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Why Don’t You Discuss Watch Movements In Reviews More?

Mark E. from Athens, GA asks:

I’ve been following your blog for years now and love the watch reviews. One thing always puzzles me, though. Why don’t the reviews contain more details on the watch movements? If the topic was fine autos, a major portion of the review would focus on the engine and transmission. I realize the analogy is not exact, and the space allotted per review is limited, but the movement is really the heart of the watch. How about adding a new section in the blog dedicated to just movements?

We don’t want people to take this the wrong way, but sometimes hyper-focusing on only the movement inside of a watch can distract from other important elements. These days a lot of the appeal of a watch can come from its case, dial, or even bracelet. Much of the time watches contain the same or similar movements and are only differentiated by what is on the outside. In light of that we really don’t feel it is necessary to explain what goes into the most popular ETA-produced movements time after time. If gets a bit repetitive to explain the tech specs of a Valjoux 7750 or 2824-2 hundreds of times.

When it comes to a lot of the more unique or in-house movements, we try to differentiate what is special about them and their basic performance measures, such as the power reserve, and other unique technical features. Though, for the most part, mechanical watch movements have the exact same components, just arranged in slightly different ways. Again, when there is a very special or exotic movement inside of a watch we tend to focus on it more. If we don’t discuss the movement more it is often because little about it is unique enough to merit special discussion.

Another important point, is that we are not movement engineers and are not able to fully comment on the performance claims of brands. A rule-of-thumb, is that most mechanical movements are going to be about plus or minus 2-10 seconds accurate each day – depending on the movement and its regulation. So, when people are interested in strict accuracy, they tend to focus on quartz watch movements more. Even though us enthusiasts prefer owning and wearing mechanical watches.

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  • ZL

    Even if not discussed in each watch review, it would be cool to have a column specifically reviewing movements, especially popular ones like the ones you mentioned. In these reviews there could be examples of various watches and prices that all use the same movement. That would be VERY helpful and interesting for me 🙂

  • bigtophat

    ZL This is a fantastic idea.