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Sellita versus ETA and the rise of the underdog

Contents

Part 1:
Jousting with giants

Part 2:
A brief story of Sellita

Part 3:
A watershed moment

Part 4:
Entering the fray

Part 5:
How good are Sellita movements?

Part 6:
What does this mean for LIV?

Jousting with giants

Early development

LIV Watches celebrates people, fans, watch freaks, and companies who rattle the cages of the giants and challenge the status quo. After all, that is exactly what we did when we introduced our direct-to-consumer, boutique brand alternative to the traditional watch companies and their bloated, disconnected distribution channels.

The Swiss watch movement maker, Sellita, embodies this spirit as we see it. They took on the heavyweights of the industry and have flourished. As a result, we feel a kinship with the company, you might even term it a symbiotic relationship. So, if you want to learn more about the company that dared to joust with giants, read on.

The GX1-A was the first LIV watch to feature a Sellita movement.

The early story of Sellita

WWI and the interwar years

Sellita was founded in 1950 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The company served as a major out-sourced assembler for the giant, ETA. ETA would send partially assembled movements to Sellita, where that company completed the assembly, producing a finished movement. If required, Sellita also enhanced the movements aesthetically and functionally, as requested by ETA.

Sellita focused on the ETA 2824, an automatic movement with a date display. These movements were branded as ETA 2824-2 and were sold to other watchmakers to power their timepieces.

It may seem odd that ETA would outsource such a critical step in the manufacturing process. However, it was the practice in the Swiss watch industry to distribute manufacturing and assembly of various movement components to third-party providers. This allowed companies to focus on one aspect of the watch movement and maximize quality and manufacturing efficiency. It was this practice that will lead to the dominance of the watch industry by the Swiss in the late 1800s.

Things began to change in the relationship when the Swatch Group purchased ETA in the late 1990s. The Swatch Group owned many prestigious watch companies and soon ETA was dedicated to supplying the majority of their production to Swatch companies.

In five short years following Bleriot's flight, Europe and most of the rest of the world was plunged into the horror of WWI. Dirigibles and observation balloons were still in use but eventually succumbed to the rapidly developing airplanes. Watches and compasses now served to guide bombers to targets to deliver their ordnance as accurately as possible.

The airplanes of WWI were often hard to control. That meant the pilot was ill-advised to take his hands off the controls to retrieve his pocket watch. The same value that leads Santos-Dumont to seek a solution carried full force into combat.

Most aerial combat during WWI occurred during the day due to lack of proper instruments and lights. Bad weather almost always grounded the planes of the time. So watches did not need large quantities of luminescence. The just needed to be easy to read. Therefore, the iconic black dial and large contrasting Arabic numerals became standard issue.

As a result of experiences in WWI, U.S. Navy captain Philip Van Horn Weems designed an independently adjustable seconds ring. This feature allowed pilots to accurately synchronize their watch with a radio time signal without stopping the sweep seconds hand. Although "hacking" watch movements to allow everyone in a combat unit to synchronize their watches to the second, the practice could result in throwing pilots off course, ruin missions, and risk the airplane and crew.

Following his successful trans-Atlanic flight in 1927, Charles Lindbergh collaborated with Weems to develop the Hour Angle system which further enabled the wristwatch to determine longitude.

The German military specified a design that set the standard for what we think of as a classic pilot's watch today. By 1936, aviation advances allowed airplanes to fly at all hours and in foul weather (although grounding in severe conditions was common). The result was the Beobachtungsuhr (B-Uhr), or Observer.

A watershed moment

In 2003, ETA made the decision to stop outsourcing their movement assembly. This move threatened to ruin Sellita, so they decided to begin designing, manufacturing, and selling their own movements.

Fortunately for the company, they had intimate knowledge of the ETA 2824, and possessed the cutting edge equipment, manufacturing capabilities, and know-how to create and sell their own movements.

