What are the benefits of the 2824 versus an NH35?

Posted by Craig Hester on Apr 27th 2018

By Craig Hester

You may find my initial response a bit surprising.
I am actually a big fan of the NH35 much like I am a big fan of my Honda Civic with 178,000 miles on it.

You just about can't kill an NH35.
So, the first thing I would say is that if your motivation to do the Swiss Package is improved reliability and accuracy, it is unlikely you will see any real difference between the two.
That is partly why we are not calling this an "upgrade."

That said, there are certainly reasons to want the 2824.
The comparison to the Honda Civic is pretty fair I think. The NH35 costs a third to a fourth of the 2824 and is used in probably 70 percent of the affordable automatic watches made today.
It's reliable, but arguably pedestrian.
The 2824 is the Mercedes to the NH35's Honda... unlikely to be more reliable but with less luxury and prestige.
Iconic German metal versus Japanese solidity and simplicity.

But dude, it's Swiss!
Everyone associates watches with Switzerland.
And there is good reason to do so.
The Swiss build some (if not most) of the best made watches in the world.
Watchmaking and Switzerland go together like, well, Germany and cars.
From a prestige point of view, knowing your movement is Swiss has a real value -- especially if you are telling someone else about your watch.

There are some specific, tangible features of the 2824 that are clearly an improvement over the NH35

We didn't put an exhibition (glass) case back on the NH35 version for a reason (though some manufacturers do).
The NH35 isn't much to look at. It doesn't have any decoration (things like etchings or blued screws) to make the movement attractive. The 2824 does.
The rotor (which winds the watch) is much more attractive.
The plates and screws are often decorated.
Now, we haven't decided the full decoration level of the 2824 we will be using, but for sure it will be more than any NH35.
This is why we are adding an exhibition case back to the 2824 package.

Another difference is the VPH.
That stands for Vibrations Per Hour. 
That is how many times the mainspring, which drives the mechanics, oscillates in an hour. 
The NH35 is 21,600 vph and the 2824 is 28,800. 
There is debate as to whether that improves accuracy.
Again, I have found the NH35 to be quite accurate.
But there is one thing that the VPH absolutely has an impact on and that is the sweep of the second hand.

Unlike a quartz watch, a mechanical timepiece's second hand doesn't tick once per second but sweeps around the dial.
Now, there actually are ticks, but they are so close together and so fast you get the illusion that the second hand sweeps without any hesitations.
Why does VPH matter?
Put simply, the lower the VPH, the more stutter can be noticeable in the second-hand movement.
So, the 2824 is going to have a smoother second-hand sweep than the lower VPH of the NH35.
On this one, I will say it is a noticeable difference for those who know what they are looking for and not so much for the casual observer.

All of that said, my personal Berlin Wall watch will have a 2824 in it.

If I am leaving anything out, please chime in. Correct me if needed. And certainly some of this is very much a matter of opinion.

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