A Complete Guide to the Efficient ETA 2824-2 Movement

Jan 26, 2022
A Complete Guide to the Efficient ETA 2824-2 Movement

If you have been around the watch community for some time now looking around blogs and forums, you have probably come across the term “workhorse movement.” Although not the flashiest of calibres, a workhorse movement is a simple tried-and-tested watch calibre known for being reliable, affordable, and easy to service.


There are only a handful of calibres that have proven themselves worthy of the title “workhorse” — one of which is the ETA 2824-2 movement. This ETA calibre is a go-to watch movement for numerous watch brands due to its durability, preciseness, and cost-effective qualities. Stick around as we discover more about the ETA 2824-2 calibre, what it can do, and some of the best watches that use it.

Introducing the ETA 2824-2

The ETA 2824-2 is probably one of the most well-known ETA calibres in the entire watch industry. It is an automatic Swiss-made movement based on the Eterna Calibre 1427. The “-2” designation on the movement signifies that it is the 2nd generation ETA 2824 calibre. ETA has been producing the ETA 2824-2 since 1982. However, due to the expiration of its design patent back in the early 2000s, a number of other manufacturers have also begun creating “clones” of the ETA 2824-2. Some of the most recognised ETA 2824-2 clones include the Sellita SW200-1, the Seagull Calibre ST2130, and the Valanvron VAL-24.


The ETA 2824-2 measures 25.6mm in diameter and has a thickness of 4.6mm. It provides central hours, minutes, and seconds functions, along with a date complication. Depending on the watchmaker, the date window can be positioned at different locations on the dial. With its Etachron regulator, the ETA 2824-2 produces a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz).


The ETA 2824-2 is also equipped with a ball-bearing rotor that winds bidirectionally to energise its power reserve. Once fully wound, this ETA movement can last for approximately 38 hours. Ensuring each component stays in place is the Novodiac anti-shock system. Accompanied by its 25 jewels, the Novodiac anti-shock system also helps in reducing the wear and tear the movement undergoes. While the ETA 2824-2 is a self-winding calibre, it also features manual winding and hacking capabilities.


Like many other ETA movements, the ETA 2824-2 comes in a variety of grades: standard, elaborated, top, and chronometer. Starting off with the most ubiquitous of the bunch, the standard ETA 2824-2 has been adjusted in two positions and comes with a Nivarox hairspring, a nickel-plated balance wheel, a Novodiac anti-shock system, and poly-ruby pallet jewels. The standard ETA 2824-2 has an accuracy rate of +/- 12 seconds to +/- 30 seconds per day. The elaborated ETA 2824-2, on the other hand, uses the same components as the standard grade but has been adjusted in three positions instead, giving it a precision rate of +/- 7 seconds to +/- 20 seconds per day.


Following the elaborated edition is the top grade ETA 2824-2. The top-grade variant uses an Anachron hairspring, a Glucydur balance spring, an Incabloc anti-shock device, and red ruby pallet jewels. Adjusted in five positions, the top grade ETA 2824-2 displays an accuracy rate of +/- 4 seconds to +/- 15 seconds per day. The last version is the chronometer-rated ETA 2824-2. While having the same components and adjustments as the top grade variant, the chronometer-rated ETA 2824-2 showcases precision and reliability that meets the standards of the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). It has an accuracy rate of +6/-4 seconds per day. 

ETA 2824-2 vs ETA 2804-2

Many watch enthusiasts familiar with ETA movements know that the ETA 2824-2 has a manual-winding counterpart known as the ETA 2804-2. Aside from the type of winding used, there are a few other recognisable differences between the two calibres. For instance, the ETA 2804-2 measures just 3.35mm thick, making it slightly thinner than the ETA 2824-2. This is due to the automatic winding mechanism in the ETA 2824-2, which makes it a taller calibre. 


Another difference is the number of jewels holding the movement. While the ETA 2804-2 has just 17 jewels, the ETA 2824-2 comes with 25. Once again, this is due to the automatic winding unit present in the framework of the ETA 2824-2. The last deviation between these two calibres is the power reserve. The ETA 2824-2 can run for up to 38 hours, while the ETA 2804-2 can last up to 42 hours.

10 Best Watches Powered by the ETA 2824-2

With numerous Swiss calibres based on ETA movements, it should come as no surprise that many watches utilise the ETA 2824-4. Quite frankly, the list goes on. To avoid overloading this article with too many watches, we have a condensed catalogue of some of the best timepieces operated by the ETA 2824-2 movement. 

