Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (2022)

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (1)

James Elliott

29 October 2021 | 8 min read

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (2)

If you’re a regular reader of the Watch & Bullion blog, you’ll know we’ve been diving deep into different automatic watch movements recently. After all, while the watch case and design get most of the credit, a watch would be nothing without its movement!

In this article, we’ll put two popular movements to the test once again, as we compare the Miyota 8215 and the Seiko NH35. Both of these movements are commonly found at the budget end of the market, especially in microbrands that need to balance budget-friendly prices with tried and tested reliability.

After we’ve given you a history of both movement manufacturers, we’ll compare the movements side-by-side before pulling out some of the most popular watches that use each caliber.

Time’s ticking, so let’s get started!

Quick Links:

  • Miyota 8215 vs Seiko NH35 – Side-by-Side Specs
  • Miyota 8215 vs Seiko NH35 – Stand-Out Watches
    • Miyota 8215 #1 – Stuhrling Aquadiver
    • Miyota 8215 #2 – Timex Marlin Automatic
    • Miyota 8215 #3 – La Forban Malouine
    • Seiko NH35 #1 – Isobrite Squadron T100
    • Seiko NH35 #2 – Spinnaker Hull Rivera
    • Seiko NH35 #3 – Gigandet Sea Ground G2-003


Not got time for the full article? Check out the TL;DR:

  • Many view the Miyota as an old workhorse that delivers reliable performance. But beware, it can be susceptible to ‘stutter’ faults and excess rotor noise.
  • The NH35 is slightly more expensive than the Miyota, but is highly reliable and incorporates additional features such as hacking and bi-directional winding.

Miyota 8215 vs NH35 – Manufacturer & Movement Comparison

Miyota

Founded in 1959, the Miyota movement manufacturing business is one of the world’s biggest producers of good quality, affordable movements. Their 8000 and 9000 series are especially popular thanks to their reliable performance, and given the brand is an offshoot of timekeeping great Citizen, we’re not surprised.

As you’d expect, their Japanese manufacturing model is incredibly slick, with their most famous movement, the caliber 2035, manufactured at a staggering one unit per second. Miyota does a fantastic job of combining great quality with affordable prices, which is what has made them so popular for the last 60 years.

At Watch & Bullion, we recently featured the brand’s 9015 caliber in another movement comparison lauding it for its blend of high quality and cost-effectiveness. The 8215 is no different and is essentially a ‘step down’ the ladder from the 9015.

This means you’re most likely to see the 9015 in very cheap watches (maximum $350) alongside a lot of microbrands and start-up watch companies.

(Video) Overview of Third-Party Movements: ETA, Miyota, Seiko & More (A Comprehensive Guide 2021)

While the 8215 is seen by many as a reliable workhorse, it’s not without its faults. There are a number of reports of the movement stuttering alongside the rotor being incredibly noisy when the wearer finds themselves in quiet conditions!

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (3)

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NH

It’s worth starting our deep dive into NH movements by clarifying who they are. NH is not a brand, they are a movement range from Seiko. So anytime we reference NH, what we’re really saying is Seiko.

Seiko’s NH movements are essentially trade versions of the movements they put into their own watches. Specifically, the NH35 movement is the Seiko 4R35 movement rebranded for distribution. Naturally, this is a great way to generate extra business for Seiko, given these are movements they have already designed and built, all they are doing is mass producing them.

And the great thing about Seiko is that they’re super reliable. Compared to the Miyota movement, the NH35 is a step-up in class that incorporates additional modern features such as hacking and bi-directional winding.

Even though this movement is definitely of better quality than the Miyota, you’ll still find it within similarly priced watches, mostly in the $200-$300 range.

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (4)

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The Verdict: To start with, both movements are cheap and reliable, which is why they’re so popular across the globe. But, it’s widely agreed that the NH35 from Seiko is the better movement thanks to its modern features and the lack of noise which you experience from the Miyota.

Psst! – This isn’t the first time we’ve put Seiko and Citizen to the test, check out our full Seiko vs Citizen article here.

Miyota 8215 vs. NH25 – Side-by-Side Specs

Now you’re up to speed with the brand’s history and the two movements, let’s put their specs side-by-side to see how they shape up technically.

