V8 is the designation stamped on ETA movements that are of Swiss origin.
Is V8 the caliber number?
No, V8 is not the caliber number of the movement. That is not to say that caliber “V8” does not exist, but in the case of most ETA movements, V8 simply means the movement was manufactured in Switzerland.
While the V8 may be marked clearly on the movement, you should be able to find the actual caliber number etched somewhere. Often, especially on smaller movements, the V8 more legible than the actual caliber number, this is why it is prone to causing confusion within the watch community.
Editor’s Note: It’s funny to see serious discussion about a caliber online, with everyone referring to it as “V8” when it’s not actually the caliber number at all. In the early days, this site made the same mistake, see the comments below before this article was updated 😛
Below are two similar ETA quartz calibers: On the left is a Swiss made G10.211 with a V8 stamp. On the right is a Swiss parts G10.71A , notice that there is no V8 stamp…
Is V8 only found on quartz movements?
No, you can find V8 stamped on the Swiss made mechanical movements as well. In the examples below, the V8 appears to be part of the movement’s date code.
Is V8 only signed on movements?
No, some Swatch watches also have V8 etched into the case. The assumption here is that if it’s made in Switzerland, it’s going to have the V8 stamp. This is simply based on observation and not a confirmation from Swatch Group.
What does the V and 8 mean exactly?
Why the code is V8 is still a mystery. If you have more insight to share, please talk about it in the comments below.
Update: After a few more hours of research, there is another “V8” association with Swatch Group (owner’s of ETA)… The address of the company headquarters: Swatch Group AG, Seevorstadt 6, Biel/Bienne, V8 2501. This was found in the public stock listing information. It does not appear to the post code, since the post code for Biel/Bienne is the 4 digit number 2501.