Sellita is a watch movement manufacturer that supplies calibers to many brands in the industry. If you read watch reviews on smaller brands, you’ll see the Sellita name referenced quite often.
Sellita was founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1950. At that time, ETA – another movement maker – was not a full movement producer, but a so-called “kit” producer instead. This was a time when not everybody did everything, so companies like ETA would leave certain parts of the movement manufacturing process to outside organizations who specialized in the more technical aspects of movement modification like escapement assembly, regulation, and finishing. Sellita would take the kits of ETA parts, assemble them, and sell them to their watch brand clients.
Sellita: An ETA copy for watch brands outside the Swatch group?
In 2003, ETA decided that it would take control of movement assembly, and shift away from supplying movements to outside companies, including their largest client, Sellita. Today, ETA only supplies movements to watch brands under the Swatch Group umbrella, the same parent company that owns ETA.
Now, here’s the important part: the patents for many of those ETA movements had expired by the time ETA decided to go out on their own. So Sellita shifted their business model to include not only the assembly of movements, but their production as well. Sellita now controls all essential steps in the movement making process from design, to production, assembly, and decoration.
Over time, they’ve evolved from simply copying movements, to making hybrid movements with significant alterations, to developing their own calibers beyond the ETA catalog. Sellita now makes approximately 15 families of movements, including chronographs, GMTs, and moonphase complications among others.
Sellita also offers their movements in four grades, allowing brands to pick a base caliber and upgrade as they like for higher levels of regulation and finishing. For example, their standard grade is adjusted in two positions, while their highest grade is COSC chronometer certified.
The most popular movement produced by Sellita is actually their first in-house movement, the SW200. This is Sellita’s re-creation of ETA’s 2824-2 time and date movement. The SW200 is a “workhorse movement” that can be found in watches like the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, the anOrdain Model 1, the Eterna Kontiki Diver, and the Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro.