Eta Precidrive Powerdrive Watch Movements

ETA PreciDrive VS PowerDrive

Eta Precidrive Vs Powerdrive

PreciDrive and PowerDrive are confusing!

It’s hard enough to buy ETA movements, and now the quartz movements that are available are difficult to decipher.

When searching through the current catalog of ETA’s quartz movements, you may have noticed that some calibers have multiple types: PreciDrive and PowerDrive.

Not only do these names sound like wrestling moves, it can be confusing because ETA doesn’t do a good job of explaining what the difference is. Luckily for you, that is what this article aims to do, but no guarantees!

Also confusing is the fact that movements with PreciDrive or PowerDrive share the same base caliber number regardless of the technology. ETA attempts to handle this by adding AA and AB to their site listings, as well as PWD or PRD to their tech sheets, but there are many inconsistencies.

Caliber Confusion:

It doesn’t help that they market them with very similar names and logos. PowerDrive and PreciDrive, both with Drive in the name and both with PD as the capital letters.

Both logos are nearly identical: arrows going in a clockwise circle, recycling sign style, with the time pointing to about 9:05:25. The only difference is that PowerDrive is grey and blue with the name on the right; PreciDrive is red and blue with the name on the left.

Maybe it’s a case of being too smart for your own good, because the idea of being able to combine logos for movements with both technology is cool and all, but it doesn’t matter how cool it is if nobody understands what it means.

Eta Precidrive Powerdrive Watch Movements

To make matters even worse, the movement resellers rarely list any information regarding one or the other, so you never know what you’re going to get! Then, when you get your replacement movement in the mail, you have to know where to look on the movement in order to determine which type you have.

Also, if a watch brand (Omega for example) is using an ETA base with or without one of these features, it’s almost impossible to tell, unless they choose to include it in their own marketing materials.

What is ETA PowerDrive?

PowerDrive is essentially the computer that handles the functions of the movement. It’s like putting an ECU tuning chip in a car for faster shifting response and better fuel economy. Basically, PowerDrive handles the programmed functionality that is possible with a multi-hand quartz chronograph movement.

In ETA’s own words:

“PowerDrive controls the running of the chronograph motors, and can increase the hand movement speed to more than 200 Hz (i.e. 200 hand jumps per second in either direction of rotation). This technology improves the hand movement control, making for a highly dynamic display. PowerDrive also provides numerous counter programming options. This technology gives the customer multiple display combinations.” –source

What is ETA PreciDrive?

PreciDrive is a label given to ETA movements that achieve or surpass COSC spec. These are thermocompensated movements.

In ETA’s own words:

“PreciDrive can achieve a precision which can pass the COSC chronometer certification, provided the watch is not exposed to impacts, and kept at a temperature of between 20°c and 30°c. This precision can be achieved thanks to the thermo-compensation operating principle, which controls and regulates the motor pulses according to changes in the ambient temperature. By virtue of combining the quartz and integrated circuit in the same waterproof case, the precision is insensitive to moisture.” -source same as above

Examples of ETA movements with PreciDrive, PowerDrive, or both:

PreciDrive PowerDrive Both
G10.212 AB G10.212 AD
G10.212 AM G10.212 AJ
G10.212 AP G10.712 CD
G10.212 AQ G10.962 BF
G10.212 AN
G10.715 CB
G10.962 BE
G10.962 EO
G15.212 AB G15.212 AA
G15.562 BF G15.562 BE


ETA sort of drops the ball on all of this technology because they are doing a terrible job of explaining it in ways the market can consume and get excited about. Ask yourself, have you ever seen a single brand advertise that the movement in their watch is using PreciDrive or PowerDrive? No.

Is the sudden rush to tout quartz technology a response to the vast amounts of attention that Seiko Instruments has been getting for their so-called mechaquartz movements? Ask yourself again, have you ever seen a single microbrand advertise that the movement in their watch is mecaquartz? Yes.

Among all of this, ETA has another… Drive. It’s called HeavyDrive. Too many drives here, save that for another post.

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