Clone Wars: Sellita SW200 Vs. ETA 2824

Sellita SW200 vs ETA 2824-2

Sellita SW200 vs ETA 2824-2There has been a lot of smack talk on Sellita movements and their comparison to the ETA. We opened a few select model watches the other day to see for ourselves. A Hamilton Khaki containing the workhorse ETA 2824 and the Oris Big Crown automatic with the SW200 aka Oris caliber 735. What we found under close inspection is a clone war of sorts. The SW200 took all its prompts from the original ETA 2824, but did it do a good job of working through the movement and “finishing” the piece for the public?

Scrap what you’ve read before. Have other writers opened the pieces and tested them side by side for you? Have they put them through the ringer for accuracy first hand? Probably not. Watch Flipr tested both pieces, and granted we are not the C.O.S.C. facilities of Switzerland, but we have a good idea of what runs well and what does not. Both movements performed well, but I will save you the up/down and plus/minus seconds routine. Although ETA is often known for Excellent Timing Accuracy, the surprising results were that the Sellita from Oris had better timing in every position. Well within chronometer status on this watch when cased up.

It’s true that the SW-200-1 makes a mockery out of the ETA 2824-2 timing, as WF accurately points out it is better in position to position timing errors. The secret is a well researched hairspring technology, the hairspring in the SW-200-1 is quite literally dozens of microns thicker, and on a high beat calibre like these, it performs with better accuracy. The hairspring maker, is not Nivarox-Far, but an ancillary company and Sellita have exclusive use of their products for years to come. –Prem Chainani

The long and short of this is Sellita makes a quality product and will run with ETA just fine for years to come. Yes, they are clones and made to substitute, but that shouldn’t cause anyone to think ETA movements are superior. The loving hands of the final watchmaker can prove to be very important when working with either of these two mechanisms, and how accurate they are when they get to your wrist. Happy Flipping.

ETA 2824-2 movement in a Hamilton Khaki watch

Sellita SW200 aka Oris 735

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77 thoughts on “Clone Wars: Sellita SW200 Vs. ETA 2824

  1. Good brief overview of an important shift that is occurring in the watch world. The rise in usage of the non-ETA movements continues to be SOP.
    I also look forward to this type of comparison using the Seagull and Hangzhou(sp?) engines. These are coming into force. I have been wearing a watch, European company, with a Seagull 2130 mov’t for approximately 1 year and find it to be every bit the equal of any ETA I have in my watch inventory.
    Change is a good thing for the watch world.

      1. agreed, a good thing and necessary with the restraint’s that ETA placing on the competition as far as future availability.

    1. I guess when you want to force cheap imitation crap on the world since you don’t have the real thing to sell, you will say anything. Lets see how your cheap china movement is doing in 25 years.

      Even the best cheap china rolex knock off runs great for a week. TIME is the true test watchboy. You kneel for the Chinese. I’ll stick with the proven Swiss.

      1. Harvey, your comment seems very inaccurate. Selitta is a Swiss manufacturer just as ETA is. In fact, at moments of high demand, my understanding is that Selitta actually assembled ETA movements to be sold as ETA movements.
        Functionally and aesthetically, the two are identical. Spares for one are directly replicable with parts for the other.
        China doesn’t even enter the equation.

      2. There’s a good chance that the ETA movement in your watch was made by Sellita. To make a long story short, in a few months, Swatch Group (who owns ETA, Hamilton, Omega, Tissot, Blancpain, etc) will no long sell movements to competitors. Sellita has been contracted by ETA to make movements for years. Now, Sellita is free to make their own movements and supply watch makers outside of the Swatch a Group. What Sellita makes is not a clone in the sense that a manufacturer deconstructed then copied a movement. Sellita had all the training, support, and tooling to be an ETA manufacturer. There are no shortcuts taken.

      3. Harry, You are wrong! and Harvey is fully correct. So you know, since you don’t, Sellita movements are build in swiss, but assembled in China. Specially the rotors itself. Lots of brand pieces love to hide this since the value will drop as some do. Sellita are garbage and will not even run nor last as long as any ETA proven swiss movement. Ever!

      4. These comments derive from an inability to accept the rise of China rather than being a serious horological evaluation. The phrase “kneel to the Chinese” makes this absolutely clear.

  2. So the Sellita has 26 jewels instead of 25 in the ETA? Why’s that? I wonder what the extra jewels is?

    1. Sellita added a 26th jewel on the upper side of the barrel axis which sits just below the ratchet wheel. This jewel slightly reduces the friction associated with automatic winding.

      1. That’s funny. I have a watch with this movement and another with the ETA movement. The SW200-2 will NOT wind with my my wrist effectively enough to keep it powered more than 2 weeks despite wearing it to bed! The actual power research is really good proving it will run for 44 plus hours after being manually wound and sat on a table.

        I am going to think twice before I buy another watch with this movement. The repair shop cannot find anything wrong with it but my experience tells me something different.

        I’ve been wearing my Marcello C with the ETA now for 33 days straight and not during sleeping hours and it continues to run.

