Before you buy your next high-end Swiss quartz…

The Swiss Made quartz movements appearing in many of the big-name watches range from the simplest to the most advanced and sophisticated; the latter, essentially, belong to the more expensive ranges. One of the highest in this regard are the thermo-compensated movements, offering many-a complex functions. These come from ETA, with their hallmark of robust reliability ensuring a real life usage.

ETA splits their quartz movements into four (two entry levels; one mid-range and one high-end) major product lines. Fashionline and Trendline are entry-levels; Normflatline are mid-range and Flatline are high-end brass movements. Here, we will talk about Flatline first.

Not just extremely thin and customizable, these are repairable movements, which is a criterion for use in elegant watches. These movements run for a solid eight years on an average and they warn you when ticking on the last few drops. They don’t lose or gain more than 10 seconds in a year.

The Flatline can be anything – a simple three-hander with or without a date or a small-seconds hand repeater to multi-function (time zones, alarms, altimeter, perpetual calendar, power indicator etc.) chronographs measuring 1/100th of a second. It can be the PowerDrive or the PreciDrive (incorporated with the new HeavyDrive intelligent shock protection; offering +200% unbalance augmentation) technology running it; it could be analogue, digital or a combination of both.

The Normflatline are mid-range, removable and repairable brass movements with the same PreciDrive and PowerDrive technologies backing them up. They range between two/three hander-s with/out date/day and chronographs counting up to 1/10th seconds. Thy run well over ten years on a single battery depending on the number of functions you run. And how often, that is.

That brings us to Trendline; the entry-level quartz range of movements with composite materials building them. Only the synthetic spacers, main plates and bridges in these movements are made from brass; still, they are a good value for money. They incorporate the PreciDrive technology and therefore, perfectly fulfilling their objectives. The accuracy, for this line too, runs within +10 seconds per year. However, ETA made their new HeavyDrive technology integral to the Trendline with 20 new calibers, including a moon-phase complication without any price hike.

Fashionline is the least expensive of all; are removable and are given a synthetic base.They, too; got simple models to multi-function chronographs (fly-backs and lap- timers); GMT and moon-phases. These incorporate the PreciDrive and/or PowerDrive embedded technology.

Notes:

  • PreciDrive: It’s a thermo-compensation operating principle controlling and regulating the motor pulses created by changes in the ambient temperature. It’s a technology bringing the precision that surpasses the COSC chronometer standards under not too violent environments i.e. not exposed to impacts or temperatures beyond 20°c and 30°c. This precision is insensitive toward moisture; the oscillator circuit as well as the IC being vacuum sealed in a ceramic case.
  • HeavyDrive: A new integrated circuit provides an anti-shock system and supports and unbalances of over 200% for traditional seconds-hands and 20% for a traditional minutes-hand. It detects the shock before managing it with a motor that generates a counter pulse in a fraction of a second to lock the seconds/minutes hand in its position during the shock. This intelligent shock management makes the motor react only if a certain shock threshold is exceeded.
  • PowerDrive controls the seconds-splitting of the chronograph; the stepper motors increasing the hands-movement speed to more than 200 Hz (i.e. 200 hand jumps per second in either direction of rotation), making for a highly dynamic display. It also brings numerous other counter-programming options in multiple display combinations through a new, flash-memory micro-controller giving the flexibility of rapid, two-way movements of the hands and making possible retrograde display options and instantaneous resets.

Watches mentioned in this post are listed below.  Click to see details and buy them: