Panerai P.2004 calibre

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Manually winded p.2004 movement front

This calibre is another success in the long line of technological achievements of the Neuchatel brand when it comes to designing and  developing its calibres. The P.2004 calibre is, in fact, the first chronograph movement created entirely by Panerai. A complete movement that offers the simple time measurement tools (hours and minutes) but adds complicated features like the small seconds, GMT, the 8 days power reserve linear indicator and the seconds reset. And on top of all these, it is also a single button chronograph.

This hand-wound mechanical movement has 13 3/4 lignes, 29 jewels and it’s 8.2 mm thick. It counts 321 components in total and it works with a frequency of 28,800 alternations/hour fitted with a regulating screw.

As a successor of the P.2003 calibre, all the features are kept. The second time zone with the day/night indicator (a little window from the small seconds dial turns from white into black, making the difference between AM/PM time zone), the amount of running time remaining showed by the linear indicator on the dial, the zeroing of the seconds hand in order to synchronize the watch- you just need to pull the winding crown and the small seconds hand returns to zero and stops. But the best part is the chronograph function, that has a cool particularity of having just one push-piece (located, at the level of the dial, at 8 o’clock position) instead of two, like most chronograph have. This push-piece, when pressed in sequence, starts/stops and zeroes the central hand with great precision due to the column wheel. This chronograph function does the job through a friction clutch, an important detail that forbids the movement of the hand to be unsteady. The minute counter moves instantaneously by  clicking from one position to the next on the 60th second of each minute.

Manually winded p.2004 movement back

All the functions along with the  8 days power reserve are possible through three superimposed spring barrels that sore lots of energy.

The design of this movement is cut out for all the functions provided: chamfered and polished angles, large brushed plates, mirror-polished screws, separate bridges.

The P.2004 has the P.2004/10 as a variation, executing the same functions but with a more sophisticated look in therms of finishing, as the three-quarter plate and barrel are skeletonised.

The P.2004 calibre is obviously equipped with  Glucydur balance and a Parechoc anti-shock device and it also provides a water resistance up to 100 m.

Large calibre also means large cases, so the P.2004 can be found inside the Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante GMT & 8 Days models in all variations (including the Left-Handed one), with a diameter ranging from 44 mm to 47 mm.

Aiming constantly to expand the range of their in-house produced calibres, Officine Panerai`s offers a unique high-tech approach that, blended with their signature case design, is providing original and valuable luxury wrist watches.

Panerai P.2003 Calibre

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side view of Automatic mechanical movement P.2003 calibre

This is, in fact, the first automatic movement developed entirely by Officine Panerai, as this brand continues to innovate and  improve the, buy now, rather big panoply of self designed and manufactured calibres.

It is the descendant of the P.2002 calibre, inheriting all its functions but taking one step further and providing a 10 days power reserve,  displayed on the dial by a linear indicator. So this essential technical feature was improved up to the amazing 10 days level, possible due to the three mains-spring barrels that accumulate 240 h of power when fully wound. Two of the spring barrels are positioned one on top of the other and the third one is linked to the other two through a gear train.  This way, the remaining power can be indicated on the graduate scale. The winding is automatic and bi-directional.

Beside the basic function of simple time measurement (hours and minutes), the GMT function becomes handy for those who are traveling a lot. A second central-mounted hand assures GMT reading in a 24 hours format and the seconds sub-dial has a AM/PM indicator in order to eliminate any possible confusion.

The seconds reset is a beautiful feature that engages a complicated mechanism of levers, heart-shaped cam and some blades in order to stop the small seconds hand and reset it to zero.

Another unique and useful offering is the fact that this calibre lets you  switch the hour in a 1 h jumps forward or backwards (the quick hour-hand correction feature) without moving the minute hand. The date will adjust automatically.

big picture of panerai automatic mechanism

All the structural parts of this mechanism have polished screws and edges while the oscillating weight also bears the logo of the brand.