Miyota 8215NH35
Movement TypeAutomaticAutomatic
FunctionsHour, minute, sweeping seconds. Date window.Hour, minute, sweeping seconds. Date window.
Size11 ½”12”
Thickness5.67 mm5.32 mm
Diameter26.00 mm27.40 mm
Lift Angle51 Degrees53 Degrees
Jewels2124
RotorUni-directionalBi-directional
Frequency21,600 vibrations per hour21,600 vibrations per hour
Number of Hands33
Power Reserve40 hours41 hours
Hacking SecondsNoYes
Hand WindableYesYes
Accuracy (Per Day)-20 ~ +40 seconds per day+/- 20~40 seconds per day
Shock SystemParashockDiashock
COSC SpecNoNo
Country of OriginJapanJapan/Malaysia
Price Point$40 – $50$60 – $75
Real Customer Feedback – ProsGood movement, cheap, easy to get hold of, easy to replaceSolid movement, hacking seconds, bi-directional movement
Real Customer Feedback – ConsNoisey rotor, timekeeping stuttering observed on a lot of modelsSlightly more expensive than the Miyota

The Verdict: Both movements deliver incredibly similar specs on the surface, so for the winner, it comes down to the hacking and the bi-directional hand-winding of the NH35, so long as you’re happy to pay a little bit more.

With the comparisons done, it’s time to check out some watches! Here are four standout watches that use either the Miyota 8215 or NH35 movements.

Example Models Using The Miyota 8215

1. Stuhrling Original Aquadiver

If you’re a fan of classic and stylish diving watches, you’ll love the first Miyota 8215 model we’ve pulled out. The American brand model themselves on Swiss watchmaking practice to combine great quality with even better prices.

(Video) Automatic Movement Accuracy Showdown! | Comparing Cheap Chinese & Japanese Movements with a Swiss

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (5)


The 42mm Aquadiver (model above is the M13544) typifies this perfectly, with a piece that takes all the great elements of a sporty dive watch, and puts them into a classy, high-quality package. While we’ve featured the blue model here, there are 8 different variations including black and silver dials, alongside gold and rubber strap options.

At just under $250, it’s a relatively affordable price for a really stylish-looking dive watch. Given that you’re also getting 200m water resistance, a date window, Rolex-like hand stylings, and of course the powerful Miyota 8215 movement, we think it’s a bargain and a watch we’d definitely recommend!

2. Timex Marlin Automatic

Next, we’ve got a brand most budget watch fans will have come across with Timex. This classy ‘Marlin’ model utilizes a modified 8215 movement which delivers a day/date window rather than the standard date-only option.

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (6)


The 40mm piece is super simple from a design perspective, combining a clean black dial with slender silver hands and hour markings. It’s an all-black finish across the watch, with the coated stainless steel case blending straight into a black leather strap.

At around $260, it’s a great way to get your hands on a simple and stylish watch that delivers reliable performance from the Miyota movement. You also get some nice additional features such as 50m of water resistance and an exhibition case back, so we can definitely recommend it as a killer full package.

3. La Forban Malouine


Since 1969, La Forban has been creating super stylish French-inspired watches, mostly named after famous French sailing towns. Renowned for their supply of the French Navy and the PATMAR (French maritime patrols), the brand does a great job balancing style and functionality.

For our second Miyota 8215 watch, we’ve pulled out the Malouine, which we think you’ll agree is a very attractive tool/diver model. At around 39mm, it’s a great size for most wrists and combines a deep black dial with a combination of numbered and slender markings alongside a recognizable large arrow/spear hand combination.

(Video) Battle of Watches - Part 2: Seiko vs. Miyota

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (7)

Spec-wise, it packs a bit of a punch too! You’ll get a 120-click unidirectional bezel, domed sapphire crystal, 150m of water resistance, and a hardy silicone strap. Given the fairly budget nature of the Miyota 8215, it’s likely to be one of the best spec watches you’ll find with this movement inside the case!

All of this comes together to the tune of around 410€, or $475, which, while it is expensive, isn’t a bad price to pay for a watch that looks as good as the Malouine.

Example Models Using The Seiko NH35

1. Isobrite Squadron T100

To get us started with the NH35, we’ve pulled out the ultimate watch if you’re looking for durability. The Isobrite range by Armourlite is famous for being one of the hardiest watches ever, with the brand’s Armourglass crystal 10x harder than most other premium watch crystals.

