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One of the first things watch enthusiasts run into when getting into the hobby is the debate and discussion about movements. You learn the Swiss names like ETA and Sellita, others like STP or La Joux-Perret, and of course, the Japanese behemoths Seiko and MIYOTA. While you don’t have to look back even a full decade to find a time when most mechanical watches seemed to have either an ETA or a Seiko in them, over the past few years, MIYOTA’s movements have been getting more and more popular. Seen in brands from MB&F to Baltic to Timex, and everything in between, there’s good reason for this surge: MIYOTA offers an unparalleled value when it comes to movements, providing reliable, high-quality calibers at specs that outperform and prices that undercut much of the competition — and it’s all thanks to the craftspeople who work every day to make sure that MIYOTA can deliver an exceptional product.

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Before the brand was formally established, MIYOTA’s roots took hold in the town of the same name in Nagano Prefecture in central Japan. That’s where Citizen built its first movement factory in 1959. It wasn’t until 1980 that Citizen established the MIYOTA brand, and the 3-hand quartz Cal. 2035 it introduced just a year later has been used in billions of watches. With the resurgence of mechanical timepieces, MIYOTA  introduced the Cal. 8000 series, which became one of the bestselling mechanical movement series ever. Its latest collection of movements is the Cal. 9000 series, offering the brand’s thin, premium collection of movements that have since become the calibers of choice for microbrands.

The MIYOTA Cal. 2035

From a business perspective, it would be hard to deny that quartz remains the movement maker’s bread and butter. The Cal. 2035 remains ubiquitous among stylish, affordable quartz timepieces, and MIYOTA’s 0S movements are the go-to for quartz-powered chronos. That said, in the enthusiast market, mechanical rules the day, and the MIYOTA Cal. 8000 and Cal. 9000 series have more than proven themselves worthy of any watch lover’s affection. For example, while every mechanical movement the brand produces is factory tested under a process supervised by MIYOTA technicians to at least -20/+40 seconds per day (-10/+30 for the 9000 series), it’s not uncommon to experience far better accuracy from the movements. Add to that a standard 4hz beat rate with a power reserve of 42 hours (higher than ETA and Sellita) and it’s no wonder MIYOTA’s movements are such a clear choice for brands — and why watches with the movements are so attractive to consumers.

It’s not just the specs that make MIYOTA calibers so appealing, though. Coupled with their accessible pricing, the serviceability is simply unbeatable. There’s no need for a watch owner to send a MIYOTA-equipped watch to a specialized service center, as any competent watchmaker can work on the movements. And it’s that same ease of servicing that has allowed many brands to handle their own warranty repairs, or partner with a local watchmaker to do so. Learning all this about MIYOTA, it’s perhaps not entirely surprising that it manufactures every component in its movements, from the plates to the jewels to the springs. Keeping everything under one roof is part of what allows the brand to ensure that strict standards for quality are met in every movement examined by the quality control teams.

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The Visitor Watch Co. Linden features the MIYOTA Cal. 9015 with a custom rotor.

In the past five or so years, MIYOTA has introduced two calibers that have helped advance watch design and microbrand watches. The first was the MIYOTA Cal. 9039, introduced in 2018. Now so common as to be unremarkable, the automatic Cal. 9039 delivered a true no-date movement without forcing compromise, and it did so in a thinner package than the date-equipped Cal. 9015. For brands, this meant there was finally an affordable, readily available no-date movement. Almost immediately, the phantom date position on crowns disappeared and brands started to deliver thinner, more wearable watches.

In 2022, though, the MIYOTA Cal. 9075 was introduced, bringing a true GMT caliber to the masses. Prior to the Cal. 9075, any brand hoping to make a GMT either relied on expensive Swiss calibers or quartz movements — most of which offered “caller” functionality without an independent hour hand. The Cal. 9075 ushered in a rapid expansion of affordable automatic GMT watches on the market that still shows no sign of slowing.

MIYOTA’sdrive doesn’t stop at movements. The brand is also making changes to be more sustainable. The main factory in Nagano — sited on a heavily planted green zone — has just had its roof tiled with solar panels that will deliver 20% of the building’s electricity annually. The entire Citizen company practices green procurement, sourcing minerals and raw materials from the most eco-friendly supply chains possible. It has even pushed those values into its movements: The brand has recently released two solar-powered movements, adding to its existing environmentally friendly quartz calibers.

In January of 2023, MIYOTA embarked on a rebranding campaign with a renewed commitment to reliability, sustainability, and trust, conveyed first by a redesigned logo that stylizes a watch and the movements for which MIYOTA is revered. From creating the smallest jewel to final assembly and testing, MIYOTA’s commitment to excellence is underpinned by the matched commitment of those who work for the brand. It’s these men and women who ensure that every component meets the brand’s high expectations and that every finished movement delivers what brands and consumers know MIYOTA for: reliability and value. As MIYOTA continues to push forward and expand its offerings, the watch world will only become richer for having more reliable movement options around which to build incredible timepieces. To learn more about MIYOTA and its movements, please visit the MIYOTA website

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