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Reposting of thread snippet from Vintage Omega...

Reposting of a thread snippet from the Vintage Omega Collector's Yahoo Forum that I previously eluded to...

Over the past couple of years, I've subscribed to a Yahoo forum that Robert-Jan Broer set up for Vintage Omega Collectors. Typically I don't read it religiously, and usually only chip in when I see something has gone seriously astray. Like the thread where a poster stated "The best automatic chrono movement - Without any doubt it is the Lemania 1040", sometimes I can't withhold my comments... If you wish to check out the thread please follow this link: ... Realize that formatting on Yahoo groups is very odd unless you know the trick (which I have since learned) so my comments are very poorly formatted compared to my typical postings in other forums. I will have some additional comments at the end...

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vintageomega · Vintage Omega Collectors (VOC)

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From: "Chuck/Char/Charley Maddox"

Date: Fri May 23, 2003 11:41 am

Subject: Opinions vary...

--- In, "Zaslavsky Georges"


georg_zaslavsky's comments are in this type style...

Chuck/Char/Charley Maddox's (AKA Heuer_Fan)'s Comment's are in this type style...

Hello omega fans

For your information heuer fan, valjoux and dubois depraz are faulty calibres.

I don't necessarily agree that one can categorize all of one firms wares as being faulty.

For your information, Georg, there is no reason to get haughty simply because someone disagrees with you. I do have a name and it's Chuck. Please feel free to use it.

Last week in France where i live some of the most famous watch retailers in Paris stopped to sell brands fitted with valjoux, eta and dubois debraz calibres (breitling, heuer, and bell and ross).

Must be a lot of Rolex, Zenith, Moonwatches, Broad Arrows, and "Haute Horology" brands being sold there because there are not many brands out there that don't have a tinge of ETA, Valjoux or DD...

When you say that the 7750 of valjoux is better than the 1040, you are wrong.

In your opinion, anyway...

Lemania calibers have a far more better reliability than any valjoux or dubois-depraz.

Not in my experience, but I only own about 100 Chronographs, dozens of Valjoux, and Lemania's. What do I know... There hasn't been a major difference in the servicing needs between my Valjoux 72's, 723, 724's, 726's and 7750's when compared to my c.321's, c.861's,, c.1341's, c.1040's, c.1041, c.5012, or c.5100's. I haven't seen any significant difference either way in comparison. I don't own many Micro-Rotor's and only one has needed service (fresh from purchase) so I can't really give you any "real-world" experience with them.

Like I say, personally I prefer the Lemania's, generally, over their closest Valjoux counterparts. You don't have to convince me that the Lemania is a good movement. It is and I do like the firm... I wish they were still independent and was planning to continue the production of the 5100...

They have a higher tolerance in terms of quality, a better precision and of course a legendary reliability. The 1045 (Lemania 5100) is as good as the 1040 but do not forget it uses plastic parts which is not very aesthetic.

I do believe I eluded to the fact that many people do not care for the 5100 because of the inclusion of Nylon parts. And you just contradicted yourself when you say "The 1045 (Lemania 5100) is as good as the 1040" when earlier you said "The best automatic chrono movement - Without any doubt it is the Lemania 1040". Not only is there doubt, you say the Lemania 5100 is as good as the c.1040.

And also bare in mind that it replaced the 1040 which was more costly to produce.

Just because a Ferrari engine is more expensive doesn't mean a Ford motor can't beat it, Reference 24 hours du LeMans: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969... When an engine block off of a station wagon production line beat the best Ferrari and Porsche could muster four years straight, until they outlawed the model via rules changes...

Nor did the 1045 technically replace the c.1040... They were both actively marketed in tandem in the product line for several years (at least until 1978-1979) before production of the c.1040 was phased out in favor of the c.1045, which was for all extents and purposes phased out itself for the most part in Omega's usage (the Mark V and Moonwatch v.1045 being the last gasps).

The 1045 was more simple in terms of construction but the 1040 is better why because it has 22 jewels instead of 17 jewels and of course it doesn't use any plastic parts.

Jewel count doesn't necessarily equate to a better watch. Reference the Omega 1138 and 1143 calibres which feature ETA 2890-A2 & Dubois-Dépraz 2020 (2030 in case of the 1143) Chrono Module. These movements sport 46 jewels: Something like 23 for the main timekeeping movement, and 23 for the D-D Chronograph module. It has more Jewels, but no one will claim it's a better movement than any of the Lemania (or Valjoux 7750 series for that matter) movements. I certainly won't.

As for Nylon parts... Plastic isn't really the correct term, as it is imprecise and not really an adequate indication of the reasons Lemania choose that material.