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (8)

When you combine this hardiness with the T100 tritium lume, you’ve got a watch that’s highly practical, great for sports, outdoor pursuits, or manual labor. The 44.5mm piece is pretty heavy-duty, with the black Polycarbonate case and silicone strap contrasting nicely against the electric blue dial.

You’re getting a pack full of features here too, including 200m water resistance, a uni-directional bezel, a date window at 5 o’clock, and of course that hardy NH35 movement. It all comes together pretty well and delivers robust performance and accurate timekeeping in a military-style package.

At $550, the Isobrite isn’t a cheap watch. But, if you need something that’s strong and hardy, there really isn’t a better watch on the market altogether, not just with an NH35 movement.

2. Spinnaker Hull Rivera

The Hull Riviera by Spinnaker is a pretty interesting watch. While in many ways it looks like it could be a slight copycat of a Patek Philippe Nautilus, when you look a bit closer, it has an identity all of its own.

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (9)
(Video) Comparing Watch Movements

At 42mm, it’s a little on the bigger side for those with more slender wrists, especially given the square-ish nature of the case. But, boy, oh boy, does this watch have style. The deep blue dial, silver hands and marking, and subtle red accent come together to create a powerful and strong-looking sports watch.

With the whole thing being driven by Seiko’s NH35, you know the watch is going to be accurate, with additional features such as 100m water resistance, a mineral crystal, and the solid steel bracelet rounding off the entire package.

If you’ve got $350 in your budget, this is a great watch to get on the wrist and one that will definitely turn heads and keep you looking super stylish!

3. Gigandet Sea Ground G2-003

The Gigandet Sea Ground is a pretty solid pick if you’re after a decent spec dive watch on a budget. The German outfit specializes in building top-quality watches on a very minimal budget, even if sometimes the designs aren’t the cleanest out there.

Miyota 8215 vs NH35: Two Affordable Japanese Movements Compared (10)

The Sea Ground G2-003 definitely fits that description but does an excellent job of delivering a well-proportioned dive watch with a moody all-black finish. At 43mm, it’s a chunky piece of kit, but that helps make the dial super easy to read with the cyclops lens date window a nice touch to round off the diver aesthetic.

From a diving perspective, the best thing about this watch is the spec, with 300m of water resistance rare to find at this price point. Talking of price point, if you like what you see and want to get a watch with an NH35 movement on your wrist, the Gigandet Sear Ground won’t break the bank at just $199!

Summary

Head onto the watch forums, and you’ll see both the Miyota 8215 and the NH35 described as workhorse movements. And it’s hard to argue with that description as both calibers do a great job at powering millions of watches across the globe.

Ultimately though, if you’re trying to pick between the two, the NH35 is the clear winner. Not only does it avoid some of the common noise and stutter complaints you see from the 8215, but it also incorporates some additional modern features.

(Video) The NH35 shortage. The Miyota 8215. Pagani Quality Control. Overnight shortage? No afraid not.

That being said, you always get what you pay for, and the NH35 is slightly more expensive, which you can expect to see filter into the price of any watch which sports the movement.

Either way, whether you go for the Miyota or the NH, you’re getting a great movement from two fantastic Japanese watch manufacturers, both of which will ensure you keep reliable time day after day.

FAQs

Is Miyota movement better than Seiko movement? ›

The Verdict: To start with, both movements are cheap and reliable, which is why they're so popular across the globe. But, it's widely agreed that the NH35 from Seiko is the better movement thanks to its modern features and the lack of noise which you experience from the Miyota.

How long will a Miyota 8215 last? ›

If you have worn a watch made by any of these brands, it's likely you're using Miyota 8215 technology. This movement can self-wind and has a reserve of power which can last for up to 40 hours.

How accurate is Miyota 8215 movement? ›

Miyota claims the caliber 8215 has an accuracy rating of -20 ~ +40 seconds per day. This is only measured within 10 to 60 minutes from a full power reserve. To achieve full power reserve, hand-wind the crown 40 times. Power reserve or fully wound running time is about 42 hours.

Is the NH35 movement any good? ›

The NH35 movement is a reliable, workhorse movement that is not known to have any recurring issues. Its reliability, for such an affordable movement, is one of the reasons it is so highly regarded.

