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Swiss movement vs Japanese movement

Watches are not just timepieces but also a reflection of one’s style, taste, and personality.  Among the various watch components that make up a watch, the movement is considered the heart and soul of the timepiece. The movement is what makes the watch hands move and is responsible for the watch’s accuracy and reliability. When it comes to watch movements, there are two major players in the industry: Swiss and Japanese movements.

   Swiss watches movements have been renowned for their precision, quality, and craftsmanship for centuries, while Japanese watch movement are known for their technological innovation, affordability, and mass-production capabilities. As a watch enthusiast, choosing between Swiss vs Japanese movement can be a daunting task as both Swiss and Japanese movements have their own strengths, weaknesses, and differences. For example, one difference between Japanese vs Swiss movement is that Swiss movement watch is more aesthetically pleasing and artistically pleasing in design, whereas Japanese movement watches are relatively simpler in design and focus more on precision and accuracy.

     In this blog post, we will explore the differences between Swiss and Japanese movements, and compare them based on price range, technology, design, and accuracy. We will also examine factors to consider when choosing between the two, such as purpose, budget, personal style, and brand preference. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of which movement is right for you, and whether Swiss or Japanese movement is the way to go.

Table of Contents

What is a watch movement?

The watch movement (also known as “calibre“) is the engine of the watch, which is the source of power for the operation of the watch and its functions.  This internal mechanism moves the hands and powers complex devices such as chronograph, almanacs, or dual time zones, GMT. Watch movements can be divided into two main types by country: Swiss and Japan. In terms of movement power source distinction, movements can be divided into quartz, automatic, and manual mechanical movements.

What is a movement in a watch
What is Swiss movement on a watch

What is Swiss movement?

A watch is considered being a Swiss movement watch if the movement was assembled in Switzerland and is inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland. The movement components must also represent 50% of the total value of the watch, irrespective of assembly costs.

Swiss movements are typically hand-crafted by skilled watchmakers, using high-quality materials such as gold, silver, and platinum. The movements are often complex and intricate, with many small parts that must be assembled with great care and precision.Famous Swiss watch movement manufacturers include ETA, Sellita, Sopord, Ronda, and many others.

Quartz watches aren’t as desirable to most watch enthusiasts because they lack the technical craftsmanship and engineering of mechanical timepieces. So why do premium Swiss watch brands like Patek Philippe ,Omega still use Swiss quartz movements in some of their collections? Because Swiss movements are regulated by the Swiss Federal Office of Metrology (METAS), which ensures that the movements meet strict standards of accuracy and reliability. Hence swiss quartz movement is also good.

Please note that Swiss Movement vs Swiss Made is a different concept. If you want to know more about, you can check this article named Swiss made vs Swiss movement vs Swiss part.

What is Japanese movement watches

Japan movement meaning is that watches with Japanese movements have mechanical movement, automatic movements or quartz watch movement that are made in Japan.

Japanese watch movements are known for their technological innovation, affordability, and mass-production capabilities. Watch manufacturers introduced Japanese watch movements in the 1970s, and they quickly gained popularity because of their reliability and accuracy.

Japan watch movements are often mass-produced using automated processes, which makes them more affordable than Swiss movements.  They also use quartz technology, which is known for its accuracy and precision.That’s why Japan movement quartz watch are characterized by favorable price and high accuracy.

 Some of the most famous Japanese watch movements include the Seiko 7S26 movement and the Citizen Miyota movement,which are used by many popular Japanese movement watch brands such as Seiko, Citizen, and Casio. Watchessy can supply movements from these brands and assist customers in designing a watch to fit their needs.

If you learn more about what is a Japan movt watch,please read this article.

The difference Swiss movement vs japanese movement is mainly that Swiss movement are generally more aesthetically designed,while Japanese watch movement are concerned with precision and accuracy.Both are used in a variety of different types of watch and are used by many watch movement manufacturers around the world.Below we describe in detail the differences Japan movement vs Swiss movement.

Price range 

   Swiss movements are typically more expensive than Japanese movements due to their high quality and hand-crafted nature.  On the other hand, Japanese movements are mass-produced using automated processes, which makes them more affordable.So in the same condition and with the same function Swiss movement watch price is higher than Japan movement watch prices .Generally speaking Swiss movement watches are priced above $200, while Japanese automatic watch movement is priced below $100 and Japanese movement  quartz watch is generally below $10.

Design

Swiss movements are often complex and intricate, with many small parts that must be assembled by hand. Japanese movements are often simpler and more streamlined, with fewer movement parts. For example, the Japan Miyota  8215 movement is composed of 21 jewels, while the ETA 2824 movement has 25 jewels.