With its 13 3/4 lignes 25 jewels and 8 mm thickness, this is a large calibre. In total it counts 281 components and you will find it in all the variations of the Radiomir 10 Days GMT Automatic models and in the Luminor 1950 10 Days Automatic GMT ones, all big case watches, ranging from 44mm up to 47 mm. And although you may expect that all the features provided by this calibre would have as a result a rather busy dial, you will be surprised in the most pleasant way to observe that the dials have a clear design in order to give a friendly experience to the users.

The P.2003 calibre also has a variation in the form of the P.2003/10 calibre, slightly different, counting 293 parts and offering a higher level of skeletonization on the oscillating weight, bridges and barrels. The finishing on this calibre is truly exceptional and can be compared to the one that you can find at watches from Audemars Piguet or Vacheron Constantin. The P.2003/10 calibre is the beating heart of the model Radiomir 1940 10 Days GMT Automatic Oro Rosso.

Calibre`s P.2003 features and complications are the proof that the company’s portfolio is getting more and more divers, as Officine Panerai wish to offer to its customers a cutting-edge technology completely developed in its high-standard obeying laboratories.

Panerai P.2002 Calibre

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Hand-wound mechanical, P.2002 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai

When Officine Panerai has started to pursuit the need to entail a complete overhaul it wasn’t about making little changes, modifying small details or proceeding to make some additions. The desire to become a true manufacturer was translated through the creation of their own entirely in-house developed movement. And it all started with the calibre P.2002, as the first calibre signed by the Neuchatel manufacture, that has proved to be the delight of the Paneristi, being the result of the now famous know-how of the brand.

You can call it a multipurpose mechanism, as it is a hand-wound calibre that delivers accurate time measurement (hours, minutes) and has multiple features like small seconds, date, GMT, 24h indicator, a power reserve indicator and a second reset mechanism.

Panerai movement with power reserve 8 days

In order to provide all these functions, it works with 21 jewels and has a total of 247 components. It’s a large movement with a diameter of 13 3/4 lines (31mm) and a thickness of 6.6 mm.

A stunning 8 days power reserve is translated, at the level of the dial, by a linear indicator. Three spring barrels positioned in series  can be hand-wounded through the winding crown. When fully wound at 8 days there are less fluctuations in accuracy, another benefit being the fact that winding it up every 7-8 days means insignificant wear on the components.

The GMT function can be read due to a specific hand on the dial that shows the time in the place of departure. The winding crown does the job of setting the second time zone. It has three positions and the intermediate one adjust the local time while the date indicator updates automatically. When the crown is pulled out to its furthest position, the hands of the watch show you the local time and the central hour hand of the second time (a bit shorter then the main local hour hand, in order to differentiate itself) also moves so you can see the difference between your local time and the time in the departure place. And to make sure there isn’t any confusion, the watches bearing this mechanism have a AM/PM indicator informing you about the GMT over 24 hours.

This position of the winding crown also engages the zero reset device, moving to zero the seconds hand of the small sub-dial so you can synchronize the watch with a reference time signal.

Another strong point of this calibre is its resistance to shock, because the balance-cock is fitted with two supports, unlike most ETA automatic movements. The Glucydur balance and the KIF Parechoc anti-shock device are also assuring that time delivery is made without any external interfering.

And with a water resistance up to 100 meters, we can see why this calibre is a true masterpiece that keeps alive large case models such as the 44mm Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT (Oro Rosso, Platinum, acciaio,or the Left-Handed versions) the 47mm Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni or the impressive Egiziano, with a case diameter of 60mm.

Panerai P9100

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officine panerai mechanism on black background

The P.9100 is an automatic calibre with chronograph functions created by Officine Panerai, masterfully constructed in the Panerai manufacture in Neuchâtel. Released for the first time in 2013, it is one of the most performant automatic calibres on the time pieces market. As per all of the manufactured products of Panerai, the P.9100 calibre is crafted using only the best materials available to watch makers nowadays, and provides craftsmanship that is unrivaled, guaranteeing the highest quality and reliability and confirming once again the values the Panerai company stands for.

