Ebauches SA used the “Swissonic” name on a wide variety of movements, many of which were completely unrelated. The name originated with Max Hetzel, famed inventor of the Bulova Accutron and creator of the Ebauches SA “Mosaba” tuning fork movement which would become known as Swissonic 100. It was also used for the pre-existing ESA Dynotron electronic balance wheel movement family, as Swissonic 10, as well as a number of ESA quartz movements, from the Beta 21 to later LED movements, as Swissonic 1000 and 2000. In all, 27 movements or more were marketed under the Swissonic brand name.
The Swissonic name first appears in print in the spring of 1968, when Ebauches SA began publicizing the work of Max Hetzel. After leaving Bulova in 1963, Hetzel returned to Switzerland to develop an advanced tuning fork movement. His project was brought into the CEH for a short time before being moved to ESA once it was ready for production. In 1968, Ebauches SA reached an agreement with Bulova to license the necessary patents, and the Swissonic “Mosaba” tuning fork movement was launched. It was called “Swissonic” from 1968 on, especially by Derby, which also used that name for their production timepieces.
In 1972, after the launch of the second-generation ESA “Dynotron” electronic balance wheel movement, Cal. ESA 9154, Ebauches SA began using the Swissonic name for that range as well. From then on, the Dynotron family was known as Swissonic 10, while the Mosaba was re-branded Swissonic 100 and the Beta 21-derived ESA quartz models became known as Swissonic 1000. Later in 1972, ESA would brand their LCD and LED movements using the Swissonic 2000 name.
In 1976, ESA introduced a new range of quartz movements, calling them simply “Swissonic”. These used a Japanese 32 KHz quartz oscillator, a Swiss-made Lavet stepping motor, and a Swiss integrated circuit from Faselec. This would be the final use of the Swissonic name.