What is the most reliable automatic watch movement? ›

The new Zenith Defy Lab (and this year's upgrade, the Inventor) is said to be the most accurate mechanical watch ever made, beating at 15Hz and deviating by no more than 0.3 seconds per day.

Are Miyota movements made in China? ›

Our movements are assembled in Japan using only parts manufactured at our Japanese plants, which enables us to ensure their quality.

Are Miyota movement reliable? ›

The Miyota movement performs at the same accuracy as entry level Swiss movements. It's proven itself over years and is easy to service. The Miyota is considered the workhorse in the industry and is significantly slimmer than the Chinese movement.

Which watch brands use Miyota movements? ›

Usage. Miyota movements are used by many watch makers besides Citizen for some of their watches, among them Invicta, Boldr, Bulova, Bernhardt, Casio, Corgeut, Timex.

Does Seiko use Miyota movements? ›

These movements were originally invented and created by Japanese companies and are further classified to Hattori and Miyota movements. Hattori movements are often interchangeable and are used by Seiko. Citizen, on the other hand, uses Miyota 8215 movements.

Does Timex use Miyota movements? ›

The watches are powered by the same Miyota 9039 automatic movement, which is a more premium option than is found in other automatic Timex watches.

Are Miyota movements made in Japan? ›

MIYOTA's heritage dates back to 1959, when Citizen Watch established a movement-making factory in the town of Miyota, Japan, and traces back to an original spirit of excellence and innovation.

What does Miyota movement mean? ›

The Miyota quartz movement is a specially made movement designed to use a battery that consumes less power, handles shock better, and improves the functionality of quartz watches. The company specializes its quartz movement such that they can work for basic watch designs and complicated engineering also.

What watches use NH35A movement? ›

This movement is typically found in many affordable watches from brands like Invicta, Seiko, Vostok, LumTec, Spinnaker Hull, and Minus-8.

Who makes NH35 movement? ›

Is Seiko's NH35 movement ubiquitous due to its brilliance or sheer availability? This hand-wound, hacking movement is today widely used on the microbrand scene and is basically the unbranded version of Seiko's 4R35 movement that's universally admired for its toughness and accuracy.

What is the beat rate of a NH35? ›

Due to its relatively lower beat rate (6 beats per second), it will also last longer without servicing. The NH35A is also popular enough that any spare parts will be available for several decades. But most importantly, it can keep time just as well any entry-level Swiss mechanical.

What movement does Rolex use? ›

Nowadays, all Rolex watches are mechanical and use either automatic (self-winding) movements or in some cases, a manual wind movement.

What watch brand is the most accurate? ›

Grand Seiko makes some of the most accurate mechanical watches on the planet (particularly those featuring their revered Spring Drive movement) and their attention to finishing is equally precise.

What type of watch movement is best? ›

A mechanical watch is the ultimate classic movement. This watch functions with traditional wheels and cogs. Favoured by watch designers who hand-make their watches from start to finish.

Does Seiko use Miyota movements? ›

These movements were originally invented and created by Japanese companies and are further classified to Hattori and Miyota movements. Hattori movements are often interchangeable and are used by Seiko. Citizen, on the other hand, uses Miyota 8215 movements.

Are Miyota watch movements good? ›

The Miyota movement performs at the same accuracy as entry level Swiss movements. It's proven itself over years and is easy to service. The Miyota is considered the workhorse in the industry and is significantly slimmer than the Chinese movement.

Which watch brands use Miyota movements? ›

Usage. Miyota movements are used by many watch makers besides Citizen for some of their watches, among them Invicta, Boldr, Bulova, Bernhardt, Casio, Corgeut, Timex.

What movements does Seiko use? ›

The ONLY Seiko Movements You NEED To Know - YouTube

Videos

1. The great debate NH35 vs. Miyota 9015
(3Hand Media)
2. Miyota 821a vs Miyota 8215 - What's The Difference?
(The Chosen Watch)
3. Seiko 6R15 vs 7S26 vs NH35 vs Miyota 9015 vs ETA vs Tudor | Watch Accuracy Test
(GreatAffordableWatches)
4. Miyota Caliber 8215 Automatic (Movement Monday)
(KeepTheTime.com)
5. Comparison and evaluation of YN55 movement and NH35 movement
(San Martin Watch Authorized Store)
6. how accurate is citizen 8200
(西北修表客watchmaker Tom)

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