The parts in question in the 5012/5100 performed as good or better in terms of accuracy, durability or reliability and were self-lubricating, in fact metal equivalents would likely have performed worse. You'll note that the c.1861 continues this trend of using a nylon part in it's movement where it will do the job better than it's metallic equivalent. (Although the c.1863 retains a metal part for esthetic reasons).

I've yet to see a c.1040 movement be accepted by NATO, the Bundeswehr or other Military organizations. Frankly, I don't personally believe the c.1040 would be up to the stated requirements of being able to accommodate 7g's of acceleration while maintaining accuracy and functionality. In fact the 7750 is hard pressed to keep up with the 5100... It'll do in a pinch but it's clear that these organizations that purchase chronographs for their military prefer the 5100.

What about dubois depraz, the cal 11 was recognized as faulty and lot of antique watch retailers as well as new watch retailers told me it is fragile, not so reliable and not so precise movement as compared to Lemania's.

The Calibre 11 was the first generation of this line, and was only in production for about a year before the improved c.12 and c.14's were transitioned to.

No one will contend that the micro-rotor movements, in other words any of the Heuer, Breitling, Hamilton, Buren, DuBois-Depraz consortium movements (c.11-12, c.14-15 in common parlance), are the equal of any Lemania movement. Nor would I consider them the equal of the better of the Valjoux movements (the venerable v.72 and it's ilk, or the 7750. The main problem with the Micro-Rotor movement was that it was a Micro-Rotor. A central main rotor between the movement and case is the preferred method by all concerned. I don't consider micro-rotor automatic to be the equal of a central rotor automatic chronograph.

An other interested remark was given to me by the paris omega flagship store manager: "the cal 1861 when coming from factory is adjusted to a daily precision rate of -5 to +5s". An other remark of the same type was made by two of the most renown antique watch retailers in Paris: "the 861 and all its derivatives when very fine adjusted have an outstanding precision! to -2 to +seconds per day!

I believe if you look back to my posting(s) you will see that I do say that the c.861 (and the c.1861 by relation of course) is capable of great accuracy. In fact I own one example that's probably at or better than +/- 1 second a day. My first mechanical Swiss watch, that I've owned for nearly 20 years.

It is nice that the flagship store manager says that the factory ships out watches adjusted to +/- 5, but if you email Omega and ask them what kind of daily accuracy one should be able to expect from a newly purchased Moonwatch they won't say +/- 5 or COSC for the moonwatch or non-COSC mechanical watches. They won't commit to either on paper or in email.

No another movement like the valjoux 72, 7734, 7736, 22 can compete with the Lemania 861.

In your opinion.

The Valjoux 72 has in fact competed with the c.321 and c.861 for many years. The Valjoux 72 has been sold as a _certified_ chronometre for many years (I don't recall the c.321 ever being so certified), so as far as accuracy is concerned your statement doesn't seem to be the case necessarily. The v.72 can, and did. As for the other movements (7734, 7736, 22), no disagreement here. The 773x series and the v.22 isn't up to the task of competition with either the c.321 or c.861 movements. In fact the 7734 and 22 are two register movements, so I wouldn't consider them in the same market segment in any instance.

It is a true chronometer"

No, it is not. As I said, it can be adjusted to run well within chronometre specifications, but a watch that hasn't been COSC (or Observatory certified in the instances of Marine Chronometres) isn't a chronometer by COSC definition, nor by most people's.

It is incorrect, inaccurate and misleading for you to assert it is.

I own a Mark II Professional. It runs within COSC's +6/-4 spec. But it's not a chronometre nor is is a COSC chronometre. <--- That statement is not incorrect, inaccurate of a description nor is it misleading.

An all new movement made by Frederic Piguet for Omega (omega call 3300) fits the all new speedmster broad arrow and the seamaster america's cup racing chronograph. It is selfwinding column wheel automatic chronograph movement (you can find it in breguet, blancpain, corum and in the two omega chronograph quoted above). It is a top of the range movement with 27 or 31 jewels with 28800 bph, it possesses 55hours of autonomy and is chronometer certified.

Ah huh... I've read the advertisements and the articles. I see you have too.

This movement is the strongest zenith el primero competitor and numerous today watch retailers as well as antique watch retailers say it.

Yep, the other being the new Rolex Daytona movement which seems to have stumbled out of the gate a bit.

Both of them are interesting movements with an impressive feature set and great potential. Both have great potential and only time will tell if either or both have as long of a production run as the v.72, c.321, c.861, c.5100 or v.7750, or a run as short as the c.1040 and the Micro-Rotor movements. Only time will tell if either movement has what it take to be considered as good as an El-Primero, better than an El-Primero or not of the same stature.

