Chuck Maddox’s Watch Blog

This page is a journal of my journey in the field of Horology, which is timekeeping. In other words, watch collecting. Which in my case is the collecting of chronograph watches. To contact me, email me at: cmaddox3@sbcglobal.net .

Name:
Location: Chicagoland, United States

The Extremely wordy version of my Resumé is located here: http://home.xnet.com/~cmaddox/resume.html

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

JM's c.33xx testing & a new Speedy family shot.

Jean-Michel (owner of: Lemania5100.net, Navitimer.net, & speedmaster-mission.net) replied to me about his Speedy family and talks about his c.33xx Broad Arrow. I thought I'd make share my reply to him...

_________________

Chuck

I would like also to share with you a picture of my little speedmaster "familly" , missing on the pic are my Flightmaster (still in maintenance at Bienne) and my X-33:

I know you are not a "fan" ;-) of the reduced or the BA ...

No one sane or serious will ever confuse me with a fan of the c.33xx. I'd like to be a fan, but... As for the Reduced, I'm not gung-ho about it, but they do seem to be a good alternative for many poeple. I merely wish to inform about the differences in movement between the ETA/D-D and a ETA/Valjoux or Lemania movement with those models. Let the consumer choose from a good solid knowledge base.

concerning the reduced it is my wife's speedy and she loves it ! it is so cool to have a wife liking watches (she have her own collection of watches , but she is more foccused on "miniature" watches : the speedy is her largest watch by far and her only chrono ... she is a fan of the Omega "ladymatic")

I'd like to recommend that she (or you) look at either Vintage or the early Re-Edition of the "1964 Heuer Carrera) as they are very nice smaller chronographs that are suitable for wear on dressy occasions, and/or by either sex who happen to have smaller wrists. Another brand I'd point out are Vintage Tissot's with their 1960's and 1970's Vintage PR516 and Seastar lines, which offer a Lemania manual wind movement in smaller case sizes.

- concerning the BA , I have read again thoses bad repports and I feel so sorry for the guys who had problems ...

Me too, at least to some extent... At some point I would hope that potential purchasers would step back and say "Do I really want to take the chance?". At this point I don't think anyone who's bit by the c.33xx bugs should express surprise.

on my side I am currently running the test , what I can tell you is :

I have continusly wear the BA during a period of 35 days (that is rare for me I generally change every day !!!)

You don't have enough other watches screaming for wrist time!
  • during this 35 day period I have used the chronograph function at least 2 times / day and sometimes up to 6 to 10 times : we can resonably say that the chronograph function have been used at least 100 time during the 35 days
  • The accuracy of the watch have been checked every two days versus an atomic clock reference time
  • the watch was continusly wear during day and stay in flat position (dial up) during night

the result of accuracy is : +23 sec over the 35 days period (mean of +0,66 sec/day)

I don't think anyone, including myself, has ever found the c.33xx to be anything but a phenominally accurate watch. My concerns have mainly been reliablilty related. I'm not especially keen on some of the design cues but I know/express those as personal preferrances.

absolutly NO problem concerning the chorongraph function , normal return to zero whith no "offset" of the hand ...

That's good to hear! Bottom line is, we really don't know the depth/breadth of the issues we've seen reported. I tend to believe that your experience is the majority experience the question is the size of that majority... Is it a landslide or a squeaker.

Admittedly, we have only unscientific data to go on. Which means we can't say anything authoratative about the size or trend other than what we've seen. It seems like there have been fewer problem reports for a while there. We had a pair of reports in the past week or two, but there was a lull of over a month to six or eight weeks prior to that.

I must notice that the chrono pushers have "brake in" , in the first times the pusher feeling was quiet "hard" after about 50 to 70 start/stop in operate more smoothly and is now with a "better" feeling (I am not the only one to have noticed this on the 33X3)

This is the first I've heard of this quasi-Issue.

I have spoken with the Omega flagship store about thoses problems on the 33x3, they where of course aware of them but say that very curiously the US market seems more subject to thoses , in europe they have very few claim for problems on 33x3 .... isn't it curious ????

The US market is a big market. It is curious. I seem to remember someone (perhaps even myself) pondering if this was an phenominon with some regional trends... I'll have to do a little searching on TZ OF to see if I can find it.

I am (still) delighted by my BA which is one of my favourite watch , I will of course keep you updated of this long therm test

I appreciate and look forward to it.

I should mention, I would love to have another interesting capable chronograph movement to add to the options available in the marketplace. My concerns initially were not to get bitten by the "inital problems" bug that many new things suffer from, When these occured and then seemed to contine for months and months my concerns grew to making sure people knew of these issues.

For me, consistancy and dependablity are more significant requirement than extreme (read COSC) accuracy. I can make allowances for a watch that is 10-12 seconds fast/slow, but I can't tolerate a watch that I can't depend on or acts strangely (inconsistantly)...

I had a watch fail Thanksgiving day 2003... Interestingly enough it was one of my first Vintage purchases, my c.910 Flightmaster. I wore it because of it's earth toned dial matched traditional Turkey day colors. I wound it up and at 3:20 it stopped telling time. Which left me timeless for the rest of the day and worried about what was broken on Flighty. I got home and I found a piece of fuzz on/near the balance wheel, removed it and the flighty started ticking like it should. I had had the hour register hand fall off it's pinion about a year earlier and had a local watch shop put it back. This shop wasn't my usual people. I suspect that the fuzz might have been introduced into the case at that point and finally gummed up the works that day.

Neither Omega nor Lemania can be faulted for a fuzzy movement! So I still feel I can depend on that watch. The issues we've seen on the c.33xx are different though. They are problems that Omega/Piguet do need to address.

With regards to my flightmaster I was fortunate that the fuzziness occured on a holiday, not on a business trip. To me, there have been enough problems arise with c.33xx's that I'm not ready to depend upon one. Unfortunately, it may be some time before I feel confortable enough.

cheers

JM

Thank you for your thoughts and future reports, JM!

-- C

2 Comments:

Blogger jean-michel said...

First of all Chuck thank you very much for your detailled answer and publishing on your weblog this message

I fully understand your position and oppinion on the 33xx movements

I just would like to add that some of the users of theses movement are very happy so far , it is not to deny problems do not exist , just to give the oppinion of happy owners :-) ...

just to come back on the accuracy , yes you are right we can say that the accuracy of the 33xx is "phenominally accurate" the score of 0,66 s/day on a 35 days test is excellent and can be compared to the result on my timing machine (microtest) : +0,8 s/day a "score" I have rarely seen on other mechanical watches I have owned

my berst wishes for this weblog !

and talk you soon :-)
JM

Tuesday, December 07, 2004 3:24:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck Maddox said...

Absolutely correct on satisfied c.33xx owners JM. There are a number, certainly some, even many, perhaps even most c.33xx owners who are happy or satisfied with their watch. I acknowledge and note that.

I'm concerned with the reports of problem c.33xx's. Good news will take care of itself. I feel it's important to be honest, clear and forthcoming on what we have seen.

Any time your mechanical watch can go more than a day and be dead on, it's a good day and an achievement for the watch in question.

I look forward to the days ahead with the Blog JM! and congratulations on being the first person to comment within this blog!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004 4:49:00 PM  

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