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Larry from Calgary

Omega Quartz

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There was an earlier topic were someone made a comment like 'Omega doesn't put cheap quartz movements in their watches'. My intent is not to revive the topic, but to ask is there any difference between the quartz movement used in an expensive quartz watch (i.e. Omega) versus the quartz movements found in a discount store quartz watch?

One of my friends at work has recently purchased a new Omega Prestige Quartz and asked what I thought of it, knowing I have an interest in watches. I told him it was nice but didn't wnat to burst his bubble knowing that he would likely have paid over a $2000 or more $ CDN for it. For some reason I have it in the back of my mind that it probably contains a low-cost-to-maufacture quartz movement even if it says OMEGA on the dial......so I did an internet search.

What I have found is an internet supplier who sells the following.....

"ESA , ETA and Omega Circuit Board 255.111. This is the same circuit board with coil used in the following quartz watch movements; ETA 255.111, 255.121, 255.122, 255.265, 255.266, 255.411, 255.421, 255.461, 255.471, 255.485, 255.487, 255.495

Longines 156.20, 156.4, 157.2, 163.2, 170.2, 172.20

Omega 1430, 1431, 1432, 1435, 1437, 1438, 1444"

The selling price for the above part is $21.40 USD

Now even if the Omega "modified" version of this base unit cost 1000 % more that still only makes it a $200 USD movement in a likely $2000 CDN watch, BUT is it anymore acccurate than the $21.40 USD quartz version?

Sorry in advance if this topic stirs things up a bit, it is not my intenet to do so. The question is an honest one!

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I don't know what the movement in an Omega costs or is worth, but I think there are at least a couple of things at work in the accuracy and performance of a quartz watch. The first being the circuit board and it's quality of parts and manufacture. The second being the tolerance and quality of the mechanical aspects of the watch (jewels, gears, shafts and whatever). I just bought a ten year old Seamaster quarts for a good price (a less popular one, not one of those painfully expensive Professional ones with the Bond crap going on). It seems to be accurate and the second hand seems to line up fairly well. I would like to find out what movement is in it but Omega's website does not seem to have any information on it, maybe when it needs a battery. I guess the problem, for people who know something about watches, is when an expensive watch has a cheap movement in it that works well, can you swallow hard and pay the price? The only thing alot of people know is that if it does not cost $15,000 and have a crown on the dial, it isn't good enough.

Later,

William

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What a lot of people assume is that if a watch is expensive it means that it cost a lot to make, that is, the cost of the components in the watch have a influence on the final retail price of the piece.... This is wrong, the retail price of the watch is mostly made up of what the market will pay for that brand.....

What you as a customer have to decide is if it is worth it for you, where do you draw the line at the margin your prepared to pay over the base cost of anything?

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lets imagine there was no such thing as a quartz watch.

You spend 5 years and hundreds of thousands of pounds developing one.

you then set up a factory to produce them, which you work out to cost around £20 each to make when all costs are taken into account.

When you pitch your retail price are you going to recoup your R&D costs, the cost of building the factory etc? Of course you are.

Companies lke Omega, Breitling etc spend a hell of a lot on R&D, advertising, corporate sponsership etc etc, these costs have to be recouped. They sell their watches at a price they feel the market will pay, that price will vary depending where the market is.

When years down the line the copies come along or the original company is selling off it's old design as it's developing new designs then the price wll come down as the secondary companes haven't the original costs to recoup.

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Whilst Jason of course must be correct, it is worth further examination.

I have spoken many times to John Moody at Swatch, who is IMO a genius.

Regarding the quartz movements in the modern SMP's, Omega in particular personalise their quartz movements much more than some would have you believe here, e.g with rhodium plating.

Omega quartz has the ability to move the hour hand separately when moving the hour forward or backwards as they only use high grade movements, and make them much more smoother running than obtained in the standard.

Do we take it that Brietling quartz movements are also cheap and not worth the extra money. Try telling that to a B1 owner!!!!

I resonally have said in the past that I wouldn't wish to pay more than £300 for a quartz, but I do with hindsight believe as things are today that Omega quartz are that bit different in terms of quality, and as the old addage says, you get what you pay for. There is something about the way Omega are screwed together and the quality.

That is my opinion to which I am entitled.

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You are correct Griff ;) , Im not saying Omega Breitling etc quartz movements are poor quality, far from it, they are excellent and far far removed from 'cheap' modules ...

But Im sure that in cost terms the price of the movement to the manafacturer is tiny....

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I was so happy with my Omega quatz SMP and thought it did represent such good value for money that i bought another one :D

med_gallery_601_19_58723.jpg

Servicing and battery replacement is cheaper than for the auto chronometer too :lol:

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Interesting discussion. I suspect there's an analogy here with a £2 light switch - an inexpensive component, but your satisfaction will be determined largely by the skill and care of the electrician who installs it, for which you'll pay far more than the cost of the switch itself.

I've had a quartz Omega DeVille since 1995, and not only has it never gone wrong but it's been noticeably more accurate than my cheaper quartz watches. It probably deviates by as much in a month as my other watches do in a week.

I'm now considering a quartz Omega as a Significant Birthday present for my wife (who gave me mine when we got engaged); although I know it's a lot to pay for a quartz watch (for any watch, come to that!) I can be confident it will still be giving satisfaction many years from now, and will probably need nothing but the occasional new battery to keep it going.

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Larry, that part you gave a price quote on is only the circuit board. The whole movement is metal, and gold plated, and actually costs about $100, and that's just the ETA 255.461 version. The Omega movement is Rhodium plated. Rhodium is the most corrosive resistant and expensive metal there is at the moment. As far as mechanical vs. quartz...they both have their place.

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lets imagine there was no such thing as a quartz watch.

You spend 5 years and hundreds of thousands of pounds developing one.

you then set up a factory to produce them, which you work out to cost around £20 each to make when all costs are taken into account.

When you pitch your retail price are you going to recoup your R&D costs, the cost of building the factory etc? Of course you are.

Companies lke Omega, Breitling etc spend a hell of a lot on R&D, advertising, corporate sponsership etc etc, these costs have to be recouped. They sell their watches at a price they feel the market will pay, that price will vary depending where the market is.

When years down the line the copies come along or the original company is selling off it's old design as it's developing new designs then the price wll come down as the secondary companes haven't the original costs to recoup.

This sounds just like the "Evil Pharmaceutical Companies." Everyone wants cheap medicine, but no one wants to pay for the R&D. Bottom line is, if we want good stuff, someone has to pay for it.

harleymanstan

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I miss Griff :(

Anyone heard from him? ...I could email him but others probably already have...

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