ESA 9180

ESA 9180 |

ESA 9180


Around 1973, the Ebauces SA (ESA) started the quartz era for the masses with the pretty ecnomic constructed caliber ESA 9180, which used already many plastic parts, but on the other hand, had a compilated motor with four coils.

ESA 9180: base plate

base plate

On early quartz movement, is was standard to bear fast turning wheels in ruby, just like on this movement, the rotor wheel (with bearing and cap jewels) and the first transmission wheel.

Like most all other ETA / Eterna movement, the ESA 9180 series also had a dial-side driven display works. At position 11 o’clock, near the center, you see the dial-side bearing for the third wheel, which drives the display works.

ESA 9180: gear train

gear train

A speciality of the 9180 caliber series is, that it has got an electrical, as well as a mechanical hacking function. The electrical one is realized with the lever at position 8:30, for th mechanical, you see an elaborated lever mechanism on top, of which, the right lever blocks the rotor. Futher details will follow…

ESA 9180: side view of the gear train

side view of the gear train

Compared with modern quartz movements, the rotor is incredibly large and heavy, with eight tiny magnets and a very filigree axle, which runs in a shock protected bearing.

ESA 9180: movement without rotor

movement without rotor

Interestingly, seconds and third wheel have their ruby bearings only on the (visible) movement side, not on the dial side, where only metal bearings are used.

ESA 9180: rotor


Here again the detail view of the rotor with its eight(!) tiny permanent magnets.

ESA 9180: lower side of the rotor

lower side of the rotor

On the lower side of the rotor, there’s a four-pointed star. Into this engages the hacking lever (described above) and blocks the movement not only electronically, but also mechanically.

ESA 9180: stator coild

stator coild

The coil block with its four, plastic mounted coils is very laborious. A modern lavet stepper motor of todays quartz movements with only one coil is trivial against it.

ESA 9180: mechanics mounted

mechanics mounted

The large shock protection block of the rotor is nice to see. It reminds a bit of an Incabloc shock protection.

Next to it, at position 3 o’clock, there’s a free space for a type label, which is left empty on this specimen here.

ESA 9180: electronics block

electronics block

The electronics block with its plastic-riveted traces is a genious construction. And even more genious is the IC, whose connectors can be attached with screws. The two right ones connect with the coil block, the lower one with the positive pole of the battery.

The large trimmer capacitator is also nice to see. It is used to fine-ajust the resonant quartz circuit.

Last, you can see the electronic hacking function, on which, supported by a lever, the third pin of the integrated circuit is connected to the minus pole.

ESA 9180: lower side of the electonics block

lower side of the electonics block

Typical for first generation quartz movements are their large quartz resonators, which here, however, already uses the standard frequency of 32 kHz.

ESA 9180: empty dial side

empty dial side

the empty dial side is quite sober. It uses a simple yoke keyless works, with three positions. In the second one, the calender can be corrected by engagement of the right transmission wheel.

At position one o’clock near the center, you see the pinion of the third wheel, which drives the dial-side minute wheel, which is also equipped with a sliding clutch.

ESA 9180: bottom of the date ring

bottom of the date ring

The date ring is unfortunately made of plastic and so prone to break (plastic becomes brittle after the 50 years, this movement is already old). It has got on its outer rim a tooth ring, which is used for the quickset funktion - in both directions!

ESA 9180: calendar mechanism

calendar mechanism

The switching lever of the 24hr gear, which advances the date and, at least on the sister caliber ESA 9181, the weekday ring, is also made of plastic. It is spring loaded to realize the instant date switch.

ESA 9180: covered calender machanism

covered calender machanism

The date ring is beared by the screwed cover, and you also see the space, the weekday ring would use.

ESA 9180: ESA 9180: Dial side

ESA 9180: Dial side

This movement was indeed the only ESA movement, which still uses an comparatively complex construction (rotor with eight magnets, shock protection, voluminous quartz resonator). Its successor, the ESA 9360, was already made with modern construction standards and hardly differs from quarz movements of today.
Evolution was so fast back then, and it’s easy to imagine how fast mechanical watches became obsolete shopkeepers practically overnight.

Technical data

Caliber base:ESA 9180
Size:13''' (measured: 29,0mm)
Frequency:32768 Hz
Number of jewels:7
Adjust mechanism:Variable capacitor
Construction type:solid construction
Winding mechanism:yoke winding system
Setting lever spring:2 hole(s)
  • SCD (direct center seconds)
  • QG (date indication (aperture))
  • RDR (date corrector)
  • Q (quartz controlled)
References: Werksucher: Electronic
Inventory number:22018

Usage gallery

ESA 9180: Roamer Quartz gents watch

Roamer Quartz gents watch


Caliber Family
ESA 9180

Other movements from ESA