Value of Movements

Could use some advice.  Thinking of the Oris New York harbor.  Love the look and think the quality is good for the price point - except for the movement.  You can get into a sw200 for far less and there are some terrific dive watches for less.  Thing is - movement quality really isn't my thing (within reason) and I'm more about dial, case, bracelet.  But then I worry about resale....  thoughts?

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One on hand, kind of a bum when watches with a stock ETA or Sellita movement got jacked up like that.

On the other hand, you wouldn't have to worry about your watch guy refusing to service/repair it after the warranty ends. 

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In-house movement is "fake news" at its worst:

  • All Swiss brands, practically, sourced movements from ETA, Minerva, etc., etc.  Very few did in-house.  Why?  Because movements are highly complex and when it comes to complex components, incredibly high fixed R&D costs are involved.  Under that scenario, "natural monopoly" suppliers are the most efficient / effective.  For example, in bicycle drivetrains, you have Shimano, with something like 80% market share.  In operating systems, you have Microsoft.  In car transmission, you have ZF.  It would be madness for every bicycle manufacturer to create their own in-house drivetrains!  Cannondale drivetrains, and Specialized drivetrains, and Giant drivetrains is just another word for "spectacular failures and deaths on the road."  Same with proprietary, "in-house" operating systems, and proprietary car transmissions...  Oh, wait, Nissan did go proprietary and in-house.  Just google Nissan CVT, and the first page of results is all law firms asking you to contact them to join class action lawsuits against Nissan for having created history's most unreliable transmission system
  • We got to "in-house" movements, because Swatch Group bought up all the movement manufacturers after the Quartz Crisis, and then tried to put all their competitors out of business by refusing to supply their competitors with movements anymore.  Those guys were f*cking geniuses!!!  Unfortunately, Swiss government stepped in, and told them, "Nope!  We don't believe in free enterprise.  You must continue to sell movements to your competitors for the next 30 years"
  • As a result, every other Swiss manufacturer has come up with their own in-house movements.  And instead of saying, "We hate this.  It cost a sh*t-ton of money to create this piece of sh*t, and it's totally unproven and unreliable, while the typical ETA movement has been in operation and shown its reliability for something like 5 decades now," instead, their marketing says, "We have an amazing, proprietary, in-house movement!!!"

So, I get that we pay money for cool marketing.  And, we'll pay premiums for inferior products, so long as the marketing is cool enough.  But, if you can break free of "social desirability bias" and ignore the marketing, and you want reliability and build quality, I would say definitely go for the Sellita, the ETA, the Seiko, the Miyota...  any and all "workhorse" movements.

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If you are concerned with any value retention, there is no way I would pay $2700 for an Aquis. Like most Aquis models, this one will tank in value after it hits the market. One, few people will pay almost Tudor money for an Aquis. We can argue which is better, but that is what it is. Two, as a result, this will sit on shelves then the dealers will off load them to places like Jomashop. Joma will end up selling them for $1800, before then ultimately ending up at all kinds of places for $1500 within a year. That is the fate of this watch, because that is the same fate of every Aquis with the Sellita movement. 

Note, I am not knocking the Aquis, I love the Aquis, but at <$1600. If you like it, wait for the greys. It is also a good patience test. Speaking of which, this forced me to check the price of the Cherry Aquis I have been interested in, which are selling in the $1300-$1500 range from their their original $2300 price last year.

Now, the Sellita is a solid movement. Oris also their actual in house Calibre 400 which by most accounts is a good movement. Still would not pay a significant premium over a Sellita. For me, I have ceilings for certain movements; the SW200 is $2000. Again, personal preference. 

Edit: Out of curiosity, checked out the price dive in their Oris Aquis Calibre 400. Original retail last year: $3500.  Now, <$2400 grey and well under $2000 used. At less than $2000 that is a heck of a deal, though no one will know or care it has the in house vs. Sellita. 

