i believe in fixies wrote:
For a watch to be COSC certified (Rolex etc) it must stay within 4 secs per day.
To be COSC certified it must also be Swiss, something the Swiss watch industry came up with to protect itself when the Japanese mechanical watches started winning observatory awards. (Just search for Seiko VFA, amazing watches). The Seiko GS watches undergo stricter and more lengthy tests than COSC certified Swiss watches.
Seiko gave them a teriffying ass-kicking: within about 2 years they were placing second - and they were using a watch they were willing to sell in large numbers and guarantee, while the Swiss were entering special models.
...Ahh the famous Rolex Explorer review.
(Like the Seiko review I link to below, this is a very unusual review in that it is actually written by someone who understands how watches work and took the review watch apart. Instead of the usual "My new watch is pretty!" thing.)
Seiko and Rolex have a very similar design philosophy for mechanicals - they design more for robustness than anything else. It's just that through a freak of history (Blancpain withdrawing from the dive watch market that they started, allowing people to think the Rolex Sub was the original, and Rolex's luck in being Bond's watch) Rolex have been able to charge crazy prices. The design of the Explorer is excellent. It should just cost a lot less and should have been made somewhat more carefully.
It's interesting to compare it to a review of a Seiko Monster here:http://www.thepurists.com/watch/features/8ohms/7s26/
..Similar philosophy, just taken a bit further; eg Seiko make their own damn lubricants and are willing to plastic parts where they are superior to metal:
The 7S26 uses Seiko's patented Diashock shock protection  on the balance pivots, has a soft, plastic spacer ring  closely integrated with the movement and a relatively low mass rotor  that is unlikely to bend or break even with very severe shocks. The plastic spacer ring, combined with the sheer massiveness of the case, provides a great deal of additional shock resistance and is a more economical solution than a metal spacer ring as well. This combination of economic and sensible engineering is a trend that persists in almost every facet of the design of the 7S26 movement....
While there is often much disdain amongst watch enthusiasts for plastic components in mechanical wristwatches, I propose that there are instances where it is acceptable and possibly even preferable. One particular area in which plastic is a perfectly logical solution is the calendar mechanism. These are parts that rotate at very slow speeds (or sometimes intermittently) and with very little torque for the majority of their rotation. This combination of features makes them controversial with regards to lubrication. While lubricating them significantly will increase the drag on the movement and possibly ultimately stop the watch, leaving them sparsely lubricated or dry will ultimately result in wear. Plastic is an ideal solution for these components because it is light and self-lubricating.