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ETA SA, a company of Swatch Group, is introducing an exclusive new technology to its quartz movements. HeavyDrive technology enables intelligent shock management for the second's hand and is opening up new possibilities for hand design.
After the launch of PowerDrive and PreciDrive in 2013, the manufacturer of Swiss Made movements is reinforcing its quartz movement range by offering a third exclusive technology. As its name indicates, HeavyDrive refers directly to hand unbalances. A new integrated circuit (IC) is behind this technology, which enables detection then intelligent shock management. If this occurs, the IC will instruct the motor to send a force to counter that induced by the shock in order to lock the second's hand in place during the impact. This counter-impulse prevents the hand from accidentally jumping and reduces weight restrictions for its implementation. HeavyDrive therefore tolerates a significantly higher unbalance than ordinary hands: the second hand's permitted unbalance is increased by 200% and the minute hand's permitted unbalance is increased by 20%. This means that the HeavyDrive technology invites designers to be creative, enabling them to use shapes and materials which have thus far remained undeveloped.
In addition, this latest-generation IC reacts in just a few microseconds (a hundred times faster than an airbag is deployed) for shocks suffered during typical watch use. The effective nature of this reaction (only activated when required) helps to preserve the movement's autonomy.
HeavyDrive technology is currently available in movements from the Trendline collection and will be incorporated into other collections from next year onwards. It can also be paired with PreciDrive technology to combine robustness with extremely high precision.