Hot like wasabi when I bust rhymes, like Leann Rimes, because I’m all about value.

The ETA 988.333 is a part of a family of movements that came from the 80s and continue into today. They’ve been used in watches such as the Bell & Ross Function Index (988.432), the Citizen Independent ITX21-5001, the Tag Heuer Multigraph, Junghans Apollo, Victorinox Chrono Classic XLS, the Alain Silberstein: Rondo Nomade Chronograph. Tissot made one in Titanium, the T-Classic PR50 Seven. Even Luminox gets in on the fun, with the Luminox Men’s SXC Space Expeditions Anadigi Watch 5241.XS. And best of all, they’ve been used in the Breitling Aerospace Evo.

Breitling gets a variation on the movement, with a slightly larger font in the lower LCD, but for the most part, these movements are interchangeable. In fact, on the rare occasion that something goes wrong with one of these movements, rather than servicing, it’s easier to just replace it with the movement from one of the more affordable watches I named above.What’s so utterly cool about this movement is that you get the reliability of quartz, the functions you’d care about out of a 1980s Casio, made by the Swiss, with analog hands… and it’s all operated by a single crown. No need for an octopus’ garden of pushers at every corner of the case. Just, the one crown, thank-you-very-much. It violates every sense of purist notion to put a movement from a Victorinox into a Breitling, but they’re both ETA, both from the same family, and if you’re into function, it’s the easiest way to keep it alive. At the same time, if you’re solely into function, you could just buy one of the more affordable watches with the ana-digi movement to begin with.

For example, Butler! Butler is an excellent value, offering a stainless steel watch with the 983.333 ana-digi movement in it for just $500 USD. That is, you could buy six-and-a-half Butler watches before you could afford one Breitling. Let’s be clear, you’re not getting the same watch – a Breitling Aerospace is made of titanium, with solid end links on the bracelet. A Butler is made of stainless steel, with folded end links, the way it was done in the 1960s and 70s, when air travel was a more adventurous and luxurious experience. But you are getting the same watch (or close enough) when it comes to the movement, that beating heart that keeps you on time for those critical events in life: you know, the ‘out of the gate’ moments, those ‘off the runway’ movements, breaking free from the bonds of Earth, fighting off that cruel mistress Gravity, the reassuring, precious memories of ‘on the runway,’ and the one just before the credits roll, ‘in the gate.’ These are the moments that make me say, “I’m not crying, there’s just a bit of dust in my eye. It’s been raining. I’m making a lasagna and been cutting onions. My eyes are just a little sweaty today.”

The Butler OOOI is a beautiful watch, and I’m all about value. It’s $500 USD on Kickstarter. And I’m not crying, for your information, there’s an inflammation in my tear gland.

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Last Update: July 31, 2017