What is a “Workhorse Movement”?

Miyota caliber 9015 automatic watch 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
3 years ago

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

Jim
Jim
3 years ago

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.

Benji
Benji
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Hahahaha This is a true statement!

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Miyota Caliber 8215 Watch Movement | CaliberCorner.com
3 years ago

[…] 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
3 years ago

[…] 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
1 year ago

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.

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ETA 2824-2 Clones Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
7 months ago

[…] ETA 2824 clone is an automatic watch movement with identical specs to the legendary workhorse movement ETA caliber 2824 (or more accurately the current […]

Mickey Johnson
Mickey Johnson
5 months ago

I read online, and I can’t remember where, that non-hacking watches generally outlast hacking watches. I have tried to verify the veracity of that statement, and I’ve come up empty. Do any of you know if it’s true non-hacking watches outlast hacking watches?

Benji
Benji
4 months ago
Reply to  Mickey Johnson

Hacking or non-hacking only has to do with it having a hacking mechanism. There is not much else to go wrong with a hacking watch compared to a non hacking except for the hacking mechanism to stop functioning. Sure it’s one more thing that can break, but the argument is like when cars first started having automatic windows instead of roll down handles. There were a lot of people saying they don’t want automatic windows… Read more »

Mickey Johnson
Mickey Johnson
4 months ago
Reply to  Benji

Good to know about hacking and nonhacking watches. For the record, I have had automatic windows go bad on a couple cars I owned.

Josh
Josh
12 days ago
Reply to  Benji

Back in the day, I bought a brand new 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix, and literally all four of the automatic window systems in that piece of shit car broke in the nine years that I owned it. I’ll never forgive that company.

Venus Caliber 178
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