Care and maintenance

Swiss movt: the most important feature of ETA movement is very stable,accurate time and two-way winding. 28,800 times / hour frequency can ensure accurate time

Power reserve up to 40 hours and the 1 month error is just about 2 minutes (2 minutes faster or 2 minutes slower).

If you can do proper maintenance such as 8 years maintenance oil wash once, the life time can more than 60 years.This Swiss watch can be used as a family heirloom.

Japan movt: Japan movt is with 21 or 24 diamond.The oscillating frequency is 21800 and 28800.one of Japan movt feature is one-way winding.

 Japan movement needs to be maintained once every 3 or 5 years.

Manufacturing process

     Japanese movements are more focused on accuracy and effectiveness and cost saving.Japanese movement watch are produced in mass production on a production line scale. That’s why the production process of Japanese watch movement is done on automated robotic production lines.So Japanese movements generally do not have a complex appearance and are cheaper than Swiss movements.

On the other hand, Swiss movements are concerned with aesthetics and artistic beauty.From the jewelry color and shape which the way it is cut,every detail is taken into account during the design and manufacturing process.That’s why many Swiss movt need hand assembled .In particular, Swiss automatic movement requires more manual assembly during the production process.

Swiss vs Japanese movement

Appearance

Swiss watch movement will have a larger center axis, such as Swiss ETA’s automatic tourbillon, while Japanese watch movements such as Citizen’s will have a smaller center axis.

In terms of the number of seconds

    Swiss movement: ETA movement is generally 8 times per second.Japan movement: Citizen 3 times per second, other Japanese movements are generally 5 times per second

Overall, both Swiss and Japanese movements are high-quality and reliable, but they have their own unique strengths and weaknesses.  Choosing Swiss vs Japanese watch movement ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs.

Which is better, Swiss movement vs Japanese movement?

Deciding which movement is better ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs.  Here are some factors to consider when choosing between a Swiss vs Japanese movement

Purpose

Consider what you will be using the watch for.  If you need a watch for formal occasions or for collecting, a Swiss movement watch may be the way to go.  If you need a watch for everyday use, a Japanese movement may be more practical and affordable. 

Budget

Swiss movements are often more expensive than Japanese movements due to their high quality and craftsmanship. If you have a limited budget, a Japanese movement may be a more affordable option.

    Swiss movement watch is much more expensive than Japanese one if the movement is similar in function. Here are two examples to illustrate. For example, Swiss quartz movement: (Ronda 507 movement) and Japanese quartz movement (Miyota 2105 and Seiko PC33 movement). These three quartz movements are double calendar movement, but the price are as follows:507 movement($5) > 2105 movement ($3) > PC33 movement ($2.5).

      If it is a mechanical movement with the same function, such as the Swiss ETA 7750 mechanical movement, Miyota’s 8205 mechanical movement and Seiko’s NH36 mechanical movement, the function of these three mechanical movements is also a double calendar movement, the price of the ETA 7750 is about $230, the price of the 9015 movement is $35, and the price of the NH36 movement is $25.

ETA 7750 movement

Personal style

Consider your personal style and what type of watch design you prefer.  Swiss movt are often complex and intricate, while Japanese movements are often simpler and more streamlined. 

Brand preference

Consider your preference for specific watch brands, as many luxury watch brands use Swiss movements while many affordable watch brands use Japanese movements.

Swiss movements are known for their precision, quality, and craftsmanship, while Japanese movements are known for their technological innovation, affordability, and mass-production capabilities.  Both types of movements are reliable and high-quality, but the choice ultimately depends on your personal needs and preferences.

Movement selection is especially important if you are an entrepreneur who wants to create your own watch brand. The movements of ultra-luxury watch brands are Swiss mechanical movements. The movements of ordinary premium watch brands are Swiss quartz or Japanese mechanical movements. Cost-effective fashion brands are Japanese quartz watch movement.

In conclusion, both Swiss and Japanese movements are valued in the watch industry, and each has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Swiss movements are known for their precision, quality, and craftsmanship, while Japanese movements are well established in the watch industry for their cost effectiveness and reliability.

Besides discussing the differences between Swiss and Japanese watch movements, watchessy want to let our readers know that our company offers a wide variety of watches with both Swiss and Japanese movements. We understand everyone has their own unique preferences and we strive to offer a diverse selection of accessories, including cases (bezel, lug, crown), watch face,watch band, watch hands, etc. to meet each individual’s needs.

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