Zen L. from Shanghai, China asks:
I have become pretty knowledgeable about watches in a relatively short time thanks in no small part to your wonderful site. But movements are still largely over my head. I understand that such technical knowledge comes with experience over time, but I would like more guidance. For example, I would like to be able to compare side by side many watches using the same ETA (or other) movement, but I have not yet found an internet source that quite achieves this. Prices often vary substantially between watches with the same machinery inside. So what characteristics make certain movements particularly good? And why specifically are Japanese (and others) so much cheaper? So I know there are many variables, but I am trying to phrase this in the form of a question, like on Jeopardy... As a relative novice, what should I look at in a watch's movement?
There is no straight-forward answer to this because for one thing the answer depends on what you value in a watch movement. Some people want the most accurate movements, some people want the most complicated. Others want the most beautifully decorated movements, while others want those that will work and work for years to come. Few movements are able to incorporate all of these things.