1. Hamilton Khaki Field Auto (H70455553)

front view of Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Ref. H70455553 watch
Image By: The Watch Company

Our list starts with a Swiss-American brand known for its extensive military heritage. Hamilton is home to many vintage military-inspired timepieces with design roots dating back to WWII. Known as the progenitors of the original American soldier’s watch, a majority of its field watches are inspired by that very same WWII classic. Hamilton has several modern interpretations of its iconic soldier watch, but one that particularly stands out is the Hamilton Khaki Field Auto (H70455553)


Presented in a 38mm stainless steel case, this Khaki Field wristwatch has a sturdy exterior, with a layer of protective sapphire glass and a 100m depth rating. Its clean silver dial is segmented, showing off a 24-hour layout with large, bold Arabic numeral markers on the outer dial and smaller Arabic numerals on the inner dial. It is also adorned with syringe-shaped hands, a date aperture at 3 o’clock, and 12 luminous dot markers on the very rim of the dial. 


Ticking underneath the watch face is the automatic Hamilton H-10 calibre, which is modified from an ETA 2824-2 movement. This calibre displays a slower beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour in exchange for an extended power reserve that can run for up to 80 hours. Coupled with a brown cow leather strap, the Hamilton Khaki Field Auto (H70455553) is an exceptional timepiece that makes for a great daily beater.


You can purchase this stylish, vintage-inspired timepiece for just $455 USD. 

2. Tudor Heritage Black Bay 41 (79540-0001)

front view of Tudor Heritage Black Bay 41 Ref. 79540-0001 watch
Image By: The Watch Company

Widely known as Rolex’s sister brand, Tudor has a reputation for producing watches of a similar quality as Rolex, but at much more attainable prices. One standout piece from the brand is the Tudor Heritage Black Bay 41 (79540-0001), an excellent luxury dive watch with admirable attributes that speak for themselves.


This Tudor watch utilises a 41mm stainless steel case paired with a bracelet made of the same material. All of its stainless steel surfaces are alternately polished and satin-finished, giving the watch a lustrous sheen all over. Its engraved screw-down crown, steel caseback, and sapphire crystal seal the timepiece shut completely, protecting its inner mechanisms from any dust and moisture and giving it a solid depth rating of 150m.


The dial of this Heritage Black Bay watch has a simple and highly legible layout, which is very handy for divers underwater. It shows off a matte black surface decorated with applied geometric markers and the signature Tudor snowflake hands, all of which are coated in Super-LumiNova for optimal readability. This watch is driven by the ETA 2824-2-based Tudor Calibre T600. The Tudor T600 movement does not have any visible differences compared to its base ETA 2824-2 calibre. It is also speculated that the ETA 2824-2 base used by Tudor in this watch is a top-grade variant.


This Tudor Black Bay 41 watch retails at approximately $2,510 USD. 

3. Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 (WBP208B.BF0631)

front view of Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Ref. WBP208B.BF0631 watch
Image By: The Watch Company

The third watch on this list is the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 (WBP208B.BF0631). Hailing from the coveted Aquaracer series, the timepiece has a 43mm lightweight titanium case and a titanium unidirectional bezel with a green elapsed time scale insert made of ceramic. Its solid titanium caseback, along with the securely screwed-down crown, gives this Tag Heuer watch a remarkable water resistance capacity of 300m. This watch’s overall sleek look is completed by a bracelet made of sandblasted titanium. 


The galvanised green dial of this Tag Heuer Aquaracer piece is furnished with luminous geometric hour indices and sword-shaped hands, along with a magnified date window at 6 o’clock. The dial of this dive watch also bears a pattern of straight lines running horizontally across the surface, harkening back to the straight-grained wood you can find on the decks of boats. Powering the watch is a Tag Heuer Calibre 5, complete with the 28,800 vibrations per hour beat frequency and 38-hour power supply seen on the original ETA 2824-2.


This Tag Heuer watch has an estimated price of $3,325 USD.

4. Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium (T927.407.46.291.00)

front view of Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium Ref. T927.407.46.291.00 watch
Image By: The Watch Company

The Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium (T927.407.46.291.00) is a refined dress watch with classy looks and impressive qualities that make it appear more expensive than it actually is. Equipped with an exquisite 18K rose gold fixed bezel, this Tissot watch is housed in a 40mm stainless steel case covered by a domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The brown strap it uses is made of synthetic leather with an embossed cow leather pattern on its surface. A solid water resistance capacity of 5om protects the inner mechanisms of this timepiece. 


