The ETA movement: the main thing about the factory and its mechanisms

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In articles and specifications about watches, you could often meet the abbreviation ETA or the phrase “mechanism ETA”. This is the name of the industrial empire producing mechanical and quartz mechanisms, as well as spare parts for them. Every year, the factory produces millions of mechanisms, serving about half of all Swiss production. What contribution ETA brings to watchmaking and its mechanisms are notable – read in our material!

When and by whom the ETA movement factory was founded

ETA movement

The ETA movement factory is the result of the merger of several independent factories. In 1793, in the town of Fontenmelon, the canton of Neuchâtel, the brothers Benguerel and Umber Dro begin the production of basic mechanisms (from 1816 – Fabriques d’Horlogerie de Fontainemelon). And in 1856 in the town of Grenchen, the canton of Solothurn, another factory is based, on which not only mechanisms but also the clock itself are manufactured – it will be the beginning of the ETA empire. Continue reading: Review of the female silver watch Nick Exclusive 1100.12.9.53V

In 1926, the three main companies – FHF, ETA and AS – together with several others create the association Ebauches SA (from the French G © bauche – “basic mechanism”). The aim was to strengthen the Swiss watch industry in the world market. Over the next few decades, the conglomerate included dozens of small and medium-sized industries, among them, for example, Unitas Watch Company and Valjoux.

ETA becomes part of The Swatch Group

ETA movement

1983 became significant for the whole world community, it was then formed the group The Swatch Group (SMH until 1998), part of which became ETA. Today The Swatch Group releases up to 25% of all hours on the planet and is involved in the production of even more of them.

What mechanisms does ETA produce?

Today, the ETA factory produces several types of products:

• Basic mechanical mechanisms (the customer-brander later independently improves them, for example, adding complications, or bringing individual elements to perfection);

• Ready-made mechanical mechanisms (can be the same for different brands or created specifically for one brand);

• Quartz mechanisms.

Among them, there are mechanisms with automatic winding, mechanical and quartz chronographs.

ETA movement

Today they are all united into 7 series:

– Three mechanical: Mecaline, Mecaline Specialties and Mecaline Chronographes;

– Four quartz: Flatline, Normflatline, Trendline and Fashionline.

Some mechanical calibers are not sold abroad, they are made only for Swiss brands, while others force the movement of watch hands from manufacturers from different continents.

Swiss mechanical wristwatch Edox Les Bemonts Chronograph Automatic 01120-37RGIR with chronograph

In what hours can I find the mechanisms of ETA movement?

ETA is the backbone of the huge structure of The Swatch Group, which supplies mechanisms and parts to all brands belonging to the group: Omega, Tissot, Longines, Rado, Breguet, Harry Winston, Blancpain, Glashutte, Jaquet Droz, Certina. Balmain, Calvin Klein, Hamilton, Mido, Flik Flak and Swatch.

In order to optimize production and reduce costs, the structure of the association took on different functions. ETA, using smaller producers of individual parts as contractors, delivers watch mechanisms not only to all of the above brands, but also to others, for example, TAG Heuer, Oris, Panerai.

Many brands that modify ready-made mechanisms, assign them their own alphanumeric designations, but to find out the source is usually easy.

The most famous ETA movement

ETA movement

Valjoux 7750 – a mechanism with a chronograph and self-winding, has been produced since 1975. So successful and massive, that at one time it was used even by Rolex. Today you can meet in the watches of Omega, Longines, Oris, Fortis, Tissot, Maurice Lacroix and not only.

Unitas 6497 – the mechanism with a manual winding, its date of birth – 1950. Classic caliber, simpler and cheaper than the previous one, has undergone many improvements and is still actively used along with version 6498 in Auguste Reymond, Steinhart, Tissot, Maurice Lacroix and others.

ETA / Peseux 7001 – ultra-thin compact mechanism (thickness 2.5 mm, diameter 23.3 mm) with manual winding, its release began in 1972. It is installed in a number of models of Maurice Lacroix, Mido, Stowa and watches of other brands.

In a number of Oris models, and not only in them, ETA 2824 works today, the “successor” of the Eterna 1541 caliber, manufactured since 1971 (the notorious mechanism of the Sellita SW 200 is essentially its counterpart).

The self-winding ETA movement 2892, which has existed in its more or less unchanged form since 1975, was chosen for its watches by Breitling, Cartier, Frank Muller, IWC, Ulysse Nardin, Omega. You might also like:

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