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One of our most popular articles is our guide to five great watches powered by the ETA 2824-2 movement. ETA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swatch Group, the watch conglomerate that owns brands like Omega, Longines, and Tissot. But with Swatch Group and the Swiss government in an ongoing tussle over whether ETA can even sell its movement to third parties, brands have increasingly looked elsewhere for an affordable, “workhorse” movement to power their watches. Enter Sellita.
Sellita started as an assembler of ETA 2824 movements, taking nearly complete calibers and adding some gears and tightening some crews before shipping off finished products. Eventually, Swatch Group’s intellectual property protections on the ETA 2824’s technology expired, and Sellita decided they’d just clone the ETA 2824 movement they’d been assembling for years and make their own movement altogether. The Sellita SW200 (SW200-1) is the culmination of that effort. Sellita sourced components from outside the Swatch Group for the movement, with the exception of Nivarox hairsprings, which it continues to source from the Swatch Group subsidiary of the same name.
The Sellita SW200’s standard specs are similar to that of the ETA 2824:
Features: Hours, minutes, hacking sweep seconds, date window
Beats per hour: 28,800 (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38 hours
Jewels: 26 (one more jewel than the ETA 2824, but that’s probably just some one-upsmanship)
Like ETA, there are also four grades of Sellita movements, from the standard grade adjusted in two positions, to COSC (chronometer) certified.
Let’s take a look at five great watches with the Sellita SW200 (also called the SW200-1) ticking inside.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five
Oris has a number of affordable dive watch options powered by the Sellita SW200. I prefer the vintage-inspired Divers Sixty-Five; for a more serious dive watch option, check out the Aquis. Oris has long relied on the Divers Sixty-Five as the stalwart of its heritage offerings. Oris is also one of the few independent Swiss watch companies surviving, so you can feel good about yourself for “sticking it to the man” when you pick up a watch from the brand.
In its Divers Sixty-Five collection, Oris uses its 773 caliber, based on the Sellita SW200. You’ll find the Divers Sixty-Five offered in a 36mm, 40mm, and 42mm case, with dial options ranging from blue and green to black. Oris has also begun to experiment with case materials, recently releasing a bronze version that packs even more vintage charm than the standard stainless steel versions. On top of all that, the Divers Sixty-Five has 100m of water resistance, a domed sapphire crystal and a uni-direction diving bezel — still a true tool watch. With offerings starting at $2,000, it’s hard to beat the Oris Divers Sixty-Five for old school charm and up-to-date reliability.
AnOrdain Model 1
With AnOrdain, admittedly it’s all about the dial. But the great thing about having an affordable, serviceable movement like the Sellita SW200 readily available is that it frees brands up to focus on other components of a watch. For Glasgow-based AnOrdain, that means a dedication to producing enamel dials.
AnOrdain’s dials are one of those things that, when you’re scrolling through Instagram and see one, you stop and say “whoa, what the hell is that?” The company crafts grad feu (or vitreous) enamel dials completely in-house, with a process that takes at least 12 hours to complete. Creating an enamel dial in this way involves repeatedly firing the dial at temperatures up to 800℃, eventually drawing out the unique, intricate colors you’ll see in AnOrdain’s various dials. The “Iron Cream” (pictured above) is the original, a warm white enamel that gives the dial tons of depth. Meanwhile, the Sellita SW200 stays reliably ticking inside the 38mm case.
The painstakingly crafted enamel dial provides an interesting contrast to an otherwise minimal, Bauhaus-inspired design, creating a modern dress watch that’s both simple and elegant. Priced at about $1,300, the AnOrdain Model 1 is a truly exciting offering from a young brand.
For more, visit AnOrdain.
Baume & Mercier Classima
Richemont-owned Baume & Mercier has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence in recent years. While this has been largely in recognition of its efforts to bring movement manufacturing in-house, the brand also offers a line of more affordable options powered by the Sellita SW200. The Clifton Baumatic line — powered by an in-house caliber — is a current highlight from the brand’s collection, but the Classima offers a classically-styled Baume & Mercier dress watch at half the price.
At 42mm, it’s certainly a dress watch sized for the modern age, but its aesthetic remains classic: Roman numerals, a simple black or white dial, and not much else. The Baume & Mercier Classima serves as an entry point to a brand that has a rich horological history and seems determined to draw on that history to bring exciting modern pieces to the market. Pure elegance. Starting at $1,750 from Baume & Mercier.
For more, visit Baume & Mercier.
Eterna KonTiki Diver
Vintage Eterna KonTikis are some of my favorite affordable vintage picks: Readily available, under $1,000, and a connection to explorer Thor Heydahl’s expedition on the Kon-Tiki. For the modern KonTiki collection, Eterna looks to a number of movement providers, including Sellita for this Eterna KonTiki Diver 44mm. It’s a large, modern dive watch that lacks much of the vintage charm I enjoy from older KonTikis. But what it lacks in charm it certainly makes up for with performance. There’s a ceramic rotating diver’s bezel, 200m of water resistance, a sapphire crystal, and a structured matte black dial that stands out compared to more pedestrian efforts.
Of course, it’s powered by the Sellita SW200, but Eterna’s version features the brand’s crowning contribution to mechanical movements: the ball bearing. In 1948, Eterna added ball bearings to the mechanical automatic movement, which greatly assists the self-winding rotor’s rotation around its axis. This reduces wear and tear on vital parts of the movement. After this innovation, Eterna changed its logo to five ball bearings to represent its contribution to advancing watch mechanics. Ironically, Eterna’s technical proficiency and innovations made it a key player in the creation of ETA, but Eterna (now owned by a Hong Kong-based holding company) now relies largely on Sellita movements to power its watches.
All that history in a package that starts at just over $2,000 — not bad.
For more, visit Eterna.
Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro
English brand Christopher Ward used ETA movements in its early days, but has since transitioned to Sellita. Its signature dive watch line, the C60 series, offers a selection of robust divers with different complications, but the best is the classic C60 Trident Pro 600, powered by the Sellita SW200. With water resistance to 600m and case sizes from 38mm to 42mm, the collection illustrates the robust versatility of its Sellita caliber.
With Sellita taking care of the movement, Christopher Ward focused on a number of aesthetic details to make the C60 divers feel luxurious, without bumping the price tag above $1,000. There’s a ceramic bezel, glossy lacquered dial, and a re-designed “light-catching” case that features smooth, flowing lines along the lugs. It’s a watch that’s clearly inspired by classics from Rolex and Omega, but with a character that’s pure Christopher Ward.
For more, visit Christopher Ward.
Appendix: Sellita SW300
I did not include watches powered by the Sellita SW300 in this list. The SW300 is a copy of the ETA 2892 and is generally viewed as a slightly higher-end movement. The biggest difference between the SW200 and SW300 is that the SW300 is 1mm slimmer (3.6mm compared to 4.6mm in thickness). There are a number of watches that are powered by the Sellita SW300 (the Monta Triumph, to pick just one of our favorites), making the movement worthy of a “best of” list in its own right. Overall, the SW300 is another robust offering from Sellita, so if you’re considering a watch powered by this caliber, rest assured it’ll keep ticking reliably and service costs will be reasonable.