Monday, 19 April 2010

Exploring Horology Part IVb

“Some of the genuine Swiss watches use ETA movement. Most of these ‘expensive Swiss’ uses the ETA 2824-2 and 2836 variants. Similar to the genuine, the fake uses the same movement. Some of the craftsmanship is not bad though! This is what the fake watch enthusiasts called replica. Some, you can’t differentiate with naked eye. ”- thetick-thetick

The Fake Rolex Explorer II
”Ini bukan original. Rolex mana ada ini macam punya engine ma! Ini lawya punya. Tapi engine Swiss original punya. Ini ETA 2836 ha bole guna empat jarum, bole guna hari punya calendar. Banyak jam Swiss pakai ini punya machine. Ini engine pun takda mahal. Jam saja mahal. Omega baru pakai ini machine”, Mr. Lee commented on my fake Explorer II.

Actually, he is true. I found from many official websites where in the product catalogue the company stated the use of ETA variants in their watch specifications. It is quite common for non-‘haute horlogerie’ Swiss watchmaker to use the ETA 2824 and ETA 2836 variants in their production. For chronograph, the ETA 2894 and Valjoux 7750 are the two dominant choices for mechanical movements. Same like the Unitas 6497 and 6498 big manual winding movement. The genuine Panerai uses the Unitas 6497. The Replica of Panerai uses the same movement. These movements are available for commercial production of any ‘Swiss Made’ or ‘Swiss Movt’ watches. I wonder how these movements get into the hands of ‘Chinese Taipan’ to produce replica, exact-copy, or fake watches. It is not my interest to know, but the price is somehow not bad!

Unitas 6497 used in genuine Panerai production. The same genuine movement used in high-grade Panerai replica.

To cut it short - I was a replica collector for sometime. I had Rolex Submariner (the world’s favourite replica), Rolex Explorer II, Rolex Date-Just, Panerai, and Omega blue Seamaster (used by Mr. “James Bond” Brosnan in the bond's movie). Among all, the Omega Seamaster fit the specification of the genuine as it uses the ETA 2824-2 ├ębouche as the base. The price was about 10% from the genuine price. Not bad huh? Just that… hmhhh… I don’t want to elaborate. Besides ETA replica, I also had the ‘China ETA’ replicas which are very ‘inferior’ – quality wise. I noticed that, you can never get a 100% exact replica of the genuine watch.

Watch out Mr. Bond, your Seamaster has a devil's twin using ETA 2824-2 as a fake!
Between the Genuine, Vintage, and Fake Watches
No doubt, genuine watches whether new or vintage satisfy me. The ETA Swiss fakes too. But not the China ETA. Some of these watch last only for a few months. Two reasons: one, because I gave it as goodies to friends and family members (after sometime I don’t like the watch, honestly). Secondly, I damage the watch while repairing by my self! The longest to survive is actually not that long. A year plus. You know why? The material used in making the China ETA is made of cast metal and it is very brittle. Very inferior quality! With a slight miss-turned, the train gear will damage. And, I suspect those jewels in the movement were not oiled. With absence of oil, the friction will soon damage the movement. The damage China ETAs have become my junkies. Some I use for repairing practice. Honestly, you better get a genuine cheap Seiko 5, or Orient, or maybe Citizen rather than buying the China ETA fake. Genuine watch comes with warranty. And the price is almost at the same range. Buy a China ETA fake, sooner or later you will regret.

The China made movement powering the fake watches - working but inferior quality.

Why I say ETA Swiss fake satisfy me? It satisfies my ego, actually. Honestly, to show-off lifestyle and social status. But, after studying every aspect of the genuine, I spotted the differences on the fake. Like the Rolex, you can’t get the exact magnification size of the date from the crystal (those days, but not the current production), the bracelets look vast different, and bla… bla… bla… and lastly my naked eyes observed the differences easily. Even until now, if am familiar with the genuine, I can spot the differences on the fake. My satisfaction is over!!! I sell all my ETA replicas to my friends. At a very low price, out of my dissatisfaction.

The genuine stays genuine, satisfactory. “The vintages need a good care. Don’t ever try to force or twist any parts within the movement if you are not an expert!” A vintage collector once advised me. Vintage, old movement spare parts a difficult to find. Besides wearing, I explore every aspect of the watch. Observing the quality of the movement, get it serviced and tuned if needed. I actually appreciate the vintage more than the new one. For me, it is because of its purity!

Genuine Second Hand Watches
Ever since stopping from collecting ‘glamour’ fakes, I become more careful in hunting for my new goodies. I guess at that time, I had enough vintage in my collection. Why not spending on good bargain? I asked my self. Whenever I have free time, I do window shopping. Whenever I pass a watch retailer especially in KL and Petaling Jaya, I will drop-by to browse for affordable timepieces.

