|Winding:||Automatic, Central Rotor Automatic Winding, Clockwise Automatic Winding, Uni-Directional Automatic Winding|
|Diameter:||36.60 mm (16.5 ligne)|
|Complications:||2-Button, Cam Switching Chronograph, Chronograph, Date, Hacking Seconds, Quick Date Correction|
|Hands:||12 Hour Chronograph Hand at 6:00, 30 Minute Chronograph Hand at 3:00, Central 60 Second Chronograph Hand, Central Hour Hand, Central Minute Hand, Date Window at 4:30, Small Seconds Hand at 9:00|
|Distinguishing Technical Characteristics|
Clockwise Balance Cock
|Production: 2005 – 2021|
Cal. A07.231 is an oversized automatic chronograph movement produced by ETA in the Valgranges family from 2005 through 2021. Along with the similar Cal. A07.211, it was one of only two chronograph movements in the Valgranges line, which is odd since it was based on the Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph. It was also the most popular in terms of the number of watch models that used it, but it was withdrawn from the market after 2021 as ETA stopped selling movements outside the Swatch Group.
The Valgranges A07.231 is essentially identical to the venerable ETA 7753 but on a larger main plate. The movement also lacks a day complication, though it does retain the date at 4:30. The similar Valgranges A07.211 features subdials at 6-9-12 and date at 3:00 like the 7750.
Valgranges A07.231 Ebauches and Variants
The movement is also sold as the Longines L696 and L705. It was used by Certina as well.
ETA 7750 Family Overview
The ETA (formerly Valjoux) 7750 is a robust and reliable automatic movement with an integrated cam-operated chronograph function. It has spawned a family of chronograph and time-only movements and is used as a base for many complications and third-party watch movements.
Introduced in 1974, the Valjoux 7750 was soon retired but returned in the 1980s. It has come to dominate the industry and remains popular today. Most versions of Cal. 7750 feature small seconds at 9:00 and chronograph hours and minutes subdials at 12:00 and 6:00, respectively. This “6-9-12” subdial arrangement is instantly recognizable to watch enthusiasts.
Distinguishing features of the ETA 7750 family include a smaller balance wheel than many historic movements and a small rotor hub with a slotted screw and five visible bearings. The balance is located at 1:30 when viewed from the back with the crown at 9:00, and is located by a clockwise cock. The distinctive Valjoux regulator was used on most 7750 variants until the 2010s, with a clamp-shaped arm and “dagger” pointer. The chronograph functions use cams rather than the levers and column wheel found on many other movements.
ETA Valgranges History
Then-new ETA president Thomas Meier announced the Valgranges family at BaselWorld in 2004. The name was derived from Valjoux, the historic movement maker behind Cal. 7750, and Granges, the site of production. Meier expected the Valgranges range to become a new “standard reference, like Valjoux, on which it is based, because this movement has a soul.” The 16.5 ligne (37.22 mm) movement was used in larger watches, with Victorinox Swiss Army being one of the first customers. The line was later adopted by Maurice Lacroix, MeisterSinger, Longines (using OEM names), Certina, Concord, and others.
Cal. A07.111 was the first shown, with the power reserve Cal. A07.161 and chronograph Cal. A07.211 following in early 2005. The final official family member was introduced later that year: Cal. A07.171 added a 24 hour function useful for dual timezone watches. All shared the same width and thickness, making it easy for watchmakers to add complications in the same line.
The Valgranges movements were used by quite a few companies both inside the Swatch Group and out, but they did not displace ETA’s more-popular narrow-diameter movements. Instead, given the constant threat of ETA restricting sales of movements, most switched to the Sellita versions of the primary ETA families: Sellita SW200 (ETA 2800), Sellita SW300 (ETA 2890), and Sellita SW500 (ETA 7750). Although other makers used the 7750 wheel train in non-chronograph movements (notably Habring2 and Naoya Hida), the Valgranges concept failed to catch on.
When ETA ceased offering mechanical movements outside Swatch Group in 2021, the Valgranges line were officially phased out. Proprietary movements for Swatch Group customers continued, but the Valgranges brand and website were withdrawn.Images are taken from official publications and are used here for commentary and educational purposes. Copyright is held by the original owner as noted.