It has been announced for some time that ETA would stop supplying movements to third parties but consequences of that decision haven’t had been experienced till now.

As a result of ETA’s decision supply of their movements has become scarce and prices have had increased considerably in market.

Many movement brokers had got confirmations of supply from ETA that simply got cancelled without notice and as a result prices in 2012 for ETA movements have increased over 70% in markets managed by movement brokers.

From our contacts in industry we got information that in 2013 situation will deteriorate further and expectations are that ETA may completely stop supply of movements to third parties.

For 2012 we were able to secure ETA movements to be used in our limited editions already released and to be released this year.

However usage of ETA movements will become more and more scarce and we find it hard to release new watch models featuring ETA movements. This is true for us and for any company not part of Swatch Group.

Prometheus Watch Company has mainly two lines of watches: Swiss Made and Asian (China and Japan).

To continue with our Swiss Made Watch Collection there are alternatives in market that start to appear, mainly

  • Sellita – a Swiss company with its SW200, SW220 movements clones of the ETA 2824-2 and ETA 2836-2 (however Sellita production line is fully overbooked, though some movements are available via movement brokers but at random times and scarce quantities)
  • Soprod – a Swiss company with its A10 movement which is a movement built to replace the ETA 2892-A2 with improved specs (delivery times of over 12 months time and premium pricing)
  • Valanvron – a Swiss company that is a relatively newcomer to industry (established in 2010) that has in its portfolio the VAL24, VAL36 and VAL92 movements that are clones of the ETA 2824-2, ETA 2836-2 and ETA 2892-A2 movements. They base their movements in ebauches from Seagull with many components replaced in Switzerland for Swiss ones and complete assembly of movement made in Switzerland.

In Asia there are also alternatives available mainly:

  • Hangzhou – a Chinese company dedicated exclusively to produce mechanical movements to third parties. Their most looked for movements are the ETA 2824-2, ETA 2836-2, Unitas 6497 and 6498 clone movements.
  • Miyota – a Japanese company dedicated exclusively to produce mechanical movements to its group and third parties. Their most looked for movements are the Miyota 8215, 8205, 9015 movements (though it is hard to have access to their 9015 movement though some movements are available via movement brokers but at random times and scarce quantities)
  • Seagull – a Chinese fully integrated watch manufacturer that produces complete watches and sells to third parties multitude of mechanical movements being the most looked for its ETA 2824-2, ETA 2836-2, ETA 2892, Unitas 6497 and 6498 clone movements.
  • Shanghai – a Chinese fully integrated watch manufacturer that produces complete watches and sells to third parties multitude of mechanical movements being the most looked for its ETA 7750 clone movement
  • Time Module Seiko – a Japanese company dedicated exclusively to produce mechanical movements to its group and third parties. Their most looked for movements are the Seiko Time Module NE15 (Seiko 6R15), Seiko Time Module NH35 (Seiko 4R35) and Seiko Time Module NH36 (Seiko 4R36) movement (though it is hard to have access to their movements with lead times of around 12 months though at times available from movement brokers with scarce quantities)
To summarize we can find below a list of what we believe to be the mainstream alternatives for mechanical ETA movements (clone movements or not):
 Company Model Country Availability Clone Based in
Sellita SW200 Switzerland Scarce ETA 2824-2
Sellita SW220 Switzerland Scarce ETA 2836-2
Soprod A10 Switzerland Yes with 12 months lead time ETA 2892 (same size but different constructionand improved design)
Valanvron VAL24 Switzerland Yes with 3 months lead time ETA 2824-2
Valanvron VAL36 Switzerland Yes with 3 months lead time ETA 2836-2
Valanvron VAL92 Switzerland Yes with 6 months lead time ETA 2892
Hangzhou 6300 China Yes with 3 months lead time ETA 2824-2
Hangzhou 6311 China Yes with 3 months lead time ETA 2836-2
Hangzhou 6460 China Yes with 3 months lead time ETA 2836-2 GMT
Hangzhou 9011 China Yes with 3 months lead time Unitas 6497
Hangzhou 9310 China Yes with 3 months lead time Unitas 6498
Miyota 8215 Japan Yes with 3 months lead time
Miyota 8205 Japan Yes with 3 months lead time
Miyota 9015 Japan Scarce
Seagull ST2130 China Yes with 3 months lead time ETA 2824-2
Seagull ST2100 China Yes with 3 months lead time ETA 2836-2
Seagull ST1812 China Yes with 6 months lead time ETA 2892
Seagull ST3600 China Yes with 3 months lead time Unitas 6497
Seagull ST3621 China Yes with 3 months lead time Unitas 6498
Shanghai 3LZF2 China Yes with 3 months lead time Valjoux 7750
Time Module Seiko NE15 Japan Yes with 12 months lead time
Time Module Seiko NH35 Japan Yes with 12 months lead time
Time Module Seiko NH36 Japan Yes with 12 months lead time

We can expect our future watch models to be released to be based in this list of movements.