There range of Panerai watches that feature this movement is quite comprehensive, including the following models:

  • Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Titanium (PAM00615)
  • Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Titanium (PAM00614)
  • Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Ceramica (PAM00580)
  • Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Oro Rosso (PAM00525)
  • Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Acciaio (PAM00524)

The most notable and appealing feature of this Swiss watch movement is undoubtedly the chronograph function. Featuring a column wheel and a vertical clutch, the P.9100 does have a unique feature in its chronograph function in that the central hand is used to display the minutes of the chronograph, with the hand moving once for each single minute, allowing for an entire 60 minutes worth of recording using this special function.

Panerai automatic movement 9100 on white background

Not only that, but the chronograph is paired with a fly back function as well. This special feature of the P.9100 allows the user to set back the hands of the chronograph instantly to zero and automatically restart it, without first having to stop it, set it to zero, and then restart it all manually. A simple push button located at 8 o’clock controls this function, along with resetting the chronograph hands when it has stopped moving previously.

It is a nice feature that really finishes off the overall chronograph functioning, one of the big allures of this movement.

Measuring in at 13 ¾ lignes (31 mm) in diameter, the P.9100 is 8.15 mm thick and is made up of 302 components, as well as 37 jewels.  With two spring barrels in series, the calibre has an impressive power reserve of 72 hours – this is because of the ability to use thinner springs, which creates and even supply of energy for the duration of time.

The P.9100 also features automatic winding, which is achieved through the directional rotor that is on ball bearings and operates two arms terminating with hooks. This allows the springs of the two barrels to be wound with each movement that the rotor makes.

The Glucydur balance wheel oscillates at 28,000 vibrations per hour, the equivalent of 4 Hz, which is supported by single bridge with a KIF Parechoc anti-shock device. This guarantees the time piece’s durability, making it possible for the wearer to use this watch in the most endurable conditions of weather and activity without any problem and sign of wear.

The collection making the most of this Panerai calibre is, undoubtedly, the above-mentioned Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono launched in 2015 at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva. The two Automatic Titanium models are fitted inside solid titanium cases of 47mm in diameter, which is exquisitely engraved with the S.L.C. motif. They have a sturdy aspect, making reference to military values and symbols, while maintaining the Panerai classical look and high precision features. The underwater model of the same collection features a resistance to water pressure of 300 meters.

Panerai P.3001

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closeup image of panerai movement

The P.3001 is a hand-wound caliber designed and produced in-house by Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel. Fully developed and manufactured in-house, the caliber is not only very durable, but also extremely accurate. Actually, these Swiss movements are some of the most accurate and best performing on the time pieces market, representing a clear indicator of the quality craftsmanship that is a trademark of the manufacturing company Panerai.

Taking after a previous caliber movement – the Angelus – the P.3001 has a size of 16 1/2 lignes, and suited in a large case. The size of the movement is not without a reason: it helps with technical features that are highly appreciated by users such as accuracy and durability. A bolder size also means better visibility. The P. 3001 presents several features that are similar to the Angelus caliber 240. One of them refers to the going train placed beneath a single bridge, while the mainspring and winding mechanism are covered by a second bridge. There are, however, some differences, too. For instance, the P.3001 replaces the balance cock with a sturdy balance bridge, and features a power reserve indication that can be located on the barrel bridge.

officine panerai 3001 caliber

The two main watch models to have featured the P.3001 movement until present day is the Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Acciaio (PAM00422) and the Radiomir 3 Days GMT Oro Rosso (PAM00421).

A throwback to some of the iconic pieces created by Panerai, the P.3001 features the hallmarks of a classic Panerai watch with all the appealing characteristics of a modern piece, being robust and achieving the highest time measuring precision.

Being hand-wound and rather large in size, the P.3001 truly feels like a vintage pocket watch, and epitomizes the class and sophistication such a device can offer. It has only two hands – one for hours and for minutes, along with a smaller hand for seconds. There is no date aperture feature, providing a simple yet sophisticated watch movement when used with a PAM422.

