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The Top 5 watches with manufacture calibre

The Top 5 watches with manufacture calibre

Nils Rau

In the world of luxury watches, factory calibres are in the top league: the construction of a manufacture movement requires years of expertise and exceptional watchmaking skills. While some watches with manufactory calibres break records, others set milestones. We present to you the top 5 watches with manufacture calibre.

Watches with manufacture calibre: A class of its own

As the name "manufacture" (from Latin manus "hand" and facere "to make") already suggests, manufacture calibre are movements that are developed and produced by watchmakers themselves. What at first glance sounds like a matter, of course, is, in reality, one of the most demanding and complicated disciplines in the world of fine timepieces. It takes years, sometimes decades, to plan and develop a manufacture movement, and then finally to bring it to the production stage.

The watchmaking and constructive expertise that such a project requires is enormous, as is the financial component. Against this background, it is only now that it becomes clear why the majority of watch manufacturers in the budget and luxury segments resort to ready-to-wear calibres. Whether manufacture movement or ready-made calibre: there are good reasons for both movements.

In-House calibres from 100 to 100,000 Euro

Watches with manufacture calibres do not always have to be expensive: The Japanese manufacturer Seiko uses calibres it has developed itself in all its watches – whether quartz, spring drive or mechanical. The models of the low-priced Seiko 5 series also have a factory calibre.

However, the level of quality is at a completely different level for High-quality watchmakers like Patek Philippe or Hublot. Both the construction itself, the development and manual production of complications such as perpetual calendars, chronographs or tourbillons warrant the sometimes six-figure, and in some cases, seven-figure prices called up. The level of finishing also plays a decisive role. Manufacturers such as A. Lange & Söhne even finish the individual movement components by hand in those places that remain hidden from the observer when looking at the movement.

Our top 5 watches with manufacture calibre

1. Rolex GMT Master II "Batman"

The Rolex Company has always produced watches with an in-house calibre. In the Rolex Batman of the GMT-Master II (Ref. 116710BLNR), the calibre used is the Rolex calibre 3186, which has been used in Rolex models since 2005. This calibre is the successor of the predecessor calibre 3185, which has been produced since 1988. Two unique features of calibre 3186 are the quick date set mechanism and the Parachrom hairspring, which is now also installed.

In addition to these new features, which were introduced with Calibre 3186, Rolex manufacture movements are something unique: no other manufacture calibres are considered to be as rugged and durable as Rolex movements. The secret of success is quite simple in the most real sense of the word: Rolex does not rely on experimental designs and complications but simple, function-oriented manufacture calibres.

Shop the Rolex Batman

2. Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M chronograph

When it comes to watchmaking innovations, the Biel-based manufacturer Omega sets industry standards. In the Seamaster Diver 300 M Chronograph, Omega has incorporated its own in-house Master Chronometer Calibre 9900, which features an in-house chronograph and date display.

To obtain the title of "Master Chronometer", each movement must undergo eight strict tests at the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), which include shock resistance, durability and precision. Resistance to magnetic fields is also an issue in METAS certification - Calibre 9900 is amagnetic up to at least 15,000 Gauss. Also, the movement has Omega's Co-Axial escapement, which was developed by master watchmaker George Daniels and makes the watches less maintenance-intensive and safer.

Shop the Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M

3. TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre Heuer 02

From the presentation of the manufacture movement Heuer 02 in 2017, it was to take only two years before the new flagship calibre was installed in the most striking model of the Swiss company TAG Heuer: In 2019, TAG Heuer, a company closely associated with racing, unveiled the Monaco Calibre Heuer 02.

The watch is nothing less than the perfect fusion of a watch designed for racing and an in-house calibre. Its ratchet wheel, vertical clutch and 80-hour power reserve make it one of the most attractive chronograph movements on the market, enabling the precise timing of race times and other periods.

Shop Now: TAG Heuer Monaco

4. IWC Portugieser Chronograph

The year 2020 is exceptional for the IWC Portugieser. The new version of the Portugieser chronograph presented at the 2020 Digital Watches & Wonders Fair, which listens to the reference 3716, remains almost unchanged in appearance, but now features an in-house calibre. This makes the Portugieser, which is one of the most elegant models in the brand portfolio, significantly more attractive. The Manufacture Calibre 69355 features a column-wheel chronograph and is equipped with a self-winding mechanism and 46 hours of power reserve at 28,800 vibrations per hour. The calibre has a total of 194 components.

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5. Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43

After many years of producing contemporary "Instruments for Professionals", Breitling, under the leadership of Georges Kern, is looking back more and more to its roots and is increasingly producing watches in a heritage design. Thanks to the company's long, tradition-rich history, this is a welcome step.

The Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 is one of the most exciting Heritage models of the previous "core era": the watch comes in a simple Heritage design with a toolwatch attitude and Breitling DNA. The watch is powered by the in-house calibre B01, which Breitling has been using since 2009. Calibre B01 features a column-wheel chronograph and a 70-hour power reserve.

Shop the Breitling Aviator now