Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What is the difference between a movement, an ebauche, and a caliber?

A movement is the completed, finished individual mechanism contained inside the case of the watches,such as Rolex replica,Porsche Design replica,Richard Mille replica,Zenith replica,Hublot replica and Ferrari replica watches,not including the case or dial itself, which is responsible for keeping time.An ebauche is typically understood to mean a "raw" or unassembled, unfinished movement, including the major structural components (plates, bridges) and sometimes parts of the wheel train and other moving parts.A caliber is the collective name given to a series of movements of the same design.
Many watch companies will purchase complete movements from a major supplier such as ETA or Lemania, engrave their company's name and other information onto them, and encase it with their own or even contractor-supplied cases.This practice can be up-front - where the company acknowledges that the movements are not of their own design or manufacture, or it can be hidden - where the watch company claims to use "in-house" movements when the movements are in no way designed or manufactured internally.
Some watch companies will purchase an ebauche from a major supplier, polish and decorate the parts (i.e. finish the parts), and assemble it with standard parts to create a higher quality-controlled movement than the stock ready-made movement.
Other companies purchase ebauches, finish them to a high standard, modify parts of the movement, and add custom components like an upgraded escapement assembly - to create what might be called a custom version of that movement, much like how Carroll Shelby, AMG, or BMW's "M" division re-engineer existing automobiles to produce something with higher performance and exclusiveness.Many times, the company will rename the caliber as its own to reflect the modifications and finishing of the movement vs. an unmodified stock movement.
There is often a debate on whether a particular company is being deceptive in renaming a movement based on an outside supplier as an in-house caliber.
It should also be noted that the largest supplier of ebauches in Switzerland, ETA, can provide a wide variety of finishes on its products, from very raw parts to fully finished movements complete with Geneva stripes and other decoration.They even have a subsidiary, Soprod, that can perform custom finishing and even modifications to the basic movement.Therefore, there is by no means a single level of quality that one can ascribe to an ETA movement - there are basic versions all the way up to fully finished ones.

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