Using the P.3001 with the PAM421 results in the watch having additional features, most notable a date function and GMT functioning as well. A power reserve indicator can be found at the back case of the movement. When the caliber P.3001 is used for the PAM421, a date and GMT function will also be present.

The second hand can also be automatically reset back to zero, which is an appealing functionality for all those who enjoy perfect synchronization of the time. Combined with the ability to move the hour hand entirely separately from the minute hand, the P.3001 provides complete control of time setting, which is useful for those who travel throughout different time zones.

Think of this caliber as the perfect everyday piece. It is highly durable and very reliable thanks to its impressive shock absorbers, showcasing its ability to withstand the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Be it commuting to work or going for a casual stroll, the P.3001 is designed to handle anything you might throw at it. No need to remember to take your watch off when going to the gym or undergoing various harsh circumstances that might damage a valuable time piece.

The movement measures in at 16 ½ and is 6.3mm thick, another example of the larger size of this piece which highlights the aesthetic appeal of its vintage design. It contains 21 jewels, with two spring barrels that are connect in series. It is made up of a total of 207 components, and features a Glucydur balance and Incablock anti-shock device. The 21,600 alterations per hour equate to roughly 3 Hz.

Panerai P.9003 Movement

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p9003 movement small picture

The P.9003 automatic calibre is one of the latest lines produced by Panerai. The model was first released in the year 2014. It was specifically created for use with the Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT 24H and its technical specifications suit this watch model’s design. The calibre itself was originally developed around the P.9001 and comes with quite a few notable features that set it apart from this original design concept.

The first and most prominent of these is the GMT 24 hour function, as well as the second time zone indicator, which is on the outermost edge of the dial and featured automatic in-house movement. This GMT function allows for time to be indicated over the 24 hour time rather than the traditional 12 hours. This feature is rather interesting as most luxury watches have a 12 hours dial approach.

The Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT 24H featuring a P.9003 calibre can therefore be used by wearers to help determine the time of a different time zone from the one they are currently in, a perfect addition for the traveling watch wearer. The independent hand that displays this time is the large hand that features a large arrow design. This dial will make one single rotation during 24 hours.

Another feature is that of the power reserve indicator on the back, which has been designed in a circular fashion and allows for a clear view of the indicator. This is protected by the transparent sapphire crystal of the case back, and measures at 2.6mm thick.

Panerai Automatic movement image

When it comes to the power reserve specifications, the P.9003 calibre movement features a reserve that can last up to three days, which is accomplished by connecting two spring barrels in series. This comes to underline values like robustness and durability the brand stands for.

The dial features an interesting black colour and nicely designed Arabic numerals along with hour markers, both of which are luminous – this provides a clear view of the dials even when the lighting conditions are not the greatest. The date function is situated at 3 o’clock and connected to the hour hand of the watch, with seconds being indicated at 9 o’clock. There is also a device that allows for seconds to be reset, allowing for a perfect synchronising when used with a reference time signal.

When regulating the time, the hour hand is able to be moved entirely on its own as well as increments of one single hour. This allows for adjustments to be made that do not interfere with either of the minute or seconds hands. This way, you will be able to make small adjustments, if needed, in no time.

The automatic mechanical P.9003 calibre features a diameter that is 13 ¾ lignes and its thickness measures to 7.9mm. With 28 jewels present in the movement, it is built using a total of 233 components.

With the balance wheel oscillating on a frequency that is 4Hz, the alternations per hour clocks in at 28,000. There is also an Incablor® anti-shock device present, along with Glucydur® balance. These features are meant to provide the movement with a high level of resistance to various external factors so that it can be used within the most unfavourable circumstances. The watch is also water resistant to 30 bars (300m), so it can be worn while taking a swim, but it does not make the appropriate accessory for a deep sea dive.

Omega Calibre 8611

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Omega 8611 movement picture

Omega has long been at the forefront of pioneering chronometers, having created the first wristwatch that could be categorized as a marine chronometer back in the year 1932. Before then, the only certified marine chronometers where either pocket watches or clocks that had been specially designed for ships.

