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When we talk about the quintessential Swiss watch manufacturerit is impossible not to mention theETA. This historic company has established itself in the field of watch movements over the decades, with unparalleled know-how and expertise. Let’s discover together the milestones of this Swiss success story.
The promising beginnings of the ETA movement factory
Founded in 1793, the company that would later become theETA began its history under the name of Fontainemelon Watch Factory (FHF). Located in the canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, it quickly developed and produced mechanical movements for pocket watches, including ebauches – those semi-finished parts that constitute the heart of a watch movement.
The quality of its products enabled it to make itself known and to develop its clientele well beyond the Swiss borders.
A successful adaptation to the challenges of the watch industry
With the arrival of wristwatches at the beginning of the 20th century, the company was able to adapt to produce movements of small size and high precision. In 1932, it changed its name and officially became theETAfor Roughing and Automatic Completion.
From then on, it specialized in the manufacture of self-winding mechanical movements, with calibers that would quickly become essential references.
Conquering the global market
In the 1950s, ETA experienced rapid growth thanks to its technical innovations and its ability to meet the ever-increasing demands of the international market. Its movements then equipped many prestigious brands, making it a major player in the Swiss watch industry, but also worldwide.
The emergence of quartz: a decisive turning point for ETA
In the 1970s, the advent of quartz watches disrupts the watchmaking landscape. Faced with this technological revolution, many Swiss companies are in difficulty.
However, ETA manages to pull out of the game by diversifying its production. It thus develops quartz movements while continuing to offer quality mechanical movements.
Takeover by the Swatch group
In 1983, faced with Asian competition and the crisis in the watchmaking sector, ETA was taken over by the Swatch group. This integration allows it to benefit from new financial and technological resources to pursue its growth.
Thus, it becomes not only an essential supplier of movements for the Swatch group, but also for many other watch brands.
Innovations at the service of precision and reliability
Throughout its history, ETA has been able to remain at the forefront of innovation and offer ever more efficient movements. Among his most significant achievements are:
- Caliber 2824-2, an automatic mechanical movement that powers many high-end watches
- Caliber 2892-A2, considered the “Rolls-Royce” of ETA movements thanks to its finesse and precision
- Caliber 7750, a self-winding chronograph highly prized by sports watch enthusiasts
- The Powermatic 80, a revolutionary movement offering an 80-hour power reserve
Commitment to the environment and sustainable development
In addition to its technological advances, ETA has been committed for several years to a responsible approach to the environment. It thus implements production processes that respect the environment, and actively participates in the search for innovative solutions to reduce the environmental impact of the watch industry.
ETA today: an essential reference
Today, ETA remains a major player in the Swiss and international watch industry. Its movements still equip so many prestigious watches, and its know-how is recognized throughout the world.
Collectors particularly appreciate the quality and reliability of ETA movements, which guarantee their watches exceptional precision and durability.
Thus, the epic of the main Swiss movement manufacturer continues to be written to the rhythm of the innovations, challenges and successes that mark its course. And there is no doubt that ETA will still be able to surprise us with new technical and ecological feats for years to come.