The ETA 2824-2. The base caliber of 80% of the Swiss Watchmaking Industry. December 14, 2019 – Posted in: News, Watches

The ETA 2824-2. The base caliber of 80% of the Swiss Watchmaking Industry.

Ebauches, S.A. Became the company, ETA in 1983, from a series of consolidations that happened out of the “Quartz Crisis” in Switzerland. Mechanical watches were quickly becoming phased out due to the much less expensive, and, by some accounts, “funner” quartz watches. SWATCH was the Swiss brand to fully capitalize on the Quartz watch phenomenon and made many different unique and fun offerings throughout the 1980’s. Unfortunately, this was at the expense of many of the brands that were producing mechanical watches and they were unable to market their way out of the crisis and fell pray to bankruptcy and consolidations during this time. SWATCH picked up many of these brands and they are now umbrella’d under the SWATCH consortium. Blancpain, Jacquet Droz, Omega, Tissot and Breguet to name a few. SWATCH also acquired several movement companies, notably ETA (ETA is actually a latin term which translates to “By Hand”).

ETA’s base workhorse caliber is the 2824-2. This caliber is found in many Swiss watches by many brands, including Tudor, Omega, Tissot, Panerai, Ball, Frederique Constant, Sinn and TAG Heuer to name just a few. In fact, at one time, as many as 80% of the movements used in all Swiss watches from all brands were based on ETA calibers. Higher end brands, such as IWC, will begin with an ETA base caliber (in the case of IWC this would be base ETA caliber 2892-2) and retrofit their in-house manufactured components to fit the base ebauche (chassis). Brands do this to increase the durability of the base caliber as well as the accuracy, power reserve, etc.

Caliber 2824-2 is available as a base unit in up to 4 configurations ranging from an accuracy of +/- 12 seconds a day down to +/- 4 seconds a day. Different regulators are also used depending on the configuration and the degree of fine tuning the purchaser of the movement would require. Caliber 2824-2 has 25 jewels (although lower jeweled models have been available), the balance wheel oscillates at 28,800 beats per hour and carries a power reserve of approximately 38 hours.

So, next time you wonder what is inside that automatic watch, chances are, it is an ETA.