What exactly is a “workhorse” movement?

eta 2828-2 vs sellita sw200

eta 2828-2 vs sellita sw200

The term “workhorse” is commonly used to describe a watch movement that is cheap, easy to service, and somewhat reliable/accurate for the money. It’s mentioned online slightly more often than necessary and usually when describing a mechanical movement (as apposed to a quartz movement); none the less – I wouldn’t buy anything of lower quality – with the exception of a Swiss quartz.

In fact, I would argue that a good Swiss quartz is maybe more qualified for the label of “workhorse.” Shinola comes to mind. Many watch snobs online will scoff at the suggestion of a Shinola – but according to a Rolex collector and watchmaker in Winter Park, Florida – they are nearly impossible to beat for the money.

Examples

[Image via Chris Ward]