Here was a ranking of the best chronograph movements ever built (manual and automatics) that was published in last year armband uhren magazine of october or november:

And hence the opinion of the author(s)...

"Die besten in der Welt automatik und handaufzug chronografen Werke

die je gebaut wurden

1)der el primero von zenith

2)der omega 3300 mit ein Piguet basis

3)der omega 321 mit ein Lemania basis

4)der omega 861 mit ein Lemania basis

5)der omega 1040 mit ein Lemania 3241 basis

6)der omega 1045 mit ein Lemania 5100 basis

7)der valjoux 7750

8)der valjoux 7765

9)der valjoux 7734

10)der valjoux 72

11)der valjoux 22

12)die cal 11 und 12 von dubois depraz."

An interesting table, but it really is only the opinion of the author(s). And even you don't agree with it as you have stated that the c.1040 is the best chronograph movement:

Subject: The best automatic chrono movement "Without any doubt it is the Lemania 1040..."

But then again you also say "The 1045 (Lemania 5100) is as good as the 1040" too...

I also find that table laughable in that they consider the Valjoux 7734 a better movement than the v.72! I mean that's ridiculous! The 7734 had a very short production run, wasn't highly though of by anyone and was never seriously considered for COSC testing... Someone goofed there big time.

Personally I would rank them somewhat differently...

First off I would not choose to lump together such different movements: Manual wind and Automatic wind. It's like comparing turbine engines to piston engines -- they are dissimilar enough to preclude one to one comparison. So my preferred table would probably look something like this...



1. Zenith El-Primero

2. Lemania 5100 (Omega c.1045)

3. Valjoux 7750

4. Lemania 1342 (in the Omega Speedmaster 125 c.1041 trim)

5. Lemania 1342 (in c.1040 trim)

6. Micro Rotor movement c.11-14

7. ETA2892/D-D 20x0 piggy back movement. (I really don't like that one!)

You'll note that both the new "Broad Arrow" Omega/Piguet and Rolex Daytona movements don't make the automatic list. They are too new and hence have not established any reliability or service record so they rank as an incomplete at this point. Same thing with the new TAG-Heuer variant of the El-Primero, and their new ETA 2892/D-D 2073 piggyback movement. They too are too new for comment at this time.

Remember that these rankings my _opinion_.



1) tie Lemania's based on the c.321/27 CHRO C12 &

Zenith HW/Prime movement

3) Lemania c.187x series (typically seen in the Moonwatch)

4) Valjoux 72 series.

5) Valjoux 7736

You'll note that I didn't include any Venus, Landeron, Excelsior Park or other lesser known brands in this listing. For the most part I wouldn't consider them in the same league as the above. The Valjoux 7736 is the cut-off point, even though some of the better Venus and Excelsior Park models may not be that different in terms of design, quality, implementation... Note that neither the Valjoux 7734 or v.22 made any of my lists. They do not have an hour register, and hence are "half a chronograph", in my opinion, and shouldn't be considered in the same table.

Remember these are strictly my opinion, which I am as entitled to as the authors of the table you posted.

If you were to ask me to combine the tables, I would do so, but stridently note the difficulties of comparing such dissimilar products (like comparing a coupé with a van).

Combined table...


1. Zenith El-Primero

2. (tie) Lemania's based on the c.321/27 CHRO C12 &

Zenith HW/Prime movement

4. (tie) Lemania 5100 (Omega c.1045) &

Lemania c.187x series (typically seen in the Moonwatch)

6. (tie) Valjoux 7750 &

Valjoux 72 Series.

8. Lemania 1342 (in the Omega c.1041 trim)

9. Lenamia 1342 (in c.1040 trim)

10. Micro Rotor movement c.11-14

11. Valjoux 7736 (close to a tie with the Micro-Rotor)...

12. ETA2892/D-D 2020/2030 piggyback. (I really don't like that one!)

Again, these are strictly my opinion, and anyone else's opinion can, may and probably differ. So be it.

Same caveats as those mentioned after my Automatic listing about the newer movements. Personally, I find it difficult to choose between the c.321 and the Zenith HW/Prime movement. I love the c.321, but I have to admit that the Zenith manual wind movement is every bit as good. I also find it difficult to choose between the 5100 and the 861, both are such solid durable movements in their categories. I like each of them for their strengths, they are different feature sets for different tastes . The Valjoux 7750 and 72 are basically equivalents in terms of one another, and I personally prefer them to the Lemania 134x movement. I just do. And I own at least a half a dozen c.1040's (four Seamasters, Mark III and Mark IV) and a Speedmaster 125 (c.1041).

