Watch Movements are basically the engines of your watches. The Watch Movement is also known as Calibre.
If you are reading this guide, it means that you have knowledge of watch movements and you are looking for watches with good watch movements at reasonable prices.
Here is a related article that might interest you on 7 Celebrities Who Wear Michele Watches.
So, keep reading because I’m going to share the best movement for affordable watches. Let’s get started.
Can I Get Quality Movement In A Cheap Watch?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible because the vast majority of cheap watches come with sub-standard watch movements.
Even if you buy a pre-loved watch, your chances of getting a watch with quality movement are very rare. But, in some cases, you can get a pre-loved watch with a quality movement but even if you get it at a cheap price, you will need to spend some money to repair some components.
However, if you have a budget of around $200 to $600, you can easily get various quality watch movements which I will discuss in the next section.
Top 4 Best Movements For Affordable Watches In 2023
In the watch industry, there is a variety of watch movements that are known for their accuracy and performance. However, these are the best watch movements that you can get at an affordable price. Let’s have a look at my top affordable watch movements.
1. ETA Cliber 2824-2 (ETA 2824-2)
Let’s start with the legendary ETA Caliver 2824-2, commonly known as ETA 2824-3), which is arguably the best and most affordable watch movement you get in 2023. This legendary watch movement went into production in 1982 and since then, it’s ruled the watch industry.
The “2” digit at the end of the name indicated the generation of the movement which means that I’m recommending the 2nd generation of the ETA 2824 watch movement.
ETA 2824-2 is a very popular movement and many popular watch brands use these movements for their watches. Some of the popular ETA 2824-2 watch companies are Tissot, Hamilton, Tag Heuer, and Tudor.
When it comes to ETA 2824-4 movement comes with 4 different grades and its grades define the accuracy. These are the 4 grades of the ETA 2824-2 movement.
- Chronometer – It’s the top grade of the movement and it’s as per COSC specification.
- Top – It’s the 2nd highest grade and it comes with an average rate of -4 to +4 seconds. The max variation of this grade is between -15 to +15 seconds.
- Elaborate Grade – It’s the 3rd highest grade and it comes with an average rate of -7 to +7 seconds with a max variation of -20 to +20 seconds.
- Standard Grade – It’s the standard grade of ETA 2824-2 and it comes with an average rate of -12 to +12 seconds with a max variation of -30 to +30 seconds.
On top of these grades, many watch companies also modify their movements to make them more customized according to their requirements.
When it comes to prices, the prices depend on the grade and brand but you can easily get a decent watch with ETA 2824-2 watch movement under 350 USD.
2. Sellita SW200
Sellita SW200 is another very popular movement which you get at a very reasonable price. It’s also one of the best alternatives to ETA 2824-2 and it’s readily available as compared to ETA 2824-2 movements.
Some of the popular watch companies which use SW200 for their watches are Montblanc, Farer, Sinn, Baume & Mercier, and Yema.
When it comes to reliability and accuracy, this watch movement is as good as ETA 2824-2 and it’s also more affordable which makes it an ideal choice for many people.
Sellita SW200 have two generations named SW200-1 and SW200-2 and both of them come with these levels.
- Chronometre – The highest level and it’s tested as per COSC specification.
- Premium – The top level of Sellita SW200 Calibre comes with an average variation of – 4 to 4 seconds per day.
- Special – It’s the 3rd highest level of the movement and it comes with an average variation of -7 to +7 seconds per day.
- Standard – The standard level of the movement comes with an average variation of -12 to +12 seconds.
When it comes to prices, you can easily find watches with Sellita SW200 watch movement under 300 to 400 USD.
3. Miyota 9015
Any list of Affordable and best watch movements would be incomplete without the legendary Miyota 9015 watch movement.
This watch movement is designed by a Japanese Company, Miyota, and the major stakeholder of the company is owned by Citizen watch group which is the largest watch manufacturer in the world.
The company created Miyota 9015 and it’s as good as the popular Miyota 8215 which is considered the predecessor of the 9015.
When it comes to performance and accuracy, Miyoa 9015 is as good as any other watch movement on the list. On top of that, it also comes with the name of Citizen Group which carries its own weight. So, you can buy the watch with Miyota 9015 watch movement without any worry.
In terms of accuracy, the company claims that the movement has an average variation of -10 seconds to +30 seconds per day which is pretty good for watch movement at this price range. You can find watches with Miyota 9015 watch movement within the price range of 200 to 400 USD.
4. Seiko NH35
Seiko NH35 is another very good and quality watch movement that you can get at an affordable price tag. As the name suggests, this watch movement is designed by Seiko which is one of the most popular watch companies in the world.
In terms of vibration, Seiko NH35 is better than other watch movements on the list. So, the second hand will not run as smoothly as the one on other watch movements.
Similarly, if we look at the accuracy, Seiko NH35 comes with an average variation of -20 to +40 seconds per day. In comparison, it’s the worst accuracy as compared to other movements on the list. But, on the good side, it’s also more affordable and readily available as compared to other movements.
Overall, Seiko NH35 is a great movement but I wouldn’t prefer it over the likes of Miyota 9015, Sellita SW200, and ETA 2824-2.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
Which Is Better ETA Or Sellita?
In terms of overall quality, the ETA Watch movement is better than Sellita but both movements are considered very close to each other. Many experts believe that Sellita is a good alternative to the ETA movement.
What Is The Most Reliable Watch Movement In The Budget Category?
When it comes to the budget category, ETA 2024-2 is the most popular and reliable watch movement you can consider in 2023. Similarly, Miyota 9015 and Sellita SW200 are also two quality watch movements in the budget category.
Are Sellita Movements Made In China?
Sellita is a Swiss company and all of Sellita Movements are designed and manufactured in Switzerland. According to the company, over 98% of the parts of Sellita movements are manufactured by various suppliers in Switzerland. Only 2% of the parts are imported from overseas suppliers worldwide.
In this guide, I’ve shared the top 4 best watch movements which you can buy at an affordable price tag. I’d recommend that you should do your research before spending your money on getting watches with these movements as many companies also sell replicas of these movements at cheap prices.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. Also, if you are interested in super-accurate and quality watches, check this guide where I’ve shared the Best COSC Certified Watches Under $500, $1000, and $2000.
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