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Thread: Competition for the Rolex 4130?

  1. #1

    Competition for the Rolex 4130?

    Which chronograph movements could reasonably aspire to be mentioned in the same breath as the 4130?*

    Which movements could claim to be superior to it? And in what way?

  2. #2
    Member wschofield3's Avatar
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    Not sure about "superior", but the El Primero comes to mind. High beat and iconic anyway....

  3. #3
    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
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    The El primero is legendary but IMO in a conversation about the 4130, its worth noting the 4130 was develped specifically to improve upon the Rolexes version of the El Primero in every way. No completely new chronograph calibers had been developed for decades until the Datograph in 1999. Rolex followed in 2000 with the 4130. So I think to look at comparable calibers we must look at modern movements developed in the 21st century although the Zenith continues to hold its own.

    If we stick to automatics then I guess Breitling B01, Omega 9300, IWC 8900, JLC 751, Glashutte cal 37

    They all offer longer than 2 days power reserve, developed in the new century, column wheel and various distinctive innovations.

    I never got around to researching these others in depth but the following attributes of the 4130 are noteworthy (from my upcoming Daytona review)


    "- 4Hz movement with a large free sprung balance wheel and blued Parachrom hairspring with excellent chronometric and antimagnetic properties.

    - Simplified chronograph works for reliability and serviceability, I believe it has the fewest components of any automatic chronograph.


    - Column wheel actuation for refined operation and a serviceable vertical clutch. The vertical clutch is supposed to reduce or eliminate the impact of using the chronograph on time keeping and It also reduces the impact on power reserve. The 4130 vertical clutch is fully serviceable while most others are not and present a significant potential point of failure.


    - Simplified and combined mechanism for the minute and hour counters to increase space within the movement allowing the use of a larger mainspring and as a result a useful 72 hours of power reserve.


    - Highly efficient bi-directional winding (68% more efficient than the el primero derived 4030 movement in the 16520)

    Over the last 15 years the 4130 has picked up a reputation for being idiot proof to service and highly reliable"


    I don't know much about the B01 but from what I've read so far it seems to compete on specs but doesnt seem to offer anything distinctive

    Omega's co-axial 9300 of course has the long service interval and silicon hair spring with superior antimagnetic properties. And lets not forget the unique Daniel's co-axial escapement.

    IWC has thrown in a flyback agin not too familiar with the ins and outs of the movement.

    Don't know much about the JLC but I think it has a new type of vertical clutch

    The GO is very new and is seen on some rather expensive Senators as well as the new Seventies steel chrono. Like the Rolex it focuses on serviceability especially by simplifying the column wheel mechanism. Throws in flyback, power reserve and big date but uses a lateral clutch.

    At a much higher price point than all the above there is the Patek CH28 automatic used in the Nautilus 5990 and as the base of annual calendars like the 5905. But again not too familiar with all the details although it does use a vertical clutch.

    I might have missed a few. But what the 4130 has going for it is an unimpeachable record for reliability, precision and watchmakers love working on it. The others are newer and most have unique claims to technical innovations. Are any of them superior? I'm not sure... but they are definitely comparable.
    Last edited by tempocalypse; May 2, 2015 at 07:56 PM.
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    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Some prefer integrated designs and some modular for serviceability. The only one I know anything about is the 9300 which seems pretty advanced.
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  6. #5
    Superior?

    Well. if I had to stare at one all day long I prefer the Zenith 4043 - it is -IMO - superior looking (has a minute repeater too! Complication points!)





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  8. #6
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Rolex does simple, tough, reliable movements that are loved by watchmakers I think - they don't do complex - this is it! *

    *except for the hideous sky dweller
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  9. #7
    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
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    Well if we're going for complications and looks let's just give it to the Vacheron Harmony split seconds and call it a day

    But seriously though when we go that route we aren't really answering the OPs question on comparable calibers.

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    Super Member Raza's Avatar
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    7750.

  12. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Raza View Post
    7750.
    From a reliability/robustness point of view, that's probably not too far off the mark. Like the Rolex, it's designed for utility and not just for looks, like many of other "high-end" chronograph movements. There is something to be said for a movement designed purely for function rather than looks. However, the Rolex beats it handily due to all of the refinements Rolex has made over the years.

    That actually raises an interesting point. I wonder what the Rolex reliability and reputation would be like if they used display casebacks and designed their movements with looks in mind.

  13. #10
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion. The 7750 is a clutch chrono with around 50 hours pr. How does it compare to the rolex? I guess the wobble is a downside, and the thickness.
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