Sentences like that are enough to make somebody flee watches into the embrace of baseball card collecting.
|A modified Valjoux 7750 movement|
This short article isn’t going to compare movements, detail each movement’s functions, or wade into one of horology’s great debates, what’s better, an in-house or ETA movement? I simply want to make sense of those names and numbers.
Movements are also called caliber, or calibre, by the way.
We might as well start with ETA, even though that’s a little like jumping into the deep end of a cold swimming pool if you’re the type of person who likes to slowly acclimate himself by tip toeing in from the shallow side. ETA, owned by Swatch, is a Swiss company that makes watch movements. ETA is the world’s biggest watch movement maker. They make both quartz and mechanical movements, though I’m only going to discuss mechanical movements here.
Watch movements are often identified by the watch company or manufacturer’s name, followed by a number. If you’ve read any watch reviews you’ve probably come across the ETA 2824, the most famous of watch movements. Many companies use an ETA 2824-2 (the “2” is for second generation) in their watches. ETA also makes other movements, including the also famous ETA 2892, which differs from the 2824 by — no, never mind. All you need to know is the 2892 is a bit thinner and better than the 2824. There are other ETA movements in this family, too.