With its satinised sunray brown finish, the dial of this watch shows off a dark, appealing coffee-like surface. It has a very straightforward layout, consisting of rose gold-tone hour indices, finely bevelled dauphine hands, and a date window outlined in rose gold at 3 o’clock. The hands and hour markers of this T-Gold watch are all applied with luminescence to provide optimal legibility in dark environments.


The Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium (T927.407.46.291.00) runs on Tissot’s famous Powermatic 80 calibre. This movement is based on the ETA C07.811, which, in turn, is based on the ETA 2824-2 calibre. Like the Hamilton H-10, the Powermatic 80 has been modified to offer an extensive 80-hour power reserve and a lowered beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Wearers can view this ETA 2824-2-based movement at work through the watch’s see-through caseback.


You can purchase this Tissot Gentleman watch for an estimated price of $1,110 USD.

5. Junghans Max Bill (027/4700.02)

front view of Junghans Max Bill Ref. 027/4700.02 watch
Image By: The Watch Company

For an ETA-powered watch with a Bauhaus-inspired look, check out the Junghans Max Bill (027,4700.02). Following the design blueprints of one of the world’s most renowned Bauhaus proteges, this Max Bill timepiece comes in a slender 38mm stainless steel case paired with a quintessential black leather strap. The case is fitted with a layer of luxurious, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, which is treated with anti-reflective coatings on both sides. 


Featuring stylised numbers, stick-like indices, slim pencil hands, and a small date complication at 3 o’clock, the dial of this Junghans watch is clean, modern, and pleasing to the eye. Underneath this minimalistic watch face is a J800.1 calibre which, as you might have guessed, is also based on the ETa 2824-2 movement. This German watch is only water-resistant up to depths of 30m, so it is crucial that you do not submerge it too deeply underwater.


The Junghans Max Bill (027,4700.02) retails at approximately $955 USD.

6. Ball Engineer III Pioneer (NM2026C-S15CJ-BK)

front view of Ball Engineer III Pioneer Ref. NM2026C-S15CJ-BK watch
Image By: The Watch Company

A multi-purpose, highly durable timepiece with a sporty yet elegant look, the Ball Engineer III Pioneer (NM2026C-S15CJ-BK) is a modern reimagination of the brand’s celebrated Engineer watches, equipped with contemporary innovations. This Ball watch is presented in a 40mm stainless steel case paired with a layer of anti-reflective sapphire crystal and an engraved solid steel caseback. With the addition of its screwed-in crown, this watch has a good water resistance capacity of 100m. 


While the dial is usually the highlight of a watch, this Engineer III model places the spotlight squarely on its bold, pronounced hour numerals, which are fitted with tritium gas tubes. The dial of this Ball watch holds a total of more than 40 tritium gas tubes, allowing it to bring forth a spectacle of light and colours when viewed in the dark. Other components of this watch face include oversized applied sword hands, a magnified date aperture at 3 o’clock, and long, luminous hour indices. This watch is powered by an ETA 2824-2-based Ball RR1103 movement. This movement has been modified to provide improved shock resistance and anti-magnetism.


This Ball timepiece fetches a price of around $1,375 USD.

7. Breitling Superocean Automatic 48 (V17369161C1S1)

front view of Breitling Superocean Automatic 48 Ref. V17369161C1S1 watch
Image By: The Watch Company

In terms of watches equipped with the ETA 2824-2, there are not many as tough as the Breitling Superocean Automatic 48 (V17369161C1S1). Coupled with a sporty rubber strap in dark blue, this Breitling Superocean watch utilises a chunky 48mm titanium case, which is DLC-coated to improve its overall durability. Sitting on top of the case is a glare-proof sapphire crystal and a bidirectional bezel with a ceramic blue elapsed time scale insert. With its screwed-down crown and two gaskets, this Breitling watch has an impressive depth rating of 300m, making it an excellent timepiece to bring on your scuba diving adventures.


