Saturday, November 21, 2009

Swatch New Automatic Chronograph

Swatch has launched a new watch series in the Automatic chronograph. It is indeed interesting to see Swatch having an automatic chronograph. It would be more interesting if it was fitted with the popular and robust ETA 7750. It is not. It is fitted with ETA new C01.211.

This is an interesting movement. It is a new movement from ETA and it looks like ETA is standardizing their movement numbering. Older ETA movements are usually numbered ETA XXXX like the the ETA 7750 or ETA 2824. The quartz ETA movement however is usually numbered ETA XXX.XXX. We can see that this new ETA chronograph movement is now numbered like the quartz movement, ETA C01.211 and the other new chronograph movement, ETA A08.231.

This movement is based on the very popular Lemania 5100. I have had a look at some photographs of the movement and also the Lemania 5100 (also seen the actual movement). I have to say that they look very similar. Just look at the photographs below.

The ETA C01.211 as fitted on the Tissot.

Photograph: Eurostar.

The Lemania 5100.

Photograph: righttime

This new movement has the following specifications:

15 jewels (2 less as compared to the Lemania 5100)
21,600 A/h (28,800 on the Lemania 5100)
13 1/4 ligne
46 hours power reserve

Lets get back to the Swatch Automatic Chronograph. There are currently 5 models in the range. The basic specifications are as follows:

Size: 42 mm diameter, plastic
Crystal: Sapphire
Display back, crystal unknown
Chronograph: 30 minute and 6 hour counter, central seconds hand
Date display (at 3 o'clock)
Small second on sub-dial (9 o'clock)

The watches:


Simply Pure.

Silver Class.

Sign In The Sky.

Right Track.

Photographs: Swatch

The watches retails for USD 380 for the steel bracelet model and USD 370 for the rubber or leather strap version. It is retailing for NTD 11,850 for the rubber or leather strap version and NTD 12,150 for the steel version.

I have tried and seen all the models here in Taiwan and have to say that it looks good and is great value for money. The movement is nice to look at. However, the movement can only be see on the blue and silver dial versions. On the black version, Right Track, the display back is partially blacked-out as can be seen from the photograph below.

Photograph: Swatch

I like Sign In The Sky but worry about the white rubber strap. If I do get it, I will change the strap to a black rubber strap. My other concern, nothing to do with the watch but rather the movement, is that with the introduction of this new movement (and the A08.231), what will the future hold for the more expensive movements like the ETA 7750.

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