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What Is an ETA Movement? Definition and Popular Models

What Is an ETA Movement? Definition and Popular Models

ETA movement has been known for its precision and reliability, powering most Swiss watches. Explore everything about the movement here!
Apr 09, 2024

Many say that movement is the heart of a timepiece. If it says so, then the ETA movements undeniably beat at the core of many Swiss watches, embodying precision, reliability, and the artistry of Swiss horology.

The ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse, commonly known as ETA, has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of watch movements. Renowned for its precision, reliability, and innovation, ETA has become a cornerstone of the Swiss watchmaking industry.

ETA plays a vital component in the watchmaking industry and their movements hold substantial importance in high-end timepieces. It is reasonable to say that the Swiss watchmaking industry, in particular, owes much of its current status to the contributions of ETA. Therefore, in this article, we’re going to delve deeper into ETA and the various movements they manufacture.

What Is ETA Movement?

ETA movements refer to mechanical watch movements produced by the Swiss company ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse. ETA is a renowned and influential player in the watchmaking industry, specializing in the development and manufacturing of movements that serve as the core mechanisms in wristwatches.

ETA’s movements are highly regarded for their precision, reliability, and craftsmanship. These movements are utilized by a diverse range of watch brands, from prestigious Swiss manufacturers to more accessible and affordable labels. The widespread use of ETA movements has contributed to their reputation as benchmarks of Swiss watchmaking excellence.

While some brand might craft their movements in-house, some opt for ETA movements. It’s reasonable as designing, developing, and manufacturing a movement completely in-house is time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, modifying an ETA movement comes as an ideal alternative. 

The debate over making a movement in-house or sourcing from a third party is still a heated topic. While it might be true that in-house movements are more unique and customized, it’s not necessarily better in performance. Moreover, ETA with its long legacy has better quality control and its movements are time-tested. 

ETA’s product portfolio includes a variety of movements, ranging from basic three-hand movements to more complex chronograph and automatic movements. Some of the most well-known ETA movements include the ETA 2824 and ETA 2892, which have become industry standards for their accuracy and durability.

Read also: Exploring the Intricacies and Accuracy of Sellita Movements

A Brief History of ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse

ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse, commonly known as ETA, boasts a rich and storied history deeply intertwined with the evolution of Swiss watchmaking. The journey of this renowned movement manufacturer dates back to the mid-19th century, with its roots firmly planted in the establishment of Eterna in 1856.

The precursor to ETA, Eterna, initially embarked on a mission to craft high-quality timepieces. Over the decades, Eterna underwent transformations and expansions, eventually giving rise to the birth of ETA in 1932. 

The newly formed ETA, originally named Ébauches S.A., emerged as a specialized entity with the primary objective of producing movements that would serve as the beating hearts of a wide array of watches.

As the Swiss watch industry navigated through various phases of change and challenges, ETA emerged as a key player during the quartz revolution of the 1970s. While the industry saw a surge in popularity for quartz movements due to their accuracy and cost-effectiveness, ETA showcased remarkable adaptability. 

The company continued to focus on crafting high-quality mechanical movements, appealing to those who cherished the traditional craftsmanship and artistry of mechanical watches.

The Most Popular ETA Movements

ETA has produced a wide range of movements that have become highly popular in the watchmaking industry. These movements are renowned for their precision, reliability, and versatility, making them the go-to choice for many watch brands. Here are some of the most popular ETA movements:

1. ETA 2824-2

  • Type: Automatic
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
  • Description: The ETA 2824-2 is one of the most widely used automatic movements in the watch industry with 38 hours of power reserve. Known for its robustness and accuracy, it has become a standard choice for many mid-range and luxury watches.

2. ETA Valjoux 7750

  • Type: Automatic chronograph
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
  • Description: The Valjoux 7750 is one of the most popular automatic chronograph movements. Recognized for its durability and precise timekeeping, it has been widely utilized in a variety of chronograph watches.

3. ETA 2892-A2

  • Type: Automatic
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
  • Description: Considered a higher-grade movement than the 2824-2, the ETA 2892-A2 is known for its slim profile and excellent timekeeping. It is often used in more high-end watches due to its superior craftsmanship.

Read also: All the Things You Should Know about Miyota Movement

Watches with ETA Movements

Explore enduring precision and timeless craftsmanship with our curated selection of watches featuring renowned ETA movements. Let’s dig in!

Steinhart Ocean One Black Ceramic

Steinhart Ocean One Black Ceramic
Movement ETA 2824-2/SW 200
Dimension 42mm in diameter, 49mm lug to lug, 13mm thick.
Water resistance 300m

The first ETA movement watch is Steinhart Ocean One Black Ceramic which comes with exceptional craftsmanship and precision. Powered by a reliable ETA 2824-2 movement, this timepiece ensures accurate timekeeping with the robust performance characteristic of Swiss watchmaking. 

The use of high-quality materials, including a sleek ceramic bezel, enhances its durability and aesthetic appeal. The watch’s design, featuring a striking black dial and luminescent markers, exudes a sense of understated elegance. 

Price: $490.00 USD

Ball Watch Co. Trainmaster Standard Time Chronometer Ref. NM3888D-LL1CJ-WH

Ball Watch Co. Trainmaster Standard Time Chronometer Ref. NM3888D-LL1CJ-WH
Movement Automatic caliber BALL RR1105
Dimension 40mm in diameter and 10.3mm thickness.
Water resistance 30m

The Ball Watch Co. Trainmaster Standard Time Chronometer exemplifies the brand’s commitment to precision and quality craftsmanship. This Ball watch is driven by an automatic caliber BALL RR1105 which is based on an ETA 2892-2.

The ETA movement ensures the Trainmaster Standard Time Chronometer maintains exceptional timekeeping standards, while the elegant design and attention to detail make it a sophisticated choice for watch enthusiasts. 

Price: $2,143.00 USD

Damasko DC76

Damasko DC76
Movement DAMASKO chronograph movement C51-6
Dimension 41mm in diameter, 49,7mm lug to lug, 14,6mm thick.
Water resistance

Last on the list is the Damasko DC76 which flaunts a functional design with a chronograph function. Powering the watch is DAMASKO chronograph movement C51-6 which is based on proven Valjoux 7750.

This chronograph watch exudes a contemporary aesthetic with its matte stainless steel case and anti-reflective sapphire crystal, providing both a rugged durability and a sophisticated appeal. The combination of Damasko’s meticulous craftsmanship and the reliable ETA movement makes the DC76 a compelling choice for enthusiasts who appreciate the fusion of Swiss precision and German engineering in a timepiece.

Price: $3,474.00 USD


The ETA movement represents the resilience and adaptability of the Swiss watchmaking industry. ETA has played a crucial role in shaping the landscape of modern watchmaking. As technology continues to advance, ETA’s legacy endures, reminding us that the heart of a fine timepiece lies in the precision and craftsmanship of its movement.

Read also: Answering the Wonders Around In-house Watch Movements

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