I come across ‘Cash Converters’ after my wife told me about the shop. She knows my hobby. One fine Sunday, I take a trip to the one near the Ampang Point Shopping Mall. Quite near to my house actually. I recognized that there are plenty ‘pre-owned’ watches there. It ranges from cheap quartz, Japanese, Russians and a bunch of Swiss brands like Rolex, Maurice Lacroix, Longines, Rado, and Raymond Weil. On my first visit, I bought a second hand Tissot Quartz. The price is reasonably cheap. Sorry, I don’t have the photo to publish here. The watch last only for few months, I sell it to a friend. Actually, I don’t quite like quartz. The resell value is always declining. Anyway, I frequented Cash Converter quite often. Interesting, I bought about 3 watches from there. All those watches are cheap, nice to have but temporary. As far as I can recall, there were Russian Bostoc, Raymond Weil, and a TAG Heuer. The two Swiss were sold to a friend. I make a little bit of margin from the sales! The Bostoc goes into my junk box. You know why? Like the China made movement, the movement is also brittle in some parts and I managed to turn term into junks!

Familiar face! I got this 2000 series TAG for about RM500 at Cash Converters. After changing the surprisingly cheap 'ETA quartz movement', I sell it to a friend at a higher price.

Am I a collector?
At one time, I had almost two dozen of watches - a ‘rojak’ collection. I have automatic, hand-winding, and quartz; a mix of the Swiss and Japanese. Majority are automatic, one or two quartz. The problem of having automatic is that you have to keep the watch running all the time, if possible. Every morning, I will ‘shake’ those watches to at least move the rotor. It becomes my daily routine. Somebody suggested me to buy the ‘watch winder’ to ensure the watch runs all the time. What the hack man? The winder is more expensive than my watches. Never mind let them stay comfortably on the pillow inside my wooden watch boxes. Hand-winding would be easier, just wind the watch lah! Every alternate day you can do it as its minimum power reserve last for 48 hours.

China made watch winder. Affordable. Have you ever thought of buying one?

After maintaining all these watches for quite sometime, I realized that some of the watches were left in my watch box and becoming show pieces. As my taste changes, I started to disliking some of my watches. I converted them into cash at Cash Converters, selling to friends, and trade-in for other watches. At one point, I cash-out about 5 watches just to get a brand new Oris watch. My collection later reduced to about 10 pieces. Still, it consists of brand new, second hand, and vintage – Swiss and Japanese, all mechanical. I actually lost track of my collection as my watches are easy come and easy go. Lastly, I keep only 10 watches in my collection. The reason why I keep 10 is because of easy maintenance. I said to myself, if I buy a new one, one from the existing must go. The 10 that I have are all watches range between RM 1,000 to RM 5,000 per piece. You know how long this collection developed? Almost 10 years… my story so far. Ticking!

"Some vintage watches have more value than the brand new! Normal vintage watch is affordable and the price appreciates. Owning a vintage makes you a laggard. Owns many makes you a historian! Ha ha ha, my personal quote." - thetick-thetick  


  1. betul ke ada omega replika pakai movement ETA 2482-2?? rasanya mesti unfinished movement. seamaster ori pakai 2982-a2 chronometre grade.

  2. Kalau tak salah Seamaster pakai 2982-A2. Tak tau la kot Seamaster zaman dulu punya.

  3. silap taip 2892-a2 hehe sorry

  4. ex001 & duniajam. Masa mula2 Swatch Group take over ETA SA Montres dengan Omega (pertengahan 90a), jam Omega ori pakai ebouche 2824-2. Masa pertengahan tahun 2000 baru guna ETA variant baru. Dulu aku ada 1, aku beli kat 'Stanley' Hong Kong tahun 2001 dulu, complete semua skali, box, cert, manual... harga dia pun boleh tahan. Rotor dia memang sebijik macam rotor omega. Grade yang ni kat PS memang takde pasal yang tu production Hong Kong, bukan main land China. Cuma tu la, aku dah tolak murah2 kat member aku. Jam tu 2 tawwun lepas aku tolong bawak gi servis kat syifu Lee kat Ampang Park... dia kata ori! tak ori! ori, tak ori! sampai dia pun naik confuse... cuma bila tengok kat base plate ada logo ETA 2824-2, enjin dia nickel plated. Kalau omega ori, logo ETA takde. ETA 2892 tu variant ETA yang baru untuk standard dengan multi-hand punya jam. Kalu 2894 chrono punya.
    Ngko collect replica ke?

  5. best blog ko ni
    banyak knowledge aku dapat
    aku suke collect enjin valjoux 7750
    tapi hari tu aku bukak jam tag heuer aquaracer ori dengan replica, enjin die hampir same cuma warna skru berbeza, yang ori skru warna putih yang replica skru warna biru

  6. tak collect replika. tapi omega yg dlm koleksi ni pakai 2892-a2. 2894 pun ada 7750 pun ada. 2892 rhodium plated dgn cotes de geneve finishing. kalau replika pakai enjin ni memang tabik la.