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HotWatchChick69

In-house movement is "fake news" at its worst:

  • All Swiss brands, practically, sourced movements from ETA, Minerva, etc., etc.  Very few did in-house.  Why?  Because movements are highly complex and when it comes to complex components, incredibly high fixed R&D costs are involved.  Under that scenario, "natural monopoly" suppliers are the most efficient / effective.  For example, in bicycle drivetrains, you have Shimano, with something like 80% market share.  In operating systems, you have Microsoft.  In car transmission, you have ZF.  It would be madness for every bicycle manufacturer to create their own in-house drivetrains!  Cannondale drivetrains, and Specialized drivetrains, and Giant drivetrains is just another word for "spectacular failures and deaths on the road."  Same with proprietary, "in-house" operating systems, and proprietary car transmissions...  Oh, wait, Nissan did go proprietary and in-house.  Just google Nissan CVT, and the first page of results is all law firms asking you to contact them to join class action lawsuits against Nissan for having created history's most unreliable transmission system
  • We got to "in-house" movements, because Swatch Group bought up all the movement manufacturers after the Quartz Crisis, and then tried to put all their competitors out of business by refusing to supply their competitors with movements anymore.  Those guys were f*cking geniuses!!!  Unfortunately, Swiss government stepped in, and told them, "Nope!  We don't believe in free enterprise.  You must continue to sell movements to your competitors for the next 30 years"
  • As a result, every other Swiss manufacturer has come up with their own in-house movements.  And instead of saying, "We hate this.  It cost a sh*t-ton of money to create this piece of sh*t, and it's totally unproven and unreliable, while the typical ETA movement has been in operation and shown its reliability for something like 5 decades now," instead, their marketing says, "We have an amazing, proprietary, in-house movement!!!"

So, I get that we pay money for cool marketing.  And, we'll pay premiums for inferior products, so long as the marketing is cool enough.  But, if you can break free of "social desirability bias" and ignore the marketing, and you want reliability and build quality, I would say definitely go for the Sellita, the ETA, the Seiko, the Miyota...  any and all "workhorse" movements.

While I do believe Swatch's actions during the quartz crisis was the catalyst, as you pointed out, I do think that In-House movements (to a lesser extent) would still be a thing now. One large reason being that vertical integration leads to higher margins - and the emergance of many watch conglomerates suggest that in house movements intra-conglomerate would be smart.

I also think calling in-house movements "fake news" is a bit misleading - there are real advantages to the current in-house movements. 

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I do not care for that Oris.  The green dial reminds me of the water color in NY Harbor.  I guess it is nice that they are spreading awareness to the need for oyster beds in the harbor but to overprice a watch for Oris's mission?  

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The SW200 can be found in watches for less, but also in watches for more. Overall, it doesn't bother me, as long as the rest of the watch justifies the price 

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I got the Star Wars Aquis from a dealer when it first came out.  I am always a bit nostalgic for Star Wars (watched it in 1977 in the theatre!) and since it was slightly limited (1300 units) - I didn't want to miss out.   

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Great watch and excellent timekeeping.  But yeah - in retrospect I could have gotten it for quite a bit less.  That said, I think if it's a somewhat limited model and you feel some connection with the design then you might have to bite the bullet!

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The upcharge goes towards that particular cause, how much of that money actually goes into it is another debate. If all you want is the watch then like AllTheWatches said, go pre-owned/grey market, you can get great deals on Oris, especially pre-owned.

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VictorAdameArt

The upcharge goes towards that particular cause, how much of that money actually goes into it is another debate. If all you want is the watch then like AllTheWatches said, go pre-owned/grey market, you can get great deals on Oris, especially pre-owned.

I always assumed that was the case Victor. Oris has come out and said the upcharge is because it comes with both a rubber strap and bracelet and nothing about the charity. While they no doubt do a ton with charitable orgs, arguably more than many brands, they are intentionally vague about how much earned from any of these special editions actually goes to the charities. No part of their sustainability report specifies what they are actually doing for the charities. No dollar figures, no mention of donations, etc. I have full faith and confidence they helping and they do a nice job of bringing attention to important matters, but the lack of transparency is disappointing. If they came out and said X% of every watch goes directly to the charity, that would be amazing. 

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I thought of buying an Oris for a while and after talking to a watch "expert" he gave me the same advise youre getting here. The in-house is not worth the upcharge, get a base Sellita model if you go for one, etc.

