Are in-house watch movements better?

Oftentimes the discussion whether a movement is manufactured in-house or supplied by a third party is a hot topic for watch collectors. Moreso, the ongoing debate whether in-house watch movements are actually better is something many watch enthusiasts have become part of at some point in their lives. When people first purchase a watch the first thing they notice might be the attractive design, however, they soon discover that the world of horology has a lot to uncover. Upon glancing at the smooth mechanisms of a mechanical watch one soon realizes that the movement is the heart of the watch. The satisfying display of the inner workings shown through an open back design or the authentic “ticking” sound is all it takes to grab the hearts of any watch admirer. Today, we’re going to dwell on this topic and we’ll lay down a few arguments as to why we think in-house movements are actually worth the extra money.

Why do some brands buy movements from external manufacturers?

The main reason why some brands opt for purchasing their movements by third party suppliers lies mainly at the reduced costs. Manufacturing your movement in-house is actually quite expensive compared to buying ébauche movements. Since creating a truly in-house movement needs in-house designing and in-house crafting (most likey by hand), the process of producing these movements is very intricate, time-consuming and costly. 

Even after purchasing the necessary tools for handcrafting movements, you need to locate and hire skilled and trained watchmakers who are up for the task. Still, there is much work ahead. After composing a working team the brand needs to take years of time into developing their in-house movement from scratch. All being said, it’s obvious why purchasing movements from external suppliers seems like the easiest choice.

Why do luxury watch brands produce their movements in-house?

Although the process is costly and requires a lot of resources and effort, many luxury watch brands choose to manufacture their own movements. This commitment to authenticity and in-house production has become a source of pride for these brands. It speaks of the manufacturer’s originality, integrity and devotion. As such, many watch collectors as well as average buyers expect in-house movements when they purchase high-end watches.

Many reputable names such as Omega, Breitling, Longines, Tissot, Tufina, Panerai and Seiko continuously deliver top-notch timepieces featuring in-house movements. If you want to invest in a premium quality timepiece might as well choose a watch made with in-house movements and ensure that you get your money’s worth.

Are in-house movements better than third-party movements?

When it comes down to it, comparing an in-house movement with a third-party movement might seem like a difficult task. Surely, there are companies that manage to assemble ébauche movements achieving a good quality finished product. Nevertheless, between a good quality third party movement and a carefully crafted in-house movement, we’d say the latter guarantees a better value. 

Most often than not, an in-house movement ensures more precise functionality, a polished  finishing, detailed engravings made by hand, etc. The brands that commit to producing their own movements take more time to test their mechanisms in order to achieve optimal accuracy and better shock resistance. The greatest advantage of crafting your in-house movements is the fact that you can deceive which components need improving and what you should better adapt for impeccable quality. If you were to outsource your movement for example from Soprod or ETA, you have to accept the fact that you must make some sort of compromise on one field or another.

Why in-house watch movements are worth the money

True watch admirers value the intimate and sentimental value that an in-house movement watch holds. Apart from the perks in terms of quality and craftsmanship, in-house movements carry authenticity and a sense of identity. Knowing that the brand goes to great lengths to provide timepieces made with in-house components makes the watch feel more personal to the ones who wear it. 

If you’re one of those people who demand exceptional quality, here are three watches with in-house movements that you might want to consider before your next purchase:

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Chronograph

This timepiece made for diving is one of the best modern and contemporary chronographs available. It comes with a stainless steel case and it provides a 600m water resistance. The ceramic bezel is highly resistant to scratches or damages making this a robust watch for those who love an adventure. Moreover, the back is transparent which allows a great display of the antimagnetic in-house movement from Omega. The bold design and the dark dial manages to attract your attention by creating a striking contrast. 

Tufina Newport Pionier Dual-time 

Newport Pionier is one of the recent releases of Tufina, and it has already won the hearts of many. Made with an in-house movement, this hand-assembled masterpiece guarantees impeccable quality and accuracy. The complex design features a striking dial and an open front and back arrangement. The bi-directional winding makes this in-house movement extremely efficient and perfect as a staple piece you can wear everyday. The 22 rubies and long power reserve ensure longevity and reliability. If you’re looking for a versatile timepiece with a timeless appeal and outstanding engineering, Newport Pionier is the perfect choice for you.

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Auf/Ab

This chronograph timepiece delivers elegance and practicality. Its diverse indications are carefully assembled across the dial, creating a harmonious look without it being overcrowded. The face displays the time, date, power reserve and tachymeter track. Once you purchase this beautiful watch you’ll be able to enjoy the wonderful workings of the in-house mechanism and the characteristic Glashütte elements. With a 60 hours long power reserve, this platinum timepiece guarantees exceptional quality and durability.


Ultimately, the quality is what really matters. If you’re going ahead with a luxury timepiece purchase, you might as well make sure that you receive something crafted with great care and love. If you enjoy elegant finishes, high functionality and precision, you should opt for an in-house movement watch. Unless you want to spend more money switching watches that don’t work as they used to, you should invest in a robust in-house movement mechanical watch. In this way you can rest assured that your purchase will not only be worth the money, but that its value will actually increase overtime.