ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse develops and produces quartz, mechanical and Swatch watch movements. The company’s headquarters are in Grenchen (Solothurn). ETA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse is the motorist of time at the heart of the Swatch Group www.swatchgroup.com
Before becoming a single undertaking in 1985, the ETA SA brand consisted of a number of ébauche factories across the whole of the Swiss Jura arc grouped together under the name Ebauches SA. This plurality allowed Ebauches SA to offer a wide range of products, as each affiliated company specialised in a particular niche (simple watches for men, chronographs, small watches for women etc.).
The group’s first ébauche workshop and business was opened in Fontainemelon (Neuchâtel) in 1793 by four master watchmakers. This date marks the founding of what is now ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse, who would continue to act as a motorist of time over the next four centuries thanks to the expertise of its employees and their mastery of watchmaking techniques.
50 years of quartz technology
Prototypes Bêta 1 and 2
The Centre Electronique Horloger (Neuchâtel) presents the first prototypes of Swiss quartz watches. Ebauches SA is the largest CEH shareholder, holding 39.5% of the capital. The Beta 21 calibre (industrial version) is presented at the 1970 Basel Watch Fair.
Legend: Prototypes Bêta 1 et 2, Centre Electronique Horloger
The 9181 calibre is the first three-hand quartz movement developed by Ebauches SA in collaboration with Ebauches Electroniques Marin.
Legend: Calibre 9181, Ebauches SA
Particularly flat dimensions
This three-hand quartz calibre is characterised by particularly flat dimensions. The total height of the movement is just 3.7 mm.
Legend: Calibre 940.111, Ebauches SA & Ebauches-Fabrik ETA
Second time zone and digital chronograph
This calibre is characterised by an analogue-digital display. The LCD model enables chronograph functions (minute and seconds) and second time zone functions to be displayed.
Legend: Calibre 900.231, Ebauches SA
Case serving as the main plate
The case of the Delirium serves as the main plate. The height allowed for components is just 1.98 mm in this first model. In 1980 this will be reduced to a thickness of 0.98 mm.
Legend: Calibre 999.001, Ebauches SA & Ebauches-Fabrik ETA
Calibre 500 Swatch Gent
Integrated inhibition circuit
The industrialisation of production methods and the automation of assembly processes allow pieces to be manufactured in large volumes.
The operation of Swatch watches is controlled by an integrated inhibition circuit.
Legend: Calibre 500, Ebauches-Fabrik ETA
Control via electronic shaft
This multifunction calibre is equipped with a bi-directional motor and an analogue-digital display (LCD). An electronic shaft controls the alarm, timer and chronograph.
Legend: Calibre 958.331, Ebauches-Fabrik ETA
Temperature compensation via second quartz
First temperature compensation system made by ETA. Integration of a second quartz thermometer oscillating at a frequency of 262 kHz, achieving an accuracy level of +/- 10 seconds per year. The adjusted operation is stored in a non-volatile memory.
Legend: Calibre 255.511, ETA SA
Inclusion of two motors
This calibre is characterised by the overlaying of two motors: one for the movement, the other for the chronograph function which can be read in analogue way.
Legend: Calibre 255.241, ETA SA
The 255.48x calibre is available in four different versions. All include the Moon phase function at the 6 o’clock mark, only the position of the day and month discs differs.
Legend: Calibre 255.485, ETA SA
Classic chronograph appearance
The chronograph function can be read in analogue way thanks to the three counters at 2 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock. This layout gives the model a classic appearance.
Legend: Calibre 251.262, ETA SA
This calibre has a perpetual calendar window programmed until 2099.
Legend: Calibre 252.411, ETA SA
New temperature compensation
ETA develops another temperature compensation system. Unlike the 1985 technology, the temperature is no longer measured using a second quartz but instead directly within the integrated inhibition circuit.
Legend: Calibre 255.513, ETA SA
PowerDrive and PreciDrive
This calibre is equipped with PowerDrive and PreciDrive technologies. The Watch Module C7 ceramic case houses the integrated circuit and quartz (miniaturised and in a vacuum).
Today, the majority of our quartz calibres are equipped with PowerDrive and PreciDrive technologies.
Legend: Calibre 251.274, ETA SA