Today, Omega remains one of the fines watchmaker brands in the entire world, and they still stay true to their maritime roots through various collections such as the Seamaster. These collections of luxury watches are among some of the most famous in the world and incredibly popular with various Hollywood stars, time pieces lovers as well as watch collectors.

The Seamaster Aqua Terra Annual Calendar watch model was a rather recent release in this iconic range of time measuring pieces, having first been developed in the year 2010. Now there are multiple entries into this particular section of the collection, most of which use the impressively constructed 8611 calibre, but there are also some using the slightly different 8601 calibre.

The 8611 calibre reflects the high quality of craftsmanship associated with the watch making brand Omega, along with the marine world inspired designs of the Seamaster watches collection, resulting in one of the finest movements produced in recent memory by the Swiss watch makers.

In fact, the 8611 calibre is also available for a range of select models featured in another iconic Omega collection – the Deville. The Hour Vision Annual Calendar range of this collection were first released in the year 2008 and developed for use with the 8611 calibre movement, ensuring that the mechanics that help to provide the very alluring annual calendar can be used in several time pieces collections and watch models.

Completely constructed and conceived in-house, the 8611 features the highly renowned Co-Axial escapement owned by Omega. Also known within the watch producing industry as the Daniels ‘fix’, the co-axial escapement mechanism represented a major improvement to the in-house developed calibres produced by the Biel based company. It helped the watch maker solve a major issue that appeared with previous calibre models referring to the sliding friction resulting from the escape wheel being touched by the pallet jewels.

These movements are self-winding and they feature incredibly desirable silicone balance-springs on a free sprung balance. This has helped to make the movements safe against the risk of magnetization, along with reacting better to any small shocks that might be in contact with the watch movement. This boosts the time piece’s reliability and endurance to being used in extremely harsh circumstances.

The annual calendar feature of the time piece provides automatic jumps from each month and date, making them happen in an instant, which can be pleasing on the eye when compared to dials that are slowly changing and look off-kilter. It may only be an aesthetic bonus, but collectors will definitely appreciate these subtle touches.

Winding can also be done in either direction, allowing for a quick and efficient change of time when needed, although the automatic movement should only make this a requirement when the watch hasn’t been worn for 55 hours, as this is the power reserve for this watch movement.

The calibre is visible at the back through the transparent case back, which is also marked with exclusive Geneva Waves in arabesque – an interesting aesthetic feature that is appreciated by the brand’s fans.

All in all, the Omega 8611 calibre is a high precision one, proving once again the values that the brand stands for: unbeatable reliability, high quality, appealing design and top notch comfort to the end user.

Tag Heuer Calibre 12

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Picture of Tag Heuer Calibre 12 Mechanism

Tag Heuer Calibre 12 is a complex and precise contemporary automatic modular chronograph movement manufactured by Tag Heuer. The Calibre 12 available these days with the brand’s bestselling designs is actually a reinterpretation of the iconic Heuer “Chronomatic” Calibre 12 created in 1969.

Back in the’ 60s every important watch company was determined to develop the world’s first automatic chronograph. This tight competition between successful watchmakers ended in 1969 when Heuer launched its “Calibre 12” movement which was developed in partnership with Breitling, Büren, Hamilton and movement producer Dubois-Depraz.  In 2009, the trend of vintage inspired sports watches determined Tag Heuer to recreate the vintage Calibre 12 by using modern novelties.

Even though the original Calibre 12 was advertised as a Tag Heuer in-house movement, this movement wasn’t an exclusive result of the brand’s watchmaking skills. The calibre had an ETA or Sellita ebauche with a Dubois-Depraz module. At that time, the mechanism had nothing to do with the original Chronomatic. Still, the brand used the launch of its Calibre 12 as a promotional advantage and the movement’s rotor is even marked with “Calibre 12” and the “Heuer” name.

