My top 10 brands 2013 with affordable in-house movements

Nick Senn inspired me to make this top ten list as he mentioned the Omega 8500 calibre on my last top ten post. In my eyes these are brands offering excellent in-house movements.

My goal here is to show you only new 2013 watch models and to give an overview of brands I would recommend to buy when you look for an in-house movement below 10.000 Euro. Yes, it´s hard to believe, but the league of real good in-house calibers you can´t get for less.

All the brands mentioned here offer of course more then the one model shown, so the one watch shown is only a placeholder for a lot of others.

And, I did for good reasons do NOT mention exotic brands. I could haven mentioned others here of course ….

I took under consideration the fact that all these manufacturers produce affordable movements in bigger quantities and that they are active on the market for some years now. I also want to show you only brands have an impeccable history, offer a good and world wide after sale service and are, as mentioned above, not what I would consider to be an exotic brand.


Breitling “Transocean Chrono GMT”: The chronograph specialist has shown with its in-house calibre “B01” and all the meanwhile executed declinations that hard work pays off. The price of the watch start with a leather bracelet at 7560 Euro including 20 % Austrian VAT.


Cartier “Montre Calibre de Cartier chronographe”: Cartier has done lot efforts recently to become a real manufacture. The brand is offering all kind of in-house movements to its clients. The chronographe is equipped with the caliber “1904-CH MC”. The price of the watch shown with a steel bracelet: 9050 Euro including 19 % German VAT.

Cartier Montre Calibre de Cartier chronographe, Mouvement 1904-CH MC

Chopard “Superfast Power Control”: With the new Fleurier Ebauches calibers Chopard now has a range of much more affordable in-house movements then the L.U.C ones. The “Superfast” models are the first to be equipped with. Other collections, as the Mille Miglia”, will follow soon. The price of the watch shown with a rubber bracelet: 7990 Euro including 19 % German VAT.

Chopard_Superfast Power Control white

Glashütte Original “Sixties blue”: The Saxon manufactory offers a wide range of in-house calibers. The automatic caliber “39-52” in the new Sixties with a blue dial is a good deal. The price of the watch shown with a leather bracelet: 5700 Euro including 19 % German VAT.

Glashütte original_Sixties_blue

Jaeger-LeCoultre “Master Calendar”: If you consider buying an in-house caliber you must see and check all the offers from the manufactory in the Vallée de Joux. The caliber “866” in this “Master” is just one example. The price of the watch shown with a leather bracelet: 8450 Euro including 19 % German VAT.


Montblanc “TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph”: The renowned pen maker has become a real watch manufacturer. The brand offers several in-house calibers for a reasonable price. The caliber “MB LL100” with second zone time indication and fly-back function is only one of them. The price of the watch shown with a leather bracelet: 6590 Euro including 19 % German VAT.

Montblanc_TimeWalker_TwinFly Chronograph

Omega “Seamaster Aqua Terra >15.000 Gauss”: Omega offers a huge range of incredible good calibers all having an USP with the Co-Axial-Escapement and now even with a second USP by being totally amagnetic. Real value for money in my eyes! The price of the watch shown with a steel bracelet: 4550 Euro including 19 % German VAT.

Omega_Seamaster AT Anti-magnetic_white background

Panerai “Luminor Submersible 1950 2500m 3 Days Titanio”: The Italian “Swiss made” brand has an impressing portfolio of in-house movements. Whatever you want, you will find it. This impressing divers watch is equipped with the automatic caliber “P.9000”. The price of the watch shown with a rubber bracelet: 9200 Euro including 19 % German VAT.


Rolex “GMT-Master II”: Even when the Rolex prices have gone up dramatically in the last years (that´s by the way why they keep their value), I would say that almost all steel Rolex are still a good deal. The new 2013 GMT is equipped with the in-house caliber “3186”. The price of the watch shown with a steel bracelet: 6800 Euro including 19 % German VAT.


Zenith “Pilot GMT”: Since CEO Jean-Frederic Dufour took over he brought Zenith back to its roots. Today the manufacturer offers a wide range of excellent and affordable in-house calibers. The new Pliot is equipped with the “Elite 693”. The price of the watch shown with a leather bracelet: 6000 Euro including 19 % German VAT.













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19 replies on “My top 10 brands 2013 with affordable in-house movements”
  1. says: ily

    In my opinion, Zenith GMT TYPE 20 offers the best value for money, and I find it reasonably priced at $6000 USD. A legendary watch manufacture that produces impeccable in house movements, and is known for its obsession with perfection and precision.

  2. says: Marcio Moreira

    The good news is I already own three of the movements included here. The bad news is I also own a bunch of inferior -“old-Seiko”-type – movements I used to think very highly of. You live and you learn. Thanks, Alexander. I feel better educated already.

  3. says: Marcio Moreira

    The good news is I actually own three of the movements in your selection. The bad news is I also own a bunch of less interesting – “old-Seiko”-type – movements I used to think highly of. You live and you learn, I guess. Thanks, Alexander, I feel I am better educated already.

  4. says: Daniel Avital

    Are the omega co-axial movements in house? I know it’s not much but I have £4000 to spend and would really like it to have in house movement. Can you suggest any others in the above price range. I love the JLC though!

    1. Yes, the Omega is an in-house developed and produced calibre. Check also Zenith and Jaeger-LeCoultre, both offer in-house movements for the amount you mentioned.

  5. says: Jean-Francois HARTWIG

    Hello Alexander,
    that’s for sure a very nice selection.
    What about TAG Heuer Carrera Chrono with Caliber 1887?

  6. says: Basel watch guy

    Alexander, yet another great post. You pointed out twice an observation that now piqued my interest:

    Exotic brands were excluded. Instead of asking “why” (I understood very well why), it would be great to find out a) what makes an exotic brand “exotic” and b) to see some in-house models from exotic brands under the 10,000 Euro mark.

    Would there be such examples?

  7. says: John

    Interesting selection Alexander…. What’s not to like. I have to say the JLC and Omega would be tops for me. The JLC because I do not have a moon phase… And the Omega because there is something about the styling that I really like. It’s hard to express but I am sure you and fellow readers know the feeling.

    I look forward to more posts and lists like this… I would like to see a list of watches with interesting and useful complications under the 10k price point.

    All the best and THANKS!

  8. says: Patrick Weigert


    good choice, however mainly for customers with higher budget. I would add German Watch Makers like Nomos and Damasko which offer very good value for money with their own movements.

  9. says: Nick Senn

    you’re the greatest (watch) cookie 😀

    You really should make an additional “best list” tab on your blog.
    Adding also exotic brands list (Carl Bucherer?) and more niche ones like Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (the anti-magnetic components missing even if it should be the flagship brand).

    However I must add, that you did not make the decision to select the watch any easier :))).


    1. Nick I just tried to stay below 10.000 Euro so the Fifty did not match … I could add those lists to a tab or something similar … A good idea … And Nick I did not want to make your decision easier, take your time and chooses… :-))

      1. says: Nick Senn

        I understand, impossible to stuff everything on one list, considering all the differences. That’s why it would be nice to have a generic list, not only best 2013.
        Anyway, I like your way of choosing the watches.

        I got the desire to take you across the watch catalogue :)) I really cannot decide 😀

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