It’s the automatic for the people. The ETA 2824-2 is a workhorse of ETA SA’s line of mechanical movements. ETA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Swatch Group, meaning many of Swatch Group’s brands are powered by ETA movements. But, ETA movements can be found in watch brands big and small and have played a critical role in the explosion of microbrands over the last few years. The ETA 2824-2 is the most ubiquitous of ETA’s movements. It’s an automatic, 25-jewel movement that also hacks. It sports a 38-hour power reserve and runs at 28,800 bph (4Hz). You’ll find the ETA 2824 in watches ranging from affordable to I-think-I-need-to-cash-out-my-401k prices, but that’s because it comes in four grades with different accuracy specs. The lowest “Standard” grade” averages +/- 12 seconds of variation a day, with the more accurate Elaborated and Top grades average +/- 7 and +/- 4 seconds per day, repsectively. The most accurate grade is Chronometer, and meets the strict standards prescribed by COSC.
Enough about the movement. Let’s look at 5 awesome watches that are powered by the ETA 2824. We also featured some of these watches in our recent guide “One-Watch Collection: The Best Everyday Watches 2018.” The ETA 2824 is a great movement that powers many affordable everyday watches.
Tudor Black Bay 32, 36, and 41
The Tudor Black Bay 32, 36, and 41 are the “entry-level” into Tudor’s wildly successful Black Bay line. They don’t have in-house movements like the Tudor Black Bay or Black Bay 58, and are all priced under $3,000. The movement is not chronometer certified, but Tudor has a solid reputation for modifying supplied movements to fit its watches. There’s also been a lot of speculation that the Black Bay 32-36-41 line may receive in-house movements in their next iteration, so stay tuned. For now though, this Black Bay line offers a versatile everyday watch for wrists of all sizes. Another Tudor, the Ranger Heritage, is also powered by the ETA 2824-2.
For more, visit Tudor.
Hamilton Khaki Field Auto
From a versatile everyday watch to the perfect weekend watch. Hamilton’s Khaki Field line has something for everyone (time only, day-date, quartz), but we’re focusing on the basic Khaki Field Automatic with the ETA 2824-2 inside. Hamilton is owned by Swatch Group, so it makes sense the brand would use ETA movements, but Hamilton has also introduced its own H-10 movement in some newer Khaki Field watches. These H-1- powered watches are also great timepieces and there’s likely little practical difference between the two, but we’re focused on the ETA 2824 today, damn it! You can typically find the ETA-powered Hamilton Khaki Field at retail for around $400.
For more, visit Amazon (2-day shipping!)
Really, any number of Sinn watches could’ve taken this spot — EZM 3 anyone? — but we chose the 556 because of its broad appeal and general wearability. It’s a non-offensive 38.5mm diameter, 11mm thick watch with a highly legible dial and hands. It can usually be had for around $1,000 (perhaps slightly more on bracelet). Sinn is a brand that has made a name for itself building tough, utilitarian watches powered by ETA or Sellita movements, so if you’re looking for a cheaper watch that still sparks passion, check out Sinn’s entire collection.
For more, visit Sinn.
Stowa Fleiger Classic 36, 40
Like Sinn, Stowa has made a name for itself by focusing on case and dial design, and leaving the movements to ETA, Sellita, and other manufacturers. Many of its designs — all inspired by classics, from Bauhaus to pilot’s watches — are powered by the ETA 2824-2. We’re shining a spotlight on the Flieger Classic series, the most traditional in Stowa’s collection of pilot’s watches. But, the Marine 36 and 40, the Partitio, the Antea Klassik, other variations of the Flieger also feature the workhorse movement.
The Flieger Classic 36 and 40 both feature blue steel hands, a sapphire crystal, and superluminova markings. If you love classic watch designs and want to spend less than $1,000, Stowa should be one of your first stops.
For more, visit Stowa.
Raven Venture II
As mentioned, access to cheaper, quality movements like the ETA 2824-2 has led to a boom in microbrands. One brand excelling at bringing affordable mechanical movements to the masses is Raven, based in Kansas. Raven’s Venture II model measures 42mm in diameter and 13mm thick, making it the collection with the broadest appeal. Raven’s 40mm Trekker , 44mm Endeavour and 47mm Titanium Deep (currently sold out) also use the ETA 2824-2 movement. The watches are offered with a variety of dial and hand colors, but all come with a stainless steel case and bracelet.
For more, visit Raven Watches.
One More Thing
There are a number of microbrands we thought about including, but we wanted to feature watches that are currently available, i.e. not sold out, limited-production runs. This means the Halios Seaforth, among others was not included. Oh by the way, another of our favorite microbrands, Oak & Oscar, is currently offering the Humboldt, which is powered by an ETA 2892 movement (I suppose a roundup of watches with the ETA 2892 should be next?).
We also did not include any watches from independent Ochs und Junior, which uses the ETA 2824-2 as the base for its models. While its “basic” time-and-date watch powered by the ETA 2824-2 is cool, even cooler is the minimal modifications they make to create moon phase, annual calendar, and perpetual calendar watches. For example, the Ochs und Junior Perpetual Calendar requires just 9 additional parts to its ETA 2824-2 base, a truly awesome engineering achievement.