In the 1970s, two Ebauches SA subsidiaries, ETA and FHF, produced lines of movements that were designed to be interchangeable. These “Gabarit” (“Template” in English) movement families were ETA’s 2850 and FHF’s 400. Although newer in design than the ETA 2800 family, the ETA 2850 came too late and the project was cancelled after a short production period of just a few years.
|Time-Only||ETA 2851||ETA 2850||ETA 2871||ETA 2870|
|Date||ETA 2853||ETA 2852||ETA 2873||ETA 2872|
|Day-Date||ETA 2859||ETA 2858||ETA 2879||ETA 2878|
ETA Gabarit Project
ETA’s “Gabarit” (“Template”) movement project came to fruition in 1975 with the launch of the ETA 2850 and FHF 400 families of movements. These were designed to share many characteristics so as to be interchangeable. Both were 11.5 ligne movements that measured 4.30 mm thick (hand-winding) or 5.50 mm thick (automatic). Some components were even interchangeable across manufacturers.
The Gabarit movements specifically shared the following characteristics:
- Case fitting and overall diameter (11.5 ligne or 25.60 mm)
- Overall movement height (4.30 mm or 5.50 mm)
- Position and size of case-fitting bead and bridge beveling
- Position of the winding stem, dial feet, and movement fixing screws
- Position and size of the day and date windows (if fitted)
- Dial camber
- Height and fitting of hands (two hand heights offered)
Both the ETA 2850 and FHF 400 movement families were available by 1976 in either hand-winding or automatic versions. Although ETA created a time-only automatic movement (Cal. 2870/2871), FHF did not. ETA also created both 21,600 A/h and 28,800 A/h varieties, but FHF only produced 28,800 A/h movements in this series. The automatic day/date Cal. 2878 is most commonly seen.
ETA/ESA also offered a line of compatible Gabarit Quartz movements as well. Cal. 9361 and 9362 were the same size as the automatic Gabarit movements and boasted the same features, including day and date calendar with instant date change and hacking seconds. By that time, ETA also offered the Cal. 952 “Manufacture Quartz” and Cal. 954 “Flatline Quartz” which were thinner than the 5.50 mm Gabarit, at 4.50 and 3.70 mm, respectively. The main difference was runtime: The Gabarit could run for 5 or even 10 years on a single battery!