The LIV Saturn V Moon Dust Automatic features a Sellita movement

Entering the fray

Sellita's first salvo came with the introduction of their SW200, an almost identical movement to the ETA 2824-2. This shouldn't come as a surprise, given their decades of history working with this movement for ETA. All the technical specifications are essentially identical with one exception, the SW200 boasts 26 jewels to the 25 in the 2824-2.The Swatch Group increasingly diverted ETA movements away from non-Swatch companies until on 31 December 2019, all sales of movements to non-Swatch companies stopped.

During the intervening years, Sellita developed and introduced a wider range of movements, listed below.
⦁ SW 200/215/400 (based on ETA 2824-2 and ETA 2836-2)
⦁ SW 300/1000 (based on ETA 2892-2)
⦁ SW 500/510/600 (based on Valjoux 7750 a.k.a. ETA 7750)

"Because of their well-earned reputation for quality, precision, and reliability, today, Sellita is one of the largest Swiss movement manufacturers, producing over 1,000,000 movements per year. At LIV, we feel confident in Sellita as a manufacturing powerhouse and its ability to innovate in the space."

- Esti Chazanow

Co-Founder at LIV Watches

How good are Sellita movements?

There's an old saying that goes, "You are known by the company you keep." Well, for Sellita, they keep very fine company indeed. The quality of a Sellita movement is so high, luxury watch brands including Hublot, IWC, Oris, Raymond Weil, Sinn, and Tag Heuer use them in their watches. And of course, boutique brand, LV Watches.

As you might suspect, with the supply of ETA movements ending on 31 December 2019, once LIV's inventories of timepieces powered by ETA movements are gone, they are gone for good.

The LIV Rebel-AR features a Sellita movement

What does this mean for LIV?

So what does all this mean for LIV and other watch companies? It is a safe bet to say, watch collectors, fans, and freaks everywhere will never miss a beat (pun intended - bph, get it?) with a premium Sellita movement driving their LIV masterpiece's display of time.

In head-to-head competition, Sellita movements match ETA movements in every respect and exceed them in some.
So, join us in celebrating the rise of Sellita; the underdog who took on the giant and won. Sounds like LIV, doesn't it?

Contents

Part 1:
Jousting with giants

Part 4:
Entering the fray

Part 2:
A brief story of Sellita

Part 5:
How good are Sellita movements?

Part 3:
A watershed moment

Part 6:
What does this mean for LIV?

Early development

Jousting with giants

LIV Watches celebrates people, fans, watch freaks, and companies who rattle the cages of the giants and challenge the status quo. After all, that is exactly what we did when we introduced our direct-to-consumer, boutique brand alternative to the traditional watch companies and their bloated, disconnected distribution channels.

The Swiss watch movement maker, Sellita, embodies this spirit as we see it. They took on the heavyweights of the industry and have flourished. As a result, we feel a kinship with the company, you might even term it a symbiotic relationship. So, if you want to learn more about the company that dared to joust with giants, read on.

Given the fact that Santos-Dumont was a regular participant at the airshows of the day, other pilots exhibited one of the earliest known examples of wrist envy. As a result, the pilot's watch soon became a "must-have" instrument in the cockpit. And, not just for "keeping up the the Santos-Dumonts" reasons. Advances in powered flight were enabling planes to fly further and faster. With a reliable watch and a compass, pilots had the tools they needed to calculate time-speed-distance, determine when to move to the next leg of a flight, judge how much fuel was left, and generally be safer in the air.

Pilot Louis Bleriot wore a Zenith wristwatch when he made aviation history being the first to fly an airplace across the English Channel in July of 1909. Taking advantage of the feat for marketing purposes, Bleriot commented upon landing that he was very satisfied with his Zenith and would recommend it to others. The records are unclear on the point of Bleriot's comment being spontaneous or rehearsed.

WWI and the interwar years

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua."

- Chaz Chazanow

Founder at LIV Watches

Advances during WWII

French watchmaker Zenith continued to manufacture their pilot's watches. Striking a neutral stance, Zenith sold its watches to both the Allies and the Axis. They used their 1939 Type Montre d"Aeronef design as the basis of their wristwatch. It featured the black dial and white arabic numerals with the large onion-style crown at 3 o'clock.

