Heinrich Stamm was a Swiss watchmaker who rose to become head of design engineer at ETA after World War II. He is credited with the design of the Eterna 3000 automatic movement, which was the basis for the ETA 2892 still used today.
Stamm was born in 1898 and began his career in 1925 at A. Michel as a design engineer. He was an instructor in watchmaking in 1938 and 1939, helping unemployed watchmakers train for the emerging industrial watchmaking in Switzerland. He also worked on gear tooth profiles, developing a unique design of his own.
On December 16, 1939, Stamm joined ETA, then one of the larger watch movement makers but not the dominant company known today. He became head design engineer in 1943 and is credited with many inventions, including the ball bearing mounted automatic winding rotor and bi-directional winding reverser mechanism. He also created the so-called “ETA toothing”, a gear profile introduced with the Eterna-Matic in 1948, adopted across ETA in 1951, and still used today.
Stamm was well known for clashing with ETA boss Rudolf Schild-Comtesse, but the two oversaw a dramatic expansion of the company and development of many important movements.
In 1961, Stamm was tasked with creating a next-generation automatic movement for the Eterna-Matic 3000 Dato watch. The resulting movement used Stamm's ball bearing rotor, bi-directional winding reverser, and tooth profile. This would be the thinnest movement to date with a central automatic winding rotor, thanks to the steeply beveled base movement, close spacing of components, integrated automatic winding gears, and stepped rotor. The original Eterna 1466 was updated with 21,600 A/h operation as Eterna 1504 a few years after the 1963 debut. Stamm took on an apprentice, Anton Bally, in 1962. Bally would lead the evolution of Stamm's Eterna 3000 to the ETA 2892 in 1975, continuing his legacy to the present day.