Up until the Swatch Group took control and distribution of the Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement and stopped selling them to independent watch makers after 2012 you had a wide choice of good quality mechanical watches made by small watch manufacturers.
It's not vintage it's a SBBN015 Tuna, you can have them for just $1500 new. I'm really not sure it was a wise buy (at app $1000 used) and a few of my other Seiko and other divers will have to go (just sold a mint Black Monster) but they do hold their value well. I really can't stop staring at it and it looks superb under some lighting, the quality is very high and it is smaller than the comparison pictures would suggest.Now that's a very nice vintage Seiko. Congrats!
Swatch Group controlled ETA for decades now. Non-Swatch Group watch brands can still get their hands on ETA movements. Just not to the degree they could in the past. Oh Hayek Jr. definitely wants to immediately shut off the supply. But the Swiss government pretty much very nicely asked if he'd simply reduce the supply year by year until Non-SG brands become cut off entirely. Honestly, an extremely stupid move on Hayek's part. Hayek Sr. never did anything that stupid when he was in charge of the conglomerate.
You can still get good quality mechanical/automatic watches from the small boutique brands out there. Few of them are suffering. Steinhart recently ordered a few hundred ETA movements and received 40. Yes, they are back-ordered. But other non-Swatch Group brands have found perfectly good ways around the now trickling supply. Many, including the big brands, are turning more and more to Sellita to provide basically the very same ETA 2824-2 that they used to get from ETA. Sellita's SW200 is literally the very same movement as ETA's, but with an extra jewel tossed in. (26 compared to 25.)
Now to be specific, it's not a clone, it's not a copy, it's definitely not a 2824-2 fake. It's literally the same thing but with an extra jewel. Sellita used to be a sub-contractor for ETA. Sellita used to make ETA movements for ETA. A lot of good watches out there with ETA movements inside which in reality were made by Sellita. So Sellita knows how to make the very same movements. TAG Heuer has switched over to Sellita SW-200s in their Aquaracer line instead of having to put up with a limited supply coming out of ETA. Some of the boutique brands have done the same thing. Though the problem is, Sellita is not nearly as big as ETA. Therefore, non-SG brands can't just rely on Sellita. There are other, also smaller movement makers located in Switzerland. They are all now extremely busy filling orders thanks to Hayek's idiotic move to put some of his competitors out of business by greatly reducing and then finally cutting off the supply of ETA movements to them in the near future. Give you one guess which of the 19 Swatch Group brands has been the most profitable year after year ... Yup! ETA. By selling movements to absolutely countless non-Swatch Group brands over the years.
The micro or boutique brands have other options. After all, with that ridiculous 51% rule in place for ANY watch to legally qualify as "Swiss-Made," it's just not that difficult for them to stay in business. Plus, they'll likely be getting a boost in a few short years thanks to Citizen. The Japanese brand plans on opening up a new factory in Switzerland. Thus, their excellent Miyota movements will now legally qualify as "Swiss-Made." Seiko is apparently also looking into the idea of such a factory of their own. Why? Rather simple actually ... ETA got the bulk of business from non-SG brands. Now that that supply has been almost completely shut off, the demand for movements is still there. Hayek Jr. has chosen to say "No" to the massive profits ETA used to bring in. Any intelligent business professional is going to see that a new supply is going to be needed to cater to the very same demand that still exists out there. Why shouldn't Seiko and Citizen pick up the giant ball that ETA dropped because its coach was dumb enough to tell them to.
If I was the CEO of Seiko, Citizen, and those smaller movement makers already based in Switzerland; I'd sent Hayek a giant gift basket with a "Thank You" note while enjoying my huge new profits. Sr. consolidated 20 brands under the conglomerate which would later become known as The Swatch Group. Back then, it was necessary. Otherwise, except for literally a handful of brands, all the Swiss watch brands would have ceased to be after the Quartz revolution from Japan in the 1970s. Sr. saved practically the entire Swiss watch industry. Oris bought their way out of the conglomerate before it officially became known as The Swatch Group. There are plenty of excellent watches from various SG brands. But Jr. royally screwed the pooch with his decision to limit ETA movements only to Swatch Group brands.
As I am suffering from both broken wrists 5 weeks ago good photographs are out of the question at present so the cellphone shot will have to do.