  7. geneve finishing tu yang ade bulat2 kat atas enjin tu ke?

  8. zhafir, selamat datang ke blog aku. Cuma nak bagi nasihat. jam replica pakai valjoux7750 china tu bukaknya murah. bagi aku kalau orang minat dia beli. Aku ada 2 dah jadik spare-part. 1 breitling black top-gun, 1 lagi jam Brad Pitt... Bila rosak memang takde spare part. dah tu, oil-cups/jewels dia macam takde 'oil'... lama2 rosak. lagi satu, dia punya regulator memang nampak macam 7750 tapi "dummy". kalau balance wheel stud bengkok... sakit jiwa, tak bole tune.

    yang skrew biru tu "blue plating" bukan blued screw. cuba ko pulas dengan screw, sure terkopek plating dia.

    anyway to replica lover, if you love your money... think! kalu aku, aku beli yang guna Swiss ETA... not the copy 7750 or Unitas 6750, Unitas 6780... pasai construction dia very inferior.

  9. ex001, aku check dalam archive aku, ETA 2892-A2 guna ebouche ETA 2824-2, versi baru la tuh. Sebenarnya ETA 2824-x punya base bole bikin chronograph. ETA 2894 dia punya variant baru. Semuanya 28.800bph (8bps).

  10. ya betul. Chrono 2894 memang base 2892 cuma tambah module chrono & 2894 lebih kurang rasa wobling rotor berbanding 7750.
    tapi 7750 memang dibuat utk chrono, lagi besar dan senang diservis. 2894 bestnya sebab wind 2 ways. tapi sebab nak variety dlm kedudukan subdial terpaksa lah cari dua dua movement utk lengkapkan koleksi hehehe

    lagi satu movement unitas 6497 dalam panerai ori tak sama dgn unitas 6497 dlm PAM replika high gred yg pakai ETA unitas ori. 6497 dlm panerai ori dah diupgrade oleh soprod. antaranya:
    1. beat 21600 berbanding 18000
    2. 56 jam power reserve berbanding 38
    3. rhodium plated berbanding nickel/non plated
    4. perlage finish kat base plate
    5. ubahsuai bridges
    6. bucu bridges di trimmed & polished
    7. bridges ada cote de geneva finishing
    8. glucydur balance
    9. COSC test
    10. flamed blued screws
    11. polished barrel wheel
    12. engraved brand & gold plated
    13. rubies gred tinggi
    14. nivorox-1 hair spring

    Jgn marah tuan blog sekadar nak tunjukan beza replika dgn yg ori. dan nak tunjukan sebab apa ori mahal. Bukan hanya mahal kat brand saja. info dari pembacaan.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. ade gambar x swiss eta geveve finishing?

  13. website ni ade banyak jam replica

  14. zhafir ni gambar 6497 (koleksi peribadi).

    Cote de geneve tu kat bridge dia.
    (tuan blog, kalau x appropriate boleh buang link ni, tq).

  15. ex001, memang betul. pasal tu swiss mahal. aku tengah improvise artikel pasal subject ni. nanti aku post.

    kepada yang minat replica, tepuk dada tanya selera... bukan aku kata semua replica tak bagus, tapi... semuanya sama, tapi tak serupa. aku taknak invest lagi pasal aku dah takde satisfaction kat jam-jam replica nih. bukan kata aku ni poket tebal. tapi, bagi aku biar murah (mampu) ori, aku puas hati. second hand or vintage... ikut citarasa sendirilah.

  16. Yup. Sy pun dah tak mau dah replika. Better jam original walaupun cuma RM100. Puas hati

  17. btol2
    kadang2 beli replica ade je yang tak kene
    mcm chronograph tak tepat, pastu masa lambat 20 minit bile dah pakai 2 minggu,kene air hujan sikit dah kabur, dekat dial ade kotor

  18. jam rolex submariner yang kononnya enjen "kuning" (miyota copy) baik punya - lebih kurang RM250... elok beli Seiko 5!!! Or, tambah sikit beli la Swiss Vintage yang guna AS, ETA, Ronda ke... puas hati

  19. Replica watches like rolex are trendy watches unquestionably and enhance our self image and confidence for a very long period of time.

  20. aku suka blog ni..tapi kan bagus kalau ada info tentang kat mana nak repair jam2 vintage atau nak dapatkan spare yang paling penting murah..bukan semua kolektor ni berduit..aku ni nak beli jam yg termampu jerk..kenkadang arge yg di jual bloger jam hanya aku mampu telan air liur jerk..tapi makasih kerana beri pelajaran yg baik dlm blog ni..

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