Japanese Miyota Targets Swiss ETA With Caliber 9000 Series Watch Movements

Japanese Miyota Targets Swiss ETA With Caliber 9000 Series Watch Movements

Japanese Miyota Targets Swiss ETA With Caliber 9000 Series Watch Movements   watch industry news

For about 10 years ETA has been threatening to stop supplying third-party (outside the Swatch Group) watch brands with movement kits. The horological drama has been high, with the Swiss government weighing in several times, and ETA seemingly going back and forth with what they are going to do. Before Nicolas Hayek died, the latest was that ETA would no longer be supplying (ebauches) movement kits to third party watch brands, but they could get assembled kits. There were rumors that he actually would be giving kits to select outside Swatch Groups brands that he hand picked. Then he died, and now it isn't clear who will get ETA movements and how. Whatever the fact may be for the next few years, watch brands that used to rely on ETA movements have been looking elsewhere for alternatives. This is because completed movement kits from ETA would be much more expensive and much harder to get.

Japanese Miyota Targets Swiss ETA With Caliber 9000 Series Watch Movements   watch industry news

One place many have looked to is Japan. While Japanese movements don't have the name prestige that Swiss movement do, they are often very good, and high in the value department. I got news that Citizen owned Miyota has developed and released a new line of mechanical movements made to compete with some work-horse ETA movements such as the wildly popular 2824 automatic. The new collection from Miyota is the Calibre 9000 series, and comes in three flavors right now.

The first is the Calibre 9015, which is the closest competitor to the 2824. The same width as the 2824 (11.5 linges), this mechanical movement features automatic winding, hand winding, the date, and three-central hands. Power reserve is over 42 hours, and it beats at 28,800 bph. Nicely decorated, the movement is supposed to cost a lot less than the gold standard from Switzerland that it is competing with. The entire point of the movement is to serve is a viable alternative to the 2824 that is much cheaper but satisfies the consumer in the best possible manner. It is also quite slim at 3.9mm thick. Click here for a full technical description.

Japanese Miyota Targets Swiss ETA With Caliber 9000 Series Watch Movements   watch industry news

Japanese Miyota Targets Swiss ETA With Caliber 9000 Series Watch Movements   watch industry news

Next is a very similar watch movement, but this one has an open view into the escapement. This is the Miyota Calibre 90S5. Aside from the open escapement (for when designers want to have a window to the "beating heart of the watch" on the dial), the 90S5 should be more or less identical to that 9015. You can see full technical description of it here.

Last is the Calibre 9100. This pieces offers a few complications, but is still mechanical. Complex Japanese movements like this are quite rare. The majority of mechanical Japanese movements out there have just the time and a day/date function. If you saw a movement like this in a Japanese watch, you'd likely assume it was a quartz movement. While the 9100 will be the lease used of the three here, it is the most interesting. Functionally it has the time, day, date, month, a synchronized 24 hour hands, and a top mounted power reserve indicator. Not sure whether it is an annual or monthly calendar (would dictate when the calendar needs to be adjusted). A Swiss movement like this would not be cheap, and Miyota will offer it for what are comparatively speaking - bargain prices. I don't have a price list in front of me, but I know the savings over Swiss movements will be substantial. Click here for a full technical description of the 9100.

Japanese Miyota Targets Swiss ETA With Caliber 9000 Series Watch Movements   watch industry news

Japanese Miyota Targets Swiss ETA With Caliber 9000 Series Watch Movements   watch industry news

While the prices for these movements will likely be impressive given their quality and function, they are still going to be hard to get. This I know. Another issue is accuracy. While there are some higher-end Japanese movement with amazing accuracy, most of those that compete with rank-and-file Swiss ones aren't ultra impressive. But that really, really depends on what you compare them against. A 2824 can be regulated to be within COSC Chronometer accuracy (about 4-6 seconds a day accuracy), but Miyota lists the Calibre 9000 series has having between 10 - 30 seconds a day accuracy. While it is possible that my expectations are wrong, the range closer to 30 seconds a day rather worries me. Does that mean they can be upgraded or regulated for addition accuracy? Perhaps. I wonder where the weak link is. The balance spring? The mainspring? Not sure.

Watch brands out there will have a new set of weapons when wanting affordable "nice" mechanical watches. Everyone else out there should know what these new Miyota Calibre 9000 movements are all about when seeing them in watches. Look for them pretty soon.

14 comments
Timeclock
Timeclock

I recently purchased a new timepiece from a up and coming company (Deep Blue) who primarily builds dive watches. They just introduced a new  watch with the cal. 9100 in it and it is very impressive. As one writer said and I would concur that they are a bit modest on their accuracy (30sec). They are far better than that. More like 10 sec a day or even less. This observation has been in just over a weeks’ time. 40+ hrs on the power reserve is spot on and they do stop second (hack). With the turmoil that Swatch has created and other companies going to “in-house movements” New blood in this stuffy movement market is a good thing. I would hope that Citizen/Miyota continue the course they are on. They are certainly making all the right moves at this point.

