STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

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STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby koimaster » June 2nd 2018, 12:32pm

Disclaimer: Due to business privacy issues, lack of public records, and the enigmatic nature of the watch industry, parts of this article may be opinions, extrapolations, or reasonable assumptions. Any opinions stated in this blog will be reasonably apparent.

The watch industry is a rather strange one to work in. Allow me to take a moment to outline what is/has been going on for the past 15 years:
Ball's customized 2824 can be found in watches that go upwards of $2000 USD. Photo credit: watchbase.com
Ball's customized 2824 can be found in watches that go upwards of $2000 USD.

Photo credit: watchbase.com
There is a huge corporation, Swatch, that essentially had a monopoly on the Swiss automatic movement market through their subsidiary movement manufacturer, ETA. They sold/sell to huge brands such as IWC, Breitling, TAG Heuer, and Longines, as well as relatively tiny brands such as Squale, Christopher Ward, and Steinhart, the latter two of which only started after 2002, a very important year in this narrative.



In 2002, the late Nicolas Hayek, then chairman of the Swatch Group announced that ETA would stop supplying movements to watch companies outside of the Swatch Group. This led to complaints from competitors, claiming that such a move would put them out of business, which in turn, led to an investigation by the Swiss Competition Commission in 2003. In 2005, ETA was ordered to continue supplying movements until 2008, at which point they were allowed to gradually reduce their deliveries over two years. This timeframe has since been extended to 2019, by which point, ETA would be allowed to reduce supplies by 70%. Likewise, Nivarox (more on them later) will be allowed to reduce their supply by 70% by the year 2023. This means that at that price point (~$250USD) ETA’s product was so good that their attempt to stimulate innovation and encourage competition would essentially backfire, driving all their competitors to bankruptcy.

https://www.noduswatches.com/blog/stp-1-11-vs-eta-2824
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby conjurer » June 2nd 2018, 1:17pm

This article doesn't totally blow.
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby TemerityB » June 2nd 2018, 4:39pm

Micros and startups that "failed to uphold a certain standard"?

Nahh - couldn't be!
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby kevco » June 2nd 2018, 7:11pm

Good article.
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby nimbleboy » June 4th 2018, 9:03pm

I appreciate this article. I still feel like I don't know anything, despite paying attention to and reading about watches for about 5.5 years. Granted, I haven't exactly studied, but this kind of thing is useful for my Sesame Street attention span.
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby conjurer » June 4th 2018, 9:54pm

STP is the racer's edge!
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby biglove » June 5th 2018, 4:37am

Makes some good sense.
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby TemerityB » June 5th 2018, 9:05am

I dunno. From the article, all I could really glean is that the STP 1-11 is really good, but it's not. Depends. Sort of.

I'm sure the movement is fine, but once again: You can't just sell your movements to crap low rent companies - when the watches are slapped together by who knows who, who knows where, and they crap out, some people will blame the movement and not the "watch brand."
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby conjurer » June 5th 2018, 9:36am

TemerityB wrote:I'm sure the movement is fine, but once again: You can't just sell your movements to crap low rent companies - when the watches are slapped together by who knows who, who knows where, and they crap out, some people will blame the movement and not the "watch brand."


Quite so. While the 2824 is certainly the Gold Standard for many brands selling for under two grand (and, in the case of Tudor or Breitling, much more), ETA sold to brands that were shit companies, and in some cases, apparently still does. The Swiss are, after all, businessmen, and when you have product sitting on the shelves, you sell it; ETA, for many years, sold to practically anybody, as long as the check cleared. STP is doing the same thing--as production ramps up, Zodiac can only use so many movements, and the rest are going to be sold someplace.

I have no experience at all with the new STP movement, although others here seem pretty impressed with them. I would guess that, as prices go up, or if ETA finally shuts the back door to their factory and stops selling to third parties, STP movements will become more popular in the lower-end market.
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby TemerityB » June 5th 2018, 11:44am

conjurer wrote:I have no experience at all with the new STP movement, although others here seem pretty impressed with them. I would guess that, as prices go up, or if ETA finally shuts the back door to their factory and stops selling to third parties, STP movements will become more popular in the lower-end market.


I can imagine that, except for micro-brands: I'm sure Miyota hails them as gifts from the gods these days.
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Re: STP 1-11 vs ETA 2824

Postby bobbee » June 5th 2018, 11:51am

It won't be long before those vintage watches using 2824's will be having the whole movement replaced with an STP because the parts can't be found.
When I say "won't be long" I mean maybe 10-15 years... 😉
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