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  1. Gatorade

    Gatorade Dec 23, 2020

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    I have a few questions about watches!

    I inherited the Heuer Autavia GMT in another thread and learned a bunch about it thanks to the input from this board. While learning about it, some questions about watches in general came to mind.

    First, I hear about certain movements that are in different brand watches with very different price tags. Like some mention the Valjoux 724 movement in my GMT. Then the same movement is mentioned in a Rolex and other brands. So does each brand manufacture their own movements in house? Or is there a Valjoux company providing them to the various brands? Would the Valjoux 72 from Heuer fit in the Rolex? Are some better quality or more durable than others?

    Next question is with regards to winding a manual watch. How should you wind it? How long should it take to wind a watch? Do you wind it to where it stops every day? Or let it run down all the way every once in a while? I was having to wind my GMT for over 20 minutes every day. I am told that is a sign that it needs service. Unfortunately the last time I wound it last week, I went all the way to where it stopped. I was curious how long a full winding would last. It stopped about 13-14 hours after that but now it won’t wind at all. I try to wind it and the crown won’t move clockwise at all. It will move counter clockwise and if I pull the crown out it will adjust the hands but now it won’t wind.

    Being new to watches I really don’t know much about them. Especially mechanical watches. I wore a watch years ago when I was diving a lot but I have never been big on jewelry and since I always had a phone with the time on it I never really felt the need to invest into a quality watch. Since inheriting a couple, I am appreciating them more and wearing them make me think of the family members who wore them in the past. Thank you for your input!
     
  2. imagwai

    imagwai Dec 23, 2020

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    In the past it was quite common for even big brands such as Heuer or Rolex to buy in parts (dials, cases, movements, etc.) from specialist manufacturers, e.g. Valjoux. It still happens today to a degree, e.g. TAG use ETA and Sellita in some of their watches. There are different grades of movement and typically they will be modified also. Nowadays, there is more prestige attached to a luxury watch if it has an in-house movement, although the actual benefits to the casual wearer are minimal at best.

    Regarding your GMT, it will surely need a service. Never really a good idea to wind and run an old watch that hasn't been used or serviced for decades. Sounds like something is broken. When winding, it should definitely not take you 20 minutes. More like 50 or 60 turns or a minute or two. It should then run for at least 30 or 40 hours, depending on the movement's power reserve.
     
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  3. abrod520

    abrod520 Dec 23, 2020

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    Yes, Valjoux were an ebauches manufacturer (a basic off-the-shelf movement is called an 'ebauche'; kind of like a crate engine if you will) that are now part of ETA.
    The ebauches are then finished by the watch companies - the watch company is responsible for making it run to their satisfaction.

    Yup! The basic Valjoux 72 movement in a Heuer Autavia or Carrera is more or less exactly the same as that in an early Rolex Cosmograph / Daytona. The difference though, is covered next:

    "Better quality" in terms of performance yes. Thinking back to our crate engine analogy, the watch companies would essentially decide how far to push the movement's accuracy and such. So the same LS1 crate engine for instance, can either put out the basic 350hp with little work; or twice that amount by porting the heads, modifying the cam profile etc. That kind of work takes painstaking detail and sometimes custom parts; so too does making a basic movement perform at chronometer-level accuracy. Durability though will more or less be the same.

    Winding it daily until you can't wind it anymore is generally the best way to go especially if you're going to be wearing it regularly. However it sounds like the movement is definitely in need of service and you should not try winding it anymore until you can get it serviced. Don't force the crown!

    A healthy vintage Valjoux 72movement with a good mainspring could run for perhaps 36 hours, maybe as many as 50. Really depends. It should for sure run longer than 24 hours at the very least though.

    We all arrived here one way or another :) Especially as a keepsake it's a very special thing to have on your wrist.

    Hodinkee has a good section on 'Watch 101' and you can Google search some of these other terms and learn a bit more.
     
  4. calcheng

    calcheng Dec 24, 2020

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    hi guys, thanks for sharing - it's been great reading about the different variances of a val72 movement.

    If i may add on: now i KNOW that the parts of v72 movements are hard to come by now that they are no longer in production. I recently picked up a heuer carrera with a v72 and i cannot help but engage the chronograph every now and then.

    As a watch lover who believes in the tool/functional aspect of owning a watch, I want to be able to use the chronograph to actually time stuff. Is this silly on my end, given how I am essentially wearing down the gears etc.

    Would love to pick your brains on this!
     
  5. imagwai

    imagwai Dec 24, 2020

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    As long as the movement is functioning correctly and has had a service in the last few years, I would say it's perfectly fine to run the chronograph.
     
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  6. abrod520

    abrod520 Dec 24, 2020

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    Yep, as long as you have it serviced regularly (~ every 5 years or so) you'll be fine. Parts aren't that hard to come by as the 72 was actually a fairly common movement. Just won't necessarily be cheap though!
     
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  7. Gatorade

    Gatorade Dec 24, 2020

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    Very interesting! I wasn’t sure if it was a case of the manufacturers making the parts in house from an old design or a company making the parts to the specifications of the manufacturer, turns out it is a little of both!

    So keeping with the car analogy is it along the lines of a Saleen or Shelby. Manufacturers take the raw builds which are functional on a basic performance level and then buff, polish, and balance them with a couple custom parts to make them to the quality of the brand.
     
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  8. dtf

    dtf Dec 24, 2020

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    Closer to a small volume manufacturer like Morgan or lotus...motors are bought in from ford, BMW, Toyota, seats are bought in from recaro, sparco or a custom upholstery shop that provides exactly what the manufacturer needs, springs come from eibach or bilstein...the manufacturer buys parts in from component manufacturers that meet the spec/price, builds some parts in house and assembles and finishes the vehicle.
     
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  9. calcheng

    calcheng Dec 24, 2020

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    cheers guys. Merry Christmas!
     
  10. abrod520

    abrod520 Dec 25, 2020

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    Yep ^ more like that. So in that situation, imagine if Ford, Chevy, Toyota et al. did not make cars, only powertrains. And then the watch companies would have been the ones actually turning out completed cars, with the aforementioned powertrains.

    Nowadays, watch companies are much more vertically integrated including movement manufacture. Some companies via acquisition - ETA for instance is owned by the Swatch Group (a conglomerate that includes not just Swatch, but Omega, Tissot, Breguet, Certina, Mido, and many more). And others develop their own, to mixed results.
     
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