 

Chronoman
Chronoman

In my experience the Japanese are very modest when they make statements about the accuracy of their movements. I own 2 vintage Seiko chronos, one from 1969 and one from 1972. They have different movements both of which are extremely accurate: one keeps time to about -1 sec per day, the other to about -6 sec per day. I have not asked a watchmaker to regulate them but perhaps they can run even more accurate. Formex lists a great looking new watch sporting the Miyota 9100 movement on its website.

lukas lee
lukas lee

Are the new movements equipped with Stop-second mechanism ?

Dhanesh Dave
Dhanesh Dave

Nice movement ;which can be used in many and nurtured in many models as such future is full of Mechanical and Automatic watches rather then Quartz watches .

Shinytoys
Shinytoys

I agree with everything that was said above. The Japanese have been making wonderfully accurate manual and automatic movements for at least 40 years, Seiko, Orient, Citizen, Miyota etc. There isn't a doubt in my mind that Asian movements could become more detailed, more flashy, thinner, fatter, or somewhere in between, they could give the swiss night sweats and ultimately become the "gold standard". I am sure more than a few of you are familiar with the Lexus brand of automobile. I don't think there is an R&D group more sophisticated, and able to produce cars that make the rest of the world stand up and notice. They are also incredible well funded and well run companies. Mercedes and BMW would like to have the market share back that Lexus took from them, and that has been written and documented in magazines.
You could very well be looking at the new world supplier of elite watch movements from Miyota...give it time ...

ASRSPR
ASRSPR

Comparing the COSC spec with mass production movement spec is hardly apt. It is insensible to state that the 2824 "can be" regulated to COSC spec - generally only the highest grade of the movements are sent in for certification and certainly not all copies pass. The specification accuracy is a wide range that serves as a basic factory QC guarantee and shouldn't be seen as a guideline for practical accuracy.

We look at the 2824 spec sheet lists the specification accuracy of different grades of the movement and see that the standard grade 2824 does not have much better specs:
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l290/j_a_lind/Unused%20Watch%20Pix/2824-2AccuracyandPrecisionSpecs.gif

Whether due to regulation by the assembler, nonlinear distribution within that accuracy range, or simple exaggeration for the purposes of grade-differentiation by ETA, practical experience shows that even very basic 2824 movements perform quite a bit better than the spec sheet would indicate.

Further, reports of widely available, low-cost, and current Japanese movements from Miyota, Seiko, and Orient indicates rather better performance than would be expected by their spec sheets.

Presumably, these new movements can be adapted to compete with ETA in higher end watches by creating higher tier grades, much like ETA.

Thomas Carey
Thomas Carey

Chris,

What Miyota adjusts their movements to and what they can be adjusted to are vastly different specs.

Kris C.
Kris C.

Not bad...
Although I don;t see how something can "compete" with a COSC movement when it is published with a daily loss (or gain) rate of 30 seconds... perhaps that is the unadjusted rate?

I'd need to know more before I take my wallet out. But the 9100 looks nice, anyway.

Speedmaster
Speedmaster

I wouldn't hesitate to buy one at the right price points.

Beau Hudspeth
Beau Hudspeth

This movement has been much anticipated by the industry and is sure to change the way some watches, that were/are VERY tall, can be made.

I know that NFW will be using it in one of their new releases and that George Fox is pretty excited about that fact, as I'm sure other manufactures are as well. New is cool and offers certain bragging rights, in addition to the obvious benefits a thin movement provides.

What I would like to see (for the sake of those buying the 1000's of Invicta's that are sold weekly ) is a variant of their Subaqua Noma & Venom line with this movement contained within. The daunting hight of these watches is one of their main drawbacks in my mind and the primary reason I can not wear one. At 18+mm thick, it is just too tall. I have tried them on before and they are top heavy unless counterweighted with a bracelet as well as they get 'caught' on everything you walk by. With the 9015, they could drop a few millimeters off that height and make a more appealing product.

There's my 2¢ ... for what it's worth.

admin
admin

That is a good point about them being modest about their rate results. It does of course happen. Still can't totally understand why aside from them giving themselves buffers in warranty situations.

1singur
1singur

The 7s26 in Seiko 5 watches is guaranteed to +/-30 sec/day in the manual. That's what Seiko writes in the booklet. However, mine had a +5 sec in about 24 hours. And that's a watch in the <100Euro category. It still be amazes me that Seiko is selling such precision for such low price. Definitely fitting for COSC standards :)

admin
admin

These aren't production watches - simply example designs that showcase the layout of the movements.

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