 6:28am

True, sorry, this was not very accurate. Plus I myself certainly still need my Valjoux 72's etc. etc... :-)
What I wanted to point out is, that the potential for optimization of these movements is more on the looks, then on the accuracy, because right out of the box, in standard grade, they are incredibly good. There is always room for improvement, and anyone can decide for themselves whether and to what extent to invest into this. But I do still claim, that a lot of the manufacturers are tuning the standard ETA in order to justify their exorbitant prices rather, than really adding quality.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby eddiea » December 18th 2013, 8:11am

gerdson wrote:True, sorry, this was not very accurate. Plus I myself certainly still need my Valjoux 72's etc. etc... :-)
What I wanted to point out is, that the potential for optimization of these movements is more on the looks, then on the accuracy, because right out of the box, in standard grade, they are incredibly good. There is always room for improvement, and anyone can decide for themselves whether and to what extent to invest into this. But I do still claim, that a lot of the manufacturers are tuning the standard ETA in order to justify their exorbitant prices rather, than really adding quality.

Disagree (and agree) with you ,
In general, the utilization of high end materials such Zenith's Zenithium pallet cocks , Breguet's silicon anchors, hairsprings and escape wheels , Patek Philippe and Ulysses Nardin, experiments with silicon or Rolex Parachrom Blu hairsprings are not gimmicks , not only they produce outstanding results in the overall performance of their movements but contribute to keep those performances in the long run, is not just about regulating a movement to COSC specs, is about keeping that accuracy(as well as shock/magnetic fields resistance etc.) over the years.
Agree with you that some manufactures charge a premium for what amounts to be aesthetic bits, mostly to the uninformed public.
This however is not the ETA fitted Breitling case, who are furnished with a Nivaflex 1 main springs, Nivarox 1 or Anachron balance springs , replaced metal bearings on some Valjoux movements with jewel bearings etc. (true for some IWC models as well) Kelek has been instrumental in the overall high-end craftsmanship and finish of Breitling's ETA movements.
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby koimaster » November 7th 2016, 12:44pm

Smoke and Mirrors ETA grades explained.pdf








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Re: Smoke and Mirrors -parts 1 & 2 (ETA grades explained)

Postby Thunder1 » November 7th 2016, 1:14pm

Good read..ULACKFOCUS posted a lot at the WTF site, but has tailed off the last few years...
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