The fact that the winding crown of the modern Calibre 12 is positioned on the right side of the case shows that the watch is not a Chronomatic. Similarly to the initial Calibre 12, the modern Calibre 12 is a modular movement and has a certified ebauche which sets in motion the chronograph module. The old Chronomatic Calibre 12 had a Buren 1281 with a Dubois-Depraz 8510 module. As none of these components was available after 2000, Tag Heuer decided to use on the contemporary Calibre 12 a common Sellita SW 300 or ETA 2892-A2 base with a redesigned Dubois-Depraz 2008 chronograph module. The components used on the new Calibre 12 make the movement very similar to ETA 2894-based TAG Heuer Calibre 17. Both of these calibres use a 2892 base.

The original Calibre 12 had the winding crown on the left side of the case, but the current version has it on the right side along with the chronograph buttons. Another significant difference between the initial Calibre 12 and the modern one is the balance frequency. The new movement operates at 28,800 A/h rather than the 21,600 A/h of the old one.

The dial layout represents a major change from the vintage Calibre 12 timepieces. On the classic version the chronograph hours were located on the left and the chronograph minutes on the right whereas the new one has just the chronograph minutes on the left and running seconds on the right.

The Swiss made Tag Heuer Calibre 12 is an exceptional automatic calibre which features modern and useful complications. With a 30 mm diameter, 59 rubies and a rapid date correction, this mechanism impresses its owner with superior precision.

Besides the 40 hours power reserve, the 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) balance frequency sets the Calibre 12 as one of the most important movements offered by Tag Heuer. Among its most important functions are accurate time telling, a date window, a 30 minutes chronograph counter and a central 60 seconds chronograph.

The exquisite Tag Heuer Calibre 12 has its open-work oscillating mass decorated with “Côtes de Genève” patterns and features the defining engravings “TAG Heuer — Calibre 12 — Swiss Made”.

Tag Heuer’s success and luxury identity is closely connected with the development of the Calibre 12, an exceptional automatic movement that was launched in a time when the watches market was in need of functional innovations. Now, after almost half a century it still is one of the most famous mechanism in history.

Panerai Calibre OP XI

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panerai movement

The Swiss company Panerai is well known for their high precision in-house movements, but they were also famous all over the world for taking third part movements with the intention of re-purposing them for their own collections and models, much like many of the other high end watchmakers do.

One such calibre is the OP XI, which was initially produced by ETC/Unitas in the form of the ETA 6497/2 hand-wind movement. Panerai proceeded to take this movement and make a selection of modifications that resulted in the series of calibres known nowadays within the watch making industry as OP XI, which while being inspired and based on by the 6497/2, is its own movement all together.

The OP XI is actually not the first movement from a third party that Panerai has developed for their own collection of wristwatches. In fact, there are several other manufacturers that have followed the same strategy, taking the 6497 movements (of which the 6497/2 belongs to) for their own collections, thanks to the reliability of these manual movements.

There is a wide selection of Panerai wristwatches that use the OP XI movement, most of these being a variation of the Luminor Marina collection. Notable models include the PAM 111, PAM 113, and PAM 177 Luminor Marina models. There are also two Radiomir Black Seal variations using this movement too, those being the PAM183 and the PAM 292 models.

All of them are very popular watch models appreciated by time measurement pieces lovers and collectors from all around the world. The Luminor Marina watches were the first Panerai time pieces made available to the general public, prior to the year 1993 when the collection was launched the Panerai products had been restricted to the use of military forces only. The same collection includes the custom made Slytech Panerai ordered by Sylvester Stallone and worn by the actor in the movie Daylight. Arnold Schwarzenegger also worn a similar watch in the movie Eraser, this way boosting the time pieces collection’s popularity even further.

An exclusive calibre to Panerai, the OP XI calibre measures a total of 16 ½ lignes, so when fitted into a case it stays true to the traditionally over-sized style that the Swiss brand is renowned for. The parts within the calibre feature 17 jewels in total, along with a Glucydur® balance (with a Nivarox® I spring) and Incabloc® anti-shock device, which helps to provide a high class protection for the calibre.