The United States did not produce a purpose-made pilot's watch. One of the most widely produced models supplied to American forces was the A-11. Manufactured by Bulouva, Waltham, and Elgin, the watch featured the required high-visibility black dial with white Arabic numerals. The manually wound movement featured a hacking function for synchronization. Some A-11s were waterproof, some were dust proof, some had luminous hands, , and some did not. All had a larger crown at 3 o'clock, but not in the onion style.

Postwar evolution

The GX1-A was the first LIV watch to feature a Sellita movement.

The early story of Sellita

Sellita was founded in 1950 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The company served as a major out-sourced assembler for the giant, ETA. ETA would send partially assembled movements to Sellita, where that company completed the assembly, producing a finished movement. If required, Sellita also enhanced the movements aesthetically and functionally, as requested by ETA.

Sellita focused on the ETA 2824, an automatic movement with a date display. These movements were branded as ETA 2824-2 and were sold to other watchmakers to power their timepieces.

It may seem odd that ETA would outsource such a critical step in the manufacturing process. However, it was the practice in the Swiss watch industry to distribute manufacturing and assembly of various movement components to third-party providers. This allowed companies to focus on one aspect of the watch movement and maximize quality and manufacturing efficiency. It was this practice that will lead to the dominance of the watch industry by the Swiss in the late 1800s.

Things began to change in the relationship when the Swatch Group purchased ETA in the late 1990s. The Swatch Group owned many prestigious watch companies and soon ETA was dedicated to supplying the majority of their production to Swatch companies.

A watershed moment

In 2003, ETA made the decision to stop outsourcing their movement assembly. This move threatened to ruin Sellita, so they decided to begin designing, manufacturing, and selling their own movements.

Fortunately for the company, they had intimate knowledge of the ETA 2824, and possessed the cutting edge equipment, manufacturing capabilities, and know-how to create and sell their own movements.

The LIV Saturn V Moon Dust Automatic features a Sellita movement

Entering the fray

Sellita's first salvo came with the introduction of their SW200, an almost identical movement to the ETA 2824-2. This shouldn't come as a surprise, given their decades of history working with this movement for ETA. All the technical specifications are essentially identical with one exception, the SW200 boasts 26 jewels to the 25 in the 2824-2.The Swatch Group increasingly diverted ETA movements away from non-Swatch companies until on 31 December 2019, all sales of movements to non-Swatch companies stopped.

During the intervening years, Sellita developed and introduced a wider range of movements, listed below.
⦁ SW 200/215/400 (based on ETA 2824-2 and ETA 2836-2)
⦁ SW 300/1000 (based on ETA 2892-2)
⦁ SW 500/510/600 (based on Valjoux 7750 a.k.a. ETA 7750)

"Because of their well-earned reputation for quality, precision, and reliability, today, Sellita is one of the largest Swiss movement manufacturers, producing over 1,000,000 movements per year. At LIV, we feel confident in Sellita as a manufacturing powerhouse and its ability to innovate in the space."

- Esti Chazanow

Co-Founder at LIV Watches

How good are Sellita movements?

There's an old saying that goes, "You are known by the company you keep." Well, for Sellita, they keep very fine company indeed. The quality of a Sellita movement is so high, luxury watch brands including Hublot, IWC, Oris, Raymond Weil, Sinn, and Tag Heuer use them in their watches. And of course, boutique brand, LV Watches.

As you might suspect, with the supply of ETA movements ending on 31 December 2019, once LIV's inventories of timepieces powered by ETA movements are gone, they are gone for good.

The LIV Rebel-AR features a Sellita movement

What does this mean for LIV?

So what does all this mean for LIV and other watch companies? It is a safe bet to say, watch collectors, fans, and freaks everywhere will never miss a beat (pun intended - bph, get it?) with a premium Sellita movement driving their LIV masterpiece's display of time.

In head-to-head competition, Sellita movements match ETA movements in every respect and exceed them in some.
So, join us in celebrating the rise of Sellita; the underdog who took on the giant and won. Sounds like LIV, doesn't it?

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua."

- Esti Chazanow

Co-Founder at LIV Watches