Quartz Watch Movement

September 2, 2017

Although sniffed at by the vast majority of watch purists (they know who they are) the humble Quartz watch movement has a fascinating history.

 

The quartz movement was first developed back in the early 60s after Epson (a sub company of Seiko) were given an order by them in late 1959 to develop one and bring it into production.

 

Many challenges lay ahead as proved by the length of time and the huge costs involved it took in bringing it to market, although when it was eventually released only a lucky few could afford to purchase this cutting edge technology at that time.

 

The Seiko 35 SQ Astron arrived on Xmas day 1969 which then made it the worlds most accurate watch and one of the most expensive as well.

 

When it was first released it was absolutely cutting edge and heralded to many the future for watches. The Seiko 35 SQ Astron cost a small fortune during that space crazy period of history. In 1969 450,000 Yen or $1250 would get you the 18 carat gold version or better yet as an example it was roughly the same price as your average family car back then. 

 

The now humble quartz movement brought the conventional watch market to it's knees almost single handily within a few short years once economy of scale kicked in and it began being mass produced.

 

Watches had previously used a balance wheel which oscillated at 5 beats per second where as a quartz watch used a quartz crystal resonator which vibrated at 8.192 Hz and powered by a battery which worked the oscillator circuit producing a more accurate ability to record accurate time.

 

Below is a fantastic video by James May from the Brit Lab channel on YouTube on Quartz Watch Movements (all credit to them).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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