We pick six watches with movements which are derivatives of the Sellita ébauches.
Six best watches with movements derived from the Sellita ébauches
The Sellita ébauche has become one of the mainstays in the Swiss industry, becoming more and more popular in recent years. Especially when the antics of the Swatch Group led to the once ubiquitous ETA movements to be challenged by the likes of Sellita, Seiko and Citizen. In the scheme of things, the Sellita movements are often seen as equivalents to their shadow models in the ETA range. From the SW 300 being seen as essentially a clone of the ETA 2892-A2 to the SW 500 series being parallel to the ETA 7750, acceptance is high. Other ébauche makers in Switzerland are probably more expensive. We are referring to the likes of Swartz-Etienne, Chronode, La Joux Perret. So the Sellita and ETA remain more less only challenged by the Japanese and Chinese makers.
These are excellent, robust movements. Well proven to be reliable, trouble free and relatively accurate. Sellita does offer several levels in their movements, and the higher specified versions tend to be very good.
The latest addition to the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 collection. The case of this collaboration with Tara Ocean is in a beautiful deep blue ceramic instead of the 2019 BR 03-92 Ceramic which is executed in black. The movement is derived from the Sellita SW-300.
Coupled with an equally stunning blue dial with orange accents, with the usual Bell & Ross superb legibility (both in good and poor lighting – the lume is always exceptional!). And we have a really handsome watch.
Norqain’s story is one which is now intertwined with wildlife ambassador Dean Schneider, especially the Wild One Collection. One of the more recent watches to derive from this collaboration is the Skeleton. It is based on the Sellita SW-200 movement. With the typical characteristics of toughness and strength. All 78 grams of it. The case is constructed from a proprietary material called Norteq, carbon fiber composite in a polymer matrix made of 60% castor oil.
It makes an excellent weekend watch, or one for the wild parties in summer…remember, we are in Singapore, where it is summer all year long. At a retail of SGD 8.8k, the Wild One Skeleton can be considered to be not inexpensive, but we give it a hall pass as the skeleton works pulls its marks right up.
We absolutely love the entire Hanhart 417 series. The true to form tribute to the original military flight watch, built to high precision, but yet robust and strong for daily as well as flight use. The watch is equipped with the Sellita SW510M movement.
This is a nicely designed, well thought out watch with excellent build quality. The vintage vibes, especially the period correct design with the box shaped crystal and the cream hue of the hands and numerals add to its charm. The moderate thickness is a bonus and the watch wears very nicely and comfortably, even though the 42mm case diameter might suggest that is may be too large for modest wrists.
Almost any Louis Erard will do. As almost all of them are based on the Sellita, and very nearly all of them have captivated our interest in one way or the other. But our pick is the Excellence Email Grand Feu II. A very classical watch in almost every sense of the word. In the design, proportions, and in the styling of the dial – Roman numerals for the even hours, and bars for the odd, with the 12 in red. All over a white grand feu enamel dial. The signature fir tree hands are hand blued. But with a modernist twist of the red grained calf strap.
The CHF 3,900 asking price strikes us as eminently reasonable. It is the same price as for the first Email Grand Feu. Many other brands will charge at least this amount, or even more as a premium just for the privilege of having a grand feu enamel dial. But for this price, Louis Erard gives you a whole watch with an automatic winding Sellita SW261 movement, and in a limited edition of only 99 pieces.
A departure from their standard offering not only in the pricing level, but also in the styling. The Free-D is a 3D printed shell wrapped around their signature rounded square capsule in titanium. This capsule contains the Sellita SW-300 movement and has the display similar to what is seen in the Series M watches. The watch’s visual is unique. Unlike any we have ever seen. Almost alien-like.
And the box in which it comes with is also exceptional in that it is an articulating 3 dimensional origami which unfolds to present the watch. All printed in one go.
The SEVENFRIDAY Free-D is priced at US$3,800 (approximately S$5,297), and it is limited to a production of 50 pieces. The first production run is sold out, but we understand from Dan Niederer of SEVENFRIDAY that he is working on further editions.
And rounding up the Sellita gang, we have the Sinn 105 UTC. Sinn has long been the king of tool watches, and the 105 series is no stranger to a hard life. The steel case is designed to be the equal of any task that the owner can throw at it. It is not only tough, but blessed with handsome good looks. This time, the movement is again the Sellita SW 300.
The simple dial layout has excellent legibility makes a compelling case for it. The legendary Sinn name in the world of tool watches, and the proven robustness of its siblings is another great testament. And finally, the value for money pricing at the very competitive entry level SGD 3k point makes it an excellent choice for those looking for a good, daily wear, go anywhere kind of watch. Four options to choose from – black or white dial in either bracelet or nylon strap.
So here is our list. Let us know what you think. Which other watches would you have chosen?