Since the Swatch Group had decided to bite its nose off to spite its face, e.g. not to supply parts and movements outside the Swatch Group, ETA has been bearing most of the brunt. From the most important movement manufacturer, it will soon be relegated to be a small company making movements for the Swatch Group only.
If I were working at ETA, I would be furious about being almost destroyed. That aside, everyone who has in the past been using ETA movements for their watches now has to look somewhere else. One of the new players in the market are STP, who are based in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, in Manno.
Carlos from the Prometheus Watch Company in Portugal is looking for an ETA replacement, and wanted me to have a look at the STP 1-11, which is a direct copy of the ETA 2824-2. As the design for the movement isn’t copyrighted any more, everyone can produce a copy. So let’s see …
Balance cock detail of the regulator, with perlage decoration visible. The “+” sign and the markers are incredibly well executed. If you want some comparison, have a look at an earlier comparison we did of an original ETA with 2 Chinese clones.
This is a also a nice touch, and I wonder where the 26th jewel is hiding! I will take apart the movement later to hunt it down.
So the movement runs at -3s/day to +7s/day, giving us a total maximum daily variation of 10 seconds. This is very much along the lines of the ETA original, which isn’t COSC certified, either. On the wrist, this will translate to a pretty constant performance of +- 2 to 4 seconds per day or so, exactly what you get out of the ETA. The amplitude is good throughout, as you would expect.
In the right place! The barrel bridge has a jewel for the upper barrel arbor, and that is spot on. The barrel bridge can easily wear out, and a jewel here will add to the longevity. The lower barrel arbor is of course jewelled as in the ETA.
I prefer the STP 1-11 over the ETA 2824-2 for the following reasons:
- very nicely finished
- movement markings better executed than on the ETA
- jewelled barrel bridge
So what we have here is an improved classic with the performance we are used to, and added longevity. What’s not to like?