  3. Just got a new watch I have opened 2 INVICTA watches to see how they look with the case back off. I studied and read 2 books first on horology. This was 1 year after seeing my NH 35A’s and then I believe NH 36A’s and it seemed on and on. So I bought a JAXA wrench and opened one inspected took it out and put it back oiled the center after watching a UTUBE video. Bought the tools needed from ESSLINGER put the gasket in the lubricant sealant and closed it. Then being inclined did the same to my other. They both work fine and dove to 13 fathoms with a back up watch and they both are still working fine. I just bought a SELLITA sw200 and I like the watch because the watch I had been using with a 50ATM rating. Well I saw the SELLITA sw200 had a 50 ATM rating so I couldn’t get over my interest in automatics and decided to update. Now I see all this about this movement and I am going to open it. I don’t like to see and I also have done my research on how you can put SWISS MADE @ 6 on the dial. I believe I read 51% in the US and 62 in SWITZERLAND. Well now after reading this and not getting any help from customer service at SELLITA. Ok the watch says SWISS MADE @ 6 and on the back and the rotor only says 26 jewels and SWISS MADE on it also thru the exhibition back. Well I am just a retired vet with to much time on his hands and dives SCUBA alone, so why not. So I like that you take open 2 watches. Well I don’t have the watch knowledge that you do but I want to take the back of my new watch because I want to know what I received. I know what the watch company says but I ran into an area where I have a question. I have only been doing this self education with horology for about 18 months and this watch has 8 screws and a back which I have never come across it has 8 curved grooves between the screws. It has to be a screw down back along with the screws to be rated 50ATM, right. Well if anyone can help I will share the pictures of what I find. The model number is 11570.
    Sincerely, Tom Neville

    1. Tom,
      Rarely, if ever have I had a watch that had both screws and a screw down back. You may need a special set of wrenches to open that piece, but your hooked up at Esslinger and should be able to find them there easily. Send some pics and we will chat it up. Are you testing these watches after closing again? Just wondered, being a serious diver, I would get them checked after your peek. CR

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  5. I have seen both movements in cheap watches and both in expensive watches. I still can’t figure it out. So it’s ok to go for the non-ETA?

    1. OK to go for the Sellita equivalent caliber, not just any non-ETA. Bottom line here is there’s no practical performance or durability difference between them. Regarding price points of watches you’ve seen them in, the street price a particular brand and model watch can command is related to a lot more than movement inside. There’s market perception of the brand’s prestige and exclusivity. With some brands you’re getting a $1000 watch with a $3000 hood ornament (the brand logo) – and that’s what your $4k is paying for..

    1. You can prefer it until you’re only buying brands within the Swatch Group. ETA is shutting down supply of movements to everyone who isn’t a brand within the Swatch Group. Everyone else MUST find alternate sources for movements. Supply to anyone outside Swatch is being reduced year by year (and has been drastically reduced already) until it reaches ZERO in 2020. So, what will you prefer then? I can tell you, like the author above, there’s no practical quality, performance or durability difference with Sellita. FWIW, Sellita was a contract supplier of movement parts to ETA, making parts and assemblies for ETA. That’s how they were able to put whole movement clones of the high volume ETA movements so very quickly (2824 family, 2892 family and 7750 family).

      Another Swiss firm to watch is Soprod, owned by Festina. Much lower volumes than Sellita, and I don’t believe they’re drop-in for ETA, but their A10 family is quite excellent and they will also be an alternative if they can get higher production volumes.

      1. A10-2 is drop in (casing, hands, date position, dial feet) for 2892, but an independent design. Only come in 2 versions: base is ETA’s ‘Top’ equivalent, fully decorated with chronometer-level parts (balance etc…) but uncertified, second, higher grade is fully COSC certied version.

        Fantastic movements and you never have to see ugly, unfinished plates and bridges.

  6. Excellent comparison discussion of the two. I’ve seen gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing on various watch forums as it’s discovered that their favorite non-Swatch Group brand is sourcing movements from Sellita because they cannot get (enough) ETA movements any more. A lot of it spent bemoaning the brand going completely down the toilet and no longer being worth anything as a result. There’s far too much ETA snobbery going on. ETA isn’t the be all, end all of high production volume movement making. Regarding Swiss workhorse movements, Sellita and Soprod are just as good overall, and in a few aspects perhaps they’re slightly better.

  7. I bought an invicta with an sw-500, nothing but problems, no way will I purchase a sellita chrono over a 7750 again, on the other hand I have an sw-200 that’s been problem free, anyone out there have anything to add, or an experience with the 500?

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  12. I have a ETERNA KonTiki Limited edition (888) in my collection. It looks great keeps accurate time and have the SW200. Love this watch (and i also have couple of Rolex (GMT and Sub), Breitling and Oris in my collection).

    1. Strangely enough ETA is an abbreviation of Eterna and was owned by Eterna, funny how they use the Sellita movement now.

    1. I find just the opposite. I own a good handful of watches with both calibers, about a dozen Selittas and half that many eta. Across the lot of them each sw200-1 is more accurate than the 2824. I have 2824s that cannot be regulated too well at all, like +-20 seconds or so. Every single one of my sw200-1 movements, from standard grade through COSC grade, all of them keep time within COSC specs. They didn’t all come that way but were easily regulated by me. My chronometer grade sw200-1s are exactly on par with my Grand Seiko that has their 9s64 movement. Excellent movements imo.

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  14. Thanks for the comparison. I think it’s odd to call Sellita movements clones. ETA used Sellita as a sub contractor so Sellita probably know as much about these movements as ETA does, a fact supported by the performance of Sellita movements in general.
    Just as an aside, I have used both Sellita and SeaGull movements to make watches. My only piece of advice to anyone considering using SeaGull movements is to strip, clean, reassemble, oil and regulate them before you use them and you’ll be happy with the outcome. The design and parts used to make a SeaGull movement are fine, but their quality control is woeful. If you can’t do that, then use Sellita, it will be cheaper that buying a SeaGull movement and having someone else service it.

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