A Reader Asks, “Are ETA Movements Ever OK In High-End Watchmaking?”



On why an outsourced Lemania caliber is fine in the Cornes de Vache, there are a number of reasons grounded in the same generally agreed-upon set of criteria as to what constitutes an haute horlogerie movement. The reason, again, has little to do with whether or not the movement is supplied, but it has a great deal to do with what can be done with the movement once the kit is received from the supplier. The Vacheron caliber 1142 goes a very long distance from the base Lemania caliber 2310 (which is, in the interests of accuracy, now Manufacture Breguet, I ought to mention), and some of the journey is taken through some mechanical modifications, but primarily via all the work that is done to decorate the movement components and to adjust the operation of the movement so as to provide a pleasing tactile experience to the owner. Lower-grade chronograph movements can be a very mixed bag but, in general, if you compare the pusher feel between an ETA 7750 and the VC caliber 1142, or the Lange Datograph, you will have to conclude that there is no comparison. The finer chronographs offer a direct, tactile experience of beautiful precision machinery in operation. The 7750, by comparison, tends to require noticeably more force to push through the detent at start, stop, and reset, and the experience is not so much of an elegance on a continuum with the rest of the watch, as of a fundamentally mechanically sound mechanism being called on to do its duty. 



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