The watch face of the Breitling timepiece has a deep blue hue which goes perfectly with its ceramic blue bezel. It also consists of thick, DLC-coated hour indices and sword hands, all generously treated with Super-LumiNova. Its inner case is made of soft iron, which protects the movement against the effects of strong magnetic fields. Operating underneath the watch face is the Breitling 17 Calibre, which is also based on the ETA 2824-2 movement. Compared to the ETA 2824-2, the Breitling 17 has a total of 33 jewels but retains the same beat frequency and power reserve as its ETA base.


The Breitling Superocean Automatic 48 (V17369161C1S1) commands an estimated price of $4,320 USD.

8. MeisterSinger New Vintage Neo Plus (NE408_SCF03)

front view of MeisterSinger New Vintage Neo Plus Ref. NE408_SCF03 watch
Image By: The Watch Company

Another example of an exceptional minimalist timepiece driven by an ETA 2824-2 calibre is the MeisterSinger New Vintage Neo Plus (NE408_SCF03). Although its sleek 40mm stainless steel case is slightly larger than previous MeisterSinger Neo models, its structure is lightweight and extremely thin, so you will not have any trouble toting it around on your wrist all day. 


Even at first glance, the dial of this MeisterSinger watch is simple and immediately reveals its Bauhaus influences. With its double-digit hour markers in a neat typeface, slender indices, and the brand’s signature long single hand, this watch face takes into account all the main principles of the Bauhaus style. A small circular date window serves as the only complication on this watch and it does not interfere with its clean, minimalist aesthetic. Running this watch is an ETA 2824-2 movement with no modifications whatsoever. In addition, this New Vintage watch is water-resistant up to depths of 30m. 


You can get your hands on the MeisterSinger Neo Plus (NE408_SCF03) for around $950 USD.

9. Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Auto (H24555331)

front view of Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Auto Ref. H24555331 watch
Image By: The Watch Company

The Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Auto (H24555331) is a modern edition of the Hamilton Ventura, which was originally released back in 1957. As you might expect from its name, the Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 pays tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. With its exclusive 42.5mm triangular stainless steel case, this watch shows off a bold and striking design that works especially well with its black rubber strap. Fixed at the top of its triangular case is a layer of sapphire glass that gives an unhindered view of its sporty dial.


Consisting of sleek hour indices of varying sizes, applied luminous hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock, the dial of this Hamilton watch has quite a contemporary appearance. This is enhanced by the watch’s red seconds hand and stylish minute track, which add a tinge of colour to this otherwise monochrome watch face. Powering this watch is a Hamilton H-10 automatic calibre. Wearers who want to take a peek at this ETA 2824-2-based movement can view it through the watch’s transparent caseback.


This unique-looking Hamilton piece sells at approximately $1,060 USD.

10. Tag Heuer Carrera (WBN2112.BA0639)

front view of Tag Heuer Carrera Ref. WBN2112.BA0639 watch
Image By: The Watch Company

The final watch on this list is yet another Tag Heuer watch, the Tag Heuer Carrera (WBN2112.BA0639). Hailing from the sporty Carrera series, this watch uses a 39mm stainless steel case that has been brushed and polished to give it a sleek and attractive sheen. Paired with a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet, this quintessential Tag Heuer watch is water-resistant up to depths of 100m. 


The deep blue dial of this Carrera watch is adorned with cantilevered indices and skeletal hands, all applied with Super-LumiNova for optimal readability in any sort of lighting conditions. You can also find a rectangular date cutout, outlined in silver, at the 6 o’clock marker. Beneath this alluring watch face is an in-house Tag Heuer Calibre 5. This movement is identical to its ETA 2824-2 base model, from its 25 jewels all the way down to its 28,800 beat frequency and 38-hour power reserve.


This Tag Heuer model fetches a price of around $1,800 USD. 

Final Thoughts

With its versatility, accuracy, and affordability, the ETA 2824-2 is an incredible movement with numerous qualities and barely anything to fault. Sure, it might not look the most impressive, but the ETA 2824-2 more than makes up for that with quality and robustness. If you are looking for a trusty timekeeper with a movement you can always count on, a wristwatch that carries an ETA 2824-2 calibre is highly recommended.


As we mentioned before, the ETA 2824-2 is an extremely ubiquitous movement and there are many different watches that utilise it. While there is a wide variety of options for you to choose from, the ten watches we have listed above are a few great models. Each and every one of them demonstrates precision and reliability guaranteed to meet and maybe even surpass your expectations.


Featured Image By: Tag Heuer

Looking for a watch that’s more unique? Check out this article on the 20 Best Unique Watches for Men and see if any particular model piques your interest.

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