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How to Pronounce Watch Brand Names
Interesting website with voice sound recordings of watch brand names and some watch terminology.
Illustrated Dictionary of Watch Terms
Here is the Illustrated Professional Dictionary of Horology from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. It contains the definitions of the words and terms used in watchmaking.
Unitas 64xx Movements
Unitas 6497 and 6498 fans should check out the Unitas Reference Site for information on this beautiful workhorse pocket watch movement still used in many watches manufactured today, like the Glycine KMU 48 (6497) and F-104 (6498).
The easiest way to remember the differences between these two mechanical manual-wind movements is this: the 6497 has a sub-dial at the 9 o'clock position for the seconds hand, while the 6498 has the seconds hand at the 6 o'clock position.
ETA makes the most widely used watch movement in the world: the 2824 and variants. That is a blessing and a curse, in my opinion. Used in thousands of watch brands and models, on one hand ETA has helped to create and save many small (and large) watch manufacturers. But on the other hand, the reliance on ETA has created a near-monopoly in the hands of the Swatch Group, which now owns the company and has threatened to discontinue sales of movements outside of the corporation.
This would be disastrous in the short term, but may inspire a renaissance of watchmaking and the use of new technologies to create modern watch movements with would, ironically, then compete with and, hopefully, beat ETA at its own game. My feeling is that the Swatch Group is making a huge mistake and will fail miserably by removing what must be a huge income stream from their balance sheets when they stop selling movements.
But I very much relish the thought of new manufacturers and new watch movements and technology coming on line, from manufacturers located throughout the world. The playing field is completely diferent in the 21st Century; for example, the Chinese are making some excellent watch movements and I'm sure they are ready to launch a huge marketing push to help watch manufacturers replace ETA movements.
It's funny that in this article in Haute Horologie, the first sentence reads "Swatch Group’s announcement in 2002 that it would end deliveries of ETA blanks to third parties was seen by many as signing their death warrant".
The sentence is grammatically confusing, but I will read it as saying that the Swatch Group has signed their own death warrant!
Selitta is a Swiss watch movement manufacturer who is relatively unknown but is perfectly positioned to swoop in and take all of the customers Swatch is handing them on a silver platter as Swatch/ETA backs out of the movement parts market. Selitta currently manufactures the SW 200 and variants, found in many watches, including most of the new Limes watches, such as the Limes 1Tausend and Neptun.
Current watch manufacturers using Selitta movements of various types include well-known names such as Oris, Meistersinger, Nivrel, Limes, Invicta, Steinhart, Debraufre, Ocean7, Bathys, Arctos and Nauticfish, among others.
Probably the best known and certainly one of the most respected Chinese watch and movement manufacturers, Sea-Gull (Tianjin Sea-Gull Chinese main website and the U.S. Sea-Gull website) has been making some robust wristwatches and movements since 1955. Their portfolio includes highly regarded tourbillon movements and chronographs among other types.
For examle, the Sea-Gull M222s is a very nice mechanical, manual-wind watch that uses a Sea-Gull ST3600 movement that is very similar to the Unitas 6498. The M222s is very reasonably priced, especially considering it features a sapphire crystal, one of the nicest leather watch straps I've ever seen come from a facory (with a beautifully brushed buckle also), a clear presentation back, excellent lume and many other distinctive features. I own an M22s and it will be featured in an upcoming review.
Don't forget Vostok! This Russian company manufacturers their own movements too. Probably one of the least expensive watches available today is the manual-wind Komandirskie, featuring the Vostok-manufactured 2414. The Vostok Amphibia costs only a few dollars more and it's an automatic with the 2416 movement and a 200 m depth rating; be sure to read the webWatchWorld review of the Vostok Amphbia to learn more.