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2012 January 30
When perusing watch reviews and blogs, you’ll often read about ETA and Valjoux movements, or perhaps “manufacture” calibres. Perhaps you have heard of module complications or modified calibres in various brands. To the uninitiated this sort of under-the-hood jargon can be a bit confusing, and it warrants some clarification. Even seasoned watch lovers might not be aware of what is involved in the creation of a watch movement, and how many brands share common parts and calibres. So in the spirit of watch nut education, I present the latest instalment of Watches in Depth – Movement Calibres.
2010 July 08
Not every watch manufacturer makes their watches from the ground-up. Many of the best known Swiss companies purchase ébauches, which are blank or unfinished, high-grade movements produced by third-party companies such as Sellita or E.T.A. Once a brand is able to create their own, in-house mechanisms, it enters a select circle of companies dubbed the Manufactures. A manufacture is able to control the quality and look of their watch mechanisms. This often leads to the creation of amazingly finished spectacles of horology in as the manufacturer attempts to distinguish them from the more common third party ébauches. Frédérique Constant is a remarkable case, because few companies serving the entry-price level luxury market have ventured into manufacture territory. In 2004 the company released an in-house movement with a skeletonized components allowing a clear view of the beating balance assembly, and giving it the name Heart Beat. Since then the Heart Beat has evolved into four distinct calibres including the automatic-winding moon phase version that is featured in the video below.