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Three of the best affordable luxury watches with in house movements

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For those with the horological bug, a watch movement is not just a functional engine to keep time ticking. It’s a well of ideas, a little cornucopia of challenges, solutions, techniques and ingenuity – what Oris calls, rather neatly, the ‘joy of mechanics’.

And, as Oris has proven, exclusive and sophisticated new movements are no longer the sole preserve of resource-laden luxury groups, or those at horology’s rarefied top end, Tim Barber suggests.

As these three WATCHPRO Salon exhibitors demonstrate, the options for those wanting a watch powered by something a little more select, demonstrating the ingenuity and passion of the brand that made it, are becoming richer every day.

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Oris
Aquis Date Calibre 400

It’s just over a year since Oris launched the movement that could well be its game-changer.

Developed in-house over several years, Calibre 400 is no mere replacement for the ETA/Sellita tractors the brand has always relied upon: its attributes include a five-day power reserve, elevated anti-magnetism, and such durability that the brand says you won’t need it serviced for a decade, which is also the length of the warranty it’s offering.

Put that engine inside the hugely wearable Aquis Date 41.5mm, and you have one of the most versatile and well-equipped all-rounder watches on the market today.

An absolute home run for Oris, and a potential gateway to greater things to come.

Christopher Ward
C60 Concept

Christopher Ward’s muscular double-barrel SH21 movement, made at its wholly-owned Swiss manufacturing facility, has been around seven years now and is arguably a somewhat under-appreciated gem.

A five-day, chronometer-certified powerhouse, it takes on a completely new identity in one of this year’s most unlikely releases: a skeletonised dive watch displaying sumptuous hand finishing.

Christopher Ward worked with high-end partners like Armin Strom and Chronode to pull off what’s surely its most strikingly impressive watch to date.

The price point, both for the workmanship involved and the visual allure of the watch itself, is outstanding.

Pequignet
Gold Attitude

France’s revitalised Pequignet is returning to the UK market, and has an exciting new story to tell.

The firm gained attention a decade ago for its high-spec Calibre Royale, but has this year launched a new and rather simpler in-house movement, which it’s calling Calibre Initial.

An elegantly designed and finished automatic with a 65-hour power reserve, it’s being proposed by Pequignet as a potential alternative to ETA and Sellita movements, and makes its debut in the Attitude, an appealing gold dress watch limited to 100 pieces.

The movement is made at the Pequignet factor in the French Jura, and every part is made within the surrounding area. For a brand that’s long been punching up in a tough market, could this be the development that finally sees Pequignet fulfil its considerable potential? Here’s hoping.

*This article first appeared on the UK edition of WATCHPRO as pre-show publicity for WATCHPRO Salon, which takes place in London from November 12 to 13.

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