These are hallmarks of many of Panerai’s in-house calibres too, showcasing the unique modifications that make the OP XI such a high quality, modified movement. They truly feature that Panerai allure of quality and durability – values that stand at the heart of the watch producing company, hence the on-going popularity for calibres such as the OP XI.

The calibre makes a total of 21,600 alterations per hour and features a Swan’s neck regulator. A power reserve of up to 56 hours is also featured in the movement, which is gorgeously adorned with a Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges, another personalized touch added by Panerai that makes this calibre so pupular.

As the OP XI has been tested and certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), there is no question that this movement has been held to the highest testing standards for Swiss wristwatches, ensuring that accuracy and precision of this movement is a good and well deserved fitting of the highly esteemed watch manufacturing brand Panerai. This calibre will probably feature some other future models by the brand, proving its full qualities.

ETA Watch Movements

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Since 1793, Swiss movement manufacturer ETA SA has been the motorist of time. The company has dedicated its entire activity to developing and producing innovating and incredibly durable calibres for the watch industry. At the moment, it is one of the largest manufacturers of movements and watches in the entire world. Their products are uniquely precise, reliable and functional.

Most of today’s luxury brands rely on ETA SA when it comes to equipping their watches with high quality calibres. You see, the name that’s on the dial is not the same as the name that’s on the inside mechanism and in order to know how good a watch really is you first need to know what makes it tick, what type of mechanical self-winding movement sets it in motion.

The founders of ETA were dr. Joseph Girard and the 28-year old school teacher Urs Schild. At first, the company was an ébauche(semi-assembled movements) factory called “Dr. Girard & Schild“. In 1905, the name of the firm was changed to Eterna and its main activity was focused on assembling watches. Because of the negative economic environment, in 1932, the management decided to merge the company with ASUAG/Ébauches SA which produced only ébauches. Because of this partnership, Eterna was split in two parts: one that joined Ébauches SA holding and that continued to assemble watches, and a new one that was called ETA SA and made complete movements.

As the industry kept changing, ETA SA followed new directions for shaping its business. Even though manufacturers like Valjoux and Venus were creating chronographs, ETA was more concerned about building automatic movements, something that was revolutionary at that time. During the ‘50s and ‘60s the industry was expanding rapidly so ETA came with another innovation:  movements that were fitted with ball-bearings in the automatic winding mechanism. Furthermore, they also developed high-frequency movements that had 36,000 vibrations per hours.

As the decades went by, ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse (ETA SA Swiss Watch Manufacturer) evolved into one of the most famous and appreciated company that designs and manufactures high quality quartz watches, hand-wound and automatic-winding mechanical movements and ébauches. Today, the Grenchen, Switzerland based brand is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Swatch Group Ltd and its name is synonymous with excellence.

The very interesting thing about the products created by this company is that they come in two main forms: ébauches and complete movements. These are being sold in large quantities to the most important brands on the market. And each brand personalizes the movements as to reflect the image and performances that define its name.

Indeed, there are many mid and high-end brands that offer their in-house movements, but those who want to offer the best there is opt for modifying an ETA base calibre. The mechanism is modified by the company that purchased it by adding unique parts that are meant to increase the performances, durability and functionality of the movement. Still, in many cases the only thing modified in the mechanism is the rotor that has been embossed with the brand’s name.

ETA SA was founded by Eterna in 1856, but some essential parts of its production line were first manufactured in 1973 by the Fabriques d’Horlogerie de Fontainemelon (FHF) which was founded by David Benguerel, François Humbert-Droz, Isaac Benguerel and Julien Humbert-Droz.

ETA specializes in designing and making ébauches, but the company is capable of producing an entire range of parts needed for building a complete watch. Because of this very important aspect, it is considered a manufacture d’horlogerie. Its ébauches and ETA movements boost both timepieces of its competitors and timepieces of other Swatch Group subsidiary brands.

ETA is an essential element of modern horology and an element without which watch making would never be what it is today. Through a series of ups and downs, ETA SA has become the most important manufacturer of Swiss watch movements. Basically, it controls the trends and evolution of the industry, and in the end it defines contemporary timepieces as we know them.