For Swiss Made movements our strategy will be to use Soprod movements in future, use Sellita at times and to look at Valanvron that is becoming mainstream.

We think that using ETA clone movements can be a plus. This enables usage of existing tooling for watch cases and hands and at same time peace of mind for our customers as will always be easy to find replacement parts for the movements or service those as majority of clone movements have interchangeable parts with the ETA counterpart.

Although a few years ago questions would arise when using China Made movements such issues no longer exist in our opinion. We have been investigating this movements since 2008 as can be seen in this link at watchuseek watch forum where a comparison between the ETA 2824-2, Seagull ST2130 and Hangzhou 6300 has been made.

Quality of Seagull and Hangzhou movements has improved in the last four years and quality keeps increasing with time. In terms of overall quality we place Hangzhou on pair with Seagull though for many Hangzhou is less known, this due to fact that Hangzhou only produces mechanical movements not full watches.

Same for Shanghai with its 3LZF2 movement that has proved with time to be a reliable alternative to the Valjoux 7750 movement with some minor differences in terms of construction and dimensions.

We embrace this changes in the watch world with an open mind and expect that with this changes watch collectors will appreciate increase of diversity and innovations to come.

15 Responses to How ETA’s Decision to Stop Supplying Movements Affects Prometheus Watch Company and Watch Industry

  1. Anonymous says:

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  2. […] brand that we like to keep an eye on, Prometheus, has a fairly detailed writeup on their plans here.  I really recommend you give it a read, as I think it’s applicable to a lot of the smaller […]

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  4. Rich Eberhard says:

    Why not just make your own movements? You can even clone ETAs. You don’t even have to think of a new design or anything. Just program your little computer to spit them out. How hard can it be? Don’t you guys have a computer? Seriously. This is not rocket science, and you can even say you make your own in-house movements. Put a display back and Rhodium-copper coat them. It’ll be cool.

    • admin says:

      Hi Rich,

      As a mater of fact it is not as simple as you think, specially with the balance wheel. There are also economies of scale in mass production of movements, something ETA does have due to their big production numbers.
      If it would be this easy you wouldn’t have TAG Heuer, Oris to name a few using Sellita to manufacture their movements.

  5. Offdshore says:

    The sentiments regarding Chinese movements and there quality would be greater if the Chinese manufacturers could understand, that they need to supply spare parts for their movements, OR make the movements available to repairers in small quantities at the same discounted prices the watch manufacturers receive.
    No problems with the quality, but the movement is worthless when it suffers a failure, thus devaluing it against a repairable movement.

    • admin says:

      Agree. One of the advantages of the clone movements is that parts are interchangeable with ETA and Sellita counterparts making them repairable.

  6. Offshore says:

    However ETA are now making it almost impossible to obtain movement parts and I don’t believe Sellita even have a parts division.This week I had to quote model and serial of a BRAND Swatch product, to obtain parts.

    We will soon get to the stage that a ( Non Swiss- fitted to an ETA brand watch) movement must become a throw away item…THEN we will either need to see mechanical movements join their quartz siblings in pricing, or our Chinese friends will need to adjust their pricing for low volume purchases, and significantly alter there thinking about MOQ!

    It is commendable that Prometheus wish to continue to supply their watches fitted with Swiss movements, but not much good for the owner if then an independent repairer cannot get parts for said movement, because the watch is not from the Swatch/ETA stable.

    • admin says:

      Sellita does have a parts division centre. We have an account with them as so do many others.
      Also we do foresee that this revolution may prove to be beneficial in the end for all if customers and watch collectors embrace this change.

  7. david says:

    What about using La Joux Perret as a supplier?

    • admin says:

      La Joux Perret is a valid option but for brands aiming at watches retailing for over 2/3000 USD which is not our case.

      • david says:

        I see. I was kind of hoping with their recent acquisition by Citizen, the Japanese economy of scale would affect their pricing.

        Thanks for the response, and good luck!

  8. […] scrambling in search for alternatives such as Soprod and Sellita.. a good read can be found here: Prometheus Watch Company | How ETA’s Decision to Stop Supplying Movements Affects Prometheus W… i know for a fact that Sinn is starting to move over to Sellita movements, many say they are equal […]

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