What is a “Workhorse Movement”?

Workhorse movement is a label given to certain watch movements by enthusiasts and collectors in many watch communities. The term is no officially used by movement manufactures, but has become a selling point in blog reviews and

A tried and true workhorse should be a simple/minimalist design that does the job efficiently with as few moving parts as possible, while still being effective at maintaining a track record of being reliable, acceptably accurate, not too expensive, and easy to service (or at least generally affordable to service).

A workhorse movement can be of any origin, although the most commonly known workhorse movements are Swiss made ETA/Sellita and Japan made Seiko/Miyota.

You may also hear watches being referred to as workhorses, for example the Seiko Monster.

The most common examples of workhorse movements are:

A workhorse watch is basically a tool watch powered by any of the above movements, but also with other characteristics such as a sapphire crystal and screw-down crown.

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ETA Caliber 2824-2 Watch Movement | CaliberCorner.com

[…] 2824 is considered to be a “workhorse” movement by many watch […]

Jim
Jim

Workhorse movement is a forum cliche and now being used by watch manufacturers to make it sound good that they are selling a cheap Japan movement watch.

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Miyota Caliber 8215 Watch Movement | CaliberCorner.com

[…] The Miyota caliber 8215 is a 21 jewel automatic movement. It is made in Japan and is found in many new microbrands because it is easily obtainable, low cost, and considered an entry level workhorse movement. […]

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Miyota Caliber 9015 Watch Movement | CaliberCorner.com

[…] The Miyota caliber 9015 is a 21 jewel automatic movement. It is made in Japan and is found in many new microbrands because it is easily obtainable, has a desirable hacking function, and considered a workhorse movement. […]

Charles Privitera
Charles Privitera

I think your defininition is as good as it gets. To me its a plain jane movement that is reliable. You dont worry about it breaking down and you wont have a heart attack when you get it serviced.