Despite the valjoux spare parts are more easy to find as compare to the Lemania 1040 and 1045, their quality is very bad.

As I've said it's popular to dislike the 7750, but owning at least a dozen or two of them hasn't proven them to be substantially less reliable, durable or accurate than the Lemania's. Personally, I too prefer the Lemania over the Valjoux competition, but Valjoux 7750 is competition, good competition and has been so for the better part of 30 years...

Despite valjoux movements fit a lot of prestigious brand watches, it doesn't mean they are of top quality.

Nor does it mean that they are of bottom quality either.

For a lot of watch connoisseurs, as well as watch retailers and antique watch experts (I consider myself as a serious connoisseur because i have a lot of books about omega and rolex watches and i know exactly the value of an omega or a rolex watch.

For what it is worth, I own a lot of books and watches too, about Omega, Heuer, Zenith, Breitling, general watch/chronograph books as well and even one book on Rolex (and I don't own a Rolex!) but I don't call myself an expert, or a connoisseur... Despite the phenomenon that I've put fingers to keyboard a couple of times on these topics myself:

No, the term I use to describe myself is a student of the topics at hand, perhaps an enthusiast. I find those terms far less arrogant and more accurate. I have an open mind, but direct observation is given more weight than opinion.

I know also the daily precision rate and service intervals for omega and rolex movements so heuer fan you can believe me when I say something.

I have a fairly refined sense of being able to distinguish between fact and opinion. I have no problem with you expressing your opinion(s), as long as opinions aren't expressed as fact, especially when they are expressed as fact beyond dispute or disagreement, case in point claiming that c.1861's are chronometres when they are not, that without at doubt the c.1040 is the best (but the 1045 is as good as)...

I also am pretty good at direct observation, I do a lot of that. In fact I base my opinions more so on what I see and experience than what I read an author opine in a magazine.

I read also a lot of horolgical monthly french magazines)

I'm happy for you. However, no one asked for a Résumé.

the valjoux 7750 is synonym of mass produced cheap and unreliable chronograph movement as compared to piguet and Lemania which are regarded and considered the very top of the range quality movements alongwith the zenith el primero.

The Valjoux 7750 is a movement that is designed with mass production and efficient economies of scale that comes with it in mind. So was the Lemania 5100 for what it's worth.

It's interesting how the ,,c.1040 was beyond doubt the best chronograph movement,, in your initial post with nary a mention of the El-Primero, but now the El-Primero is at least a peer or equal... As is your admission that the c.1045 is an equal as well. Seems that the c.1040 has fallen in conversation, or the others have risen...

I think that you heuer fan, don't know what mean what stringent quality and reliability is

I think that you are entitled to your opinion. I also disagree with your opinion in several instances, and our opinions are not terribly dissimilar in other instances. I am not certain that you feel I'm entitled to my opinion however. You certainly seem to resort to insults rather quickly for someone who would feel that I am entitled to hold my opinion. But I might be wrong on that point.

"And your mileage will vary"...

Honda makes cheap and mass produced movements for their products too. Being inexpensive and mass-produced doesn't necessarily mean something is bad or of low quality or reliability.

because you seem to appreciate valjoux

I appreciate the Valjoux for what they are.

that is not the case of many lot watch amateurs.

I never was one to stick with the pack, I prefer to retain a little more open-mindedness... It'd be a boring world if everyone stuck with the pack. Conformity breeds mediocrity...

I think that is the end of discussion.

By all means if you no longer wish to. Feel free to stop.

Bye and have a nice day

Au revoir et bon chance!



There are a number of additional posts and follow ups in this and parallel theads, A number of which have additional interesting and related thoughts. One in particular is where I point out that a) Rolex offered for a number of years a COSC rated Valjoux 72 where Lemania never offered a COSC rated c.321 to my knowledge and Omega only rarely offers COSC rated c.864's... and b) One can't easily lay the blame for the disqualification of the Longines-Wittnauer (popped crystal) and Rolex (warped hands) competitors for the NASA testing at the feet of the Valjoux 72 because their failures were non-movement related issues. Anyone who wishes to read more of these ramblings can pick through the threads to their heart's content!

Hopefully, those of you who have strong attachments to the Valjoux 72 will see that I myself, do feel there is not a great deal of _functional_ difference in actual use in typical day-to-day and month-to- month wrist application between the v.72 and their Lemania counterparts. I prefer the Lemania's and feel they are better movements, but the distinction is not necessarily notable for most people.


-- Chuck

Chuck Maddox

(Article index @

Non-Pasadena Pasadena Stainless 7750

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