I ultimately got a Ball because I felt I was getting more bang for buck and still a very nice, capable watch. But if you love this design youre just going to have to put a price on happiness and never look back or wait as others suggested.

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In my observations of Oris watches over many years of collecting they just don't hold any real value once they hit the second hand market, so if that is a concern of yours, resale value, then personally I wouldn't buy the watch.

I personally buy watches I want to wear and hold onto, that part of the purchase never comes into the equation for me. Mind you I do buy watches that I get offered or find heavily discounted for the sole purpose of flipping to make some cash to buy a grail or better watches, but that's their sole purpose, to make some cash.

I'm not inclined either to search or have watches with in-house movements in them, you need to factor in service costs if you intend on keeping the watch for a period of time if not indefinitely and then your at the mercy of the manufacturer as to their service costs, which are generally high, most of your local watch guys won't touch them.

ETA and Sellita movements are cheap to service or to even replace, plus they have been tried and tested over many years and have a good track record as far as I know and going by the watches I own with them inside, Sinn, Aristo, Damasko, Hamilton, Christopher Ward ect.. I've never had any issues with them, some keep COSC time.

At the end of the day buy the watch if you love it and disregard what others say, your the one that will be wearing it, but I wouldn't be buying the watch if your worried about it's resale value.

Just my humble opinion, so make of it what you will 👍

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Fieldwalker

I got the Star Wars Aquis from a dealer when it first came out.  I am always a bit nostalgic for Star Wars (watched it in 1977 in the theatre!) and since it was slightly limited (1300 units) - I didn't want to miss out.   

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Great watch and excellent timekeeping.  But yeah - in retrospect I could have gotten it for quite a bit less.  That said, I think if it's a somewhat limited model and you feel some connection with the design then you might have to bite the bullet!

Really dig their Star Wars themed watch. One day I will pull the trigger on a cool Star Wars watch.

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AllTheWatches

Really dig their Star Wars themed watch. One day I will pull the trigger on a cool Star Wars watch.

Save yourself some dollars and go with Timex or another brand, Oris is just too over priced in my opinion. Guys here in Australia, trying to sell them second hand are basically having to give them away, nobody wants them which makes me very weary of buying one. But hey I could be wrong of course  🤝

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TonyXXX

Save yourself some dollars and go with Timex or another brand, Oris is just too over priced in my opinion. Guys here in Australia, trying to sell them second hand are basically having to give them away, nobody wants them which makes me very weary of buying one. But hey I could be wrong of course  🤝

I think they make a very high quality watch for the money (grey or used), but honestly they make too many variants and people do not like buying one thing and then having an arguably cooler/better version come out the following week, or every couple weeks it seems with them.  As far as Star Wars, I am a lover of the Dark Side when it comes to design. I will never own this one because it costs $120K, but damn Kross made a cool piece of mechanical art:

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Otherwise, I may eventually pick up one of the Citizen ana-digi ones. While not officially a Star Wars watch, this is my go to Star Wars watch in my box:

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Brands create identities for us to align to - Hamilton align to military history and Christopher Nolan movies. Zero West take pieces of historic machinery and build them into the cases. Omega chiefly align to NASA, James Bond movies. Tudor have their celebrity ambassadors. Oris are kings of environmental virtue-signalling. The best brands paint a vivid picture as to why we should care about buying their watches.

In turn, we align to brands that resonate with us. So a brand that manufactures their own "in house" movement (like JLC, Rolex, Patek etc.) is seen as a technically capable one for people who respect the traditions of watchmaking. 

There are hybrid models where a brand may take an externally manufactured movement and add complications or refinements. Sometimes they are called "in-house", which muddies the waters. There are others brands (like Tudor and most of the Swatch group), who co-own a separate movement manufacturer. They are also called, "in house" - further muddying the definition. There are others who also just lie. They take stock movements, put a brand stamp on them and call them "in house". 

In my view, in-house is a selling point and a way for customers to deepen their affiliation with a particular brand via servicing and repair tie-ins. The real question is - do you want to have that relationship, or do you want to be able to take your watch to your trusted local watchmaker for a more personal service? You pays your money and you takes your choice.