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Thread: A Chinese movement assembled in Switzerland?

  1. #1
    Member Ace McLoud's Avatar
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    A Chinese movement assembled in Switzerland?

    Hi guys,

    While browsing Worn & Wound, this watch caught my eye:

    http://wornandwound.com/2014/12/11/r...atches-hooper/

    On the face of it, a cool-looking diver with an interesting backstory. Then I read this passage:

    Inside the Hooper is the Valanvron VAL-24 automatic movement. This is a 25 jewel movement beating at 28,800 vph with a quickset date and hacking seconds. Reports are that the movement is based on the Sea-Gull ST2130 which is rebuilt to qualify for the Swiss Made label. The VAL-24 is designed to be an ETA 2824 “competitor” and is similar in many ways.

    I wondered what you guys would make of this? Are they telling me the Swiss can assemble this movement better than Sea-Gull? What value is added other than the 'Swiss Made' declaration (probably a rhetorical quaestion). The price is also particularly eye-watering, especially compared to the price of Sea-Gull movements.

    Is this an example of a brand attempting to pull a fast one on the unsuspecting public, or a step-forward for the image of the Chinese movement industry in the eyes of the west?
    Orient Mako w. Sapphire Crystal Mod (Black) - 1947 Tudor Oyster - 1921 'Claridge' - Some Seiko 5's of various ages - Vostok Amphibia Blue Scuba Dude - Modded Soki & Bagelsports - Modded Orient Chicane 'Explorient' - HMT White Pilot LE - Shanghai - Vintage Citizen from 1971 - Quartz Casio dress watch - Casio G-Shock (Not sure of model, silver with analog hands) - Otron digital watch from the 70's.

  2. #2
    Member Ace McLoud's Avatar
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    I should add;

    a)Maybe it's been modified in some way?

    b)I'm not here to start a Chinese vs Swiss thread, I own both and I'm a fan of both. In any case, it seems doubly pointless here because they are both one and the same.
    Orient Mako w. Sapphire Crystal Mod (Black) - 1947 Tudor Oyster - 1921 'Claridge' - Some Seiko 5's of various ages - Vostok Amphibia Blue Scuba Dude - Modded Soki & Bagelsports - Modded Orient Chicane 'Explorient' - HMT White Pilot LE - Shanghai - Vintage Citizen from 1971 - Quartz Casio dress watch - Casio G-Shock (Not sure of model, silver with analog hands) - Otron digital watch from the 70's.

  3. #3
    I would say that the brand is trying to pull a fast one. By qualifying as Swiss made, they can charge a much higher price. They can also escape the bias that many have against chinese goods.

    Its a good looking chinese watch.

  4. #4
    MultiModerator Martin's Avatar
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    This is what you get when ETA limits it supply, creating a market demand. Selita jumped in, but the SeaGull is a very comparable movement.
    The strange thing is that not that long ago a standard grade ETA ebauche would go for less than $50 depending on volume. Now they use the same movement to warrant a price difference of several hundreds of dollars. To be honest I will choose a SeaGull over a (standard)2428 any day, when it's cases by a quality manufacturer. The quality is almost the same, and with the ETA I am sure I overpay, and I truly dislike the monopoly games played by swatch.

    Oh, and I also have nothing against either Swiss or Chinese. Just do not want to have anything to do with these crappy Japanese watches! (hehehe, just kidding of course )

  5. #5
    Depends on what form they get the movement and what they do to it, doesn't it?
    If it really was shipped as an ebauche kit (i.e unfinished, un-assembled and blank) then where the parts came from or who designed them doesn't amount to much.

    On the other hand if by "rebuilt" they actually just mean dis-assembled, cleaned then re-assembled and oiled then that's something else.
    Something else entirely would be if by "rebuilt", they mean they took off the factory rotor and fitted their own.

    The cost of a movement, bar any use of specific materials is in the finishing and I'm not just talking about decorative items; I'm talking about those little steps that takes place from the part being spat out by the machine and the part being made ready for use in a movement.
    As it has often been pointed out, not all 2824 are the same and not all of the same 2824 are equal.
    The same applies here.

  6. Likes Der Amf liked this post
  7. #6
    He he he he........"Valanvron"

  8. #7
    Good point Drunken Monkey. If they get the ebauche then they “should” have the opportunity to take the time and effort to finish it to the standard expected at the price point.

    Not that I have personally inspected the Valanron, but have used a lot of Seagull from Seagull and there is not much wrong with these - especially at the price point.

    This bring up the whole issue of “Swiss Made”. Claro is using a ST-6 from Seagull. Isoprog is (as I have been told) is using Seagull ST-36 series movements. So are a few other Europeans…

    Depends on the level of detail and finishing. I saw some photos of the Dixmont – 5 Goat Watch Factory and it is easy to see why many Chinese movements and watches get a lot of hair and skin in them.
    But no, let’s not get into a Swiss vs Chinese. It is more a level of who is better at finishing and Quality Control. But I have to say Seagull quality has improved over the years I have been using them. But it always comes down to what are prepared or expect at the price point.

    Saying that, I have recently had an exchange with Euro-guy Seagull vs Hangzhou….

    All good grist for the mill.

    Dan

  9. Likes Martin liked this post

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