The 1970s changed everything in the watch world. What happened in the 1970s? On December 25, 1969, the Japanese watchmaker Seiko introduced the Astron, the world’s first quartz wristwatch. As the consequence of it, a revolution came to the watch market in 1970. Within a very short span of time quartz timepieces conquered the heart of almost all types of people, irrespective of their ages and levels of education. It has over 90% market share. Now, quartz watches rule the roost.
Why Quartz Watches are More Popular
A quartz watch is 60 times more accurate than a mechanical watch. According to watch producers, a quartz watch might hardly lose 1 second in a week. Therefore, a quartz watch can hardly lose 4 seconds in a month. This is why it became a very good choice for those who are very punctual.However, the scenario has changed after the introduction of the digital quartz watches. These watches never lose a single second. This is why these timepieces have received more popularity over the others.
The First Quartz Watch
The first quartz watch was a limited edition of 100 gold-case watches. The retail price was ¥450,000 which is an equivalent to the price of a Toyota Corolla. It included a battery to supply power for running the clock. This battery-powered wristwatch featured a quartz oscillator that can oscillate up to 8,192 CPS. This watch battered the market when in 1970s Seiko and other pioneering watchmakers started producing this timepiece on a large scale. A few Swiss companies exposed quartz analogs at the 1970 Basel Fair. However, all these were analogs.
Digital quartz watches
Digital watches were not invented until 1972 when Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster introduced the world’s first digital watch, the Pulsar. In April 1972, they brought this watch in a gold case for selling it to the market. The price tag proudly proclaimed its price $2,100. There was an LED (light-emitting diode) display to show the time in digits. When the users push a button on the case, he or she can see the time in digits. A digital watch did not include any conventional dial and hands like an analog quartz watch. It has high oscillation power. Anyway, the LED display quartz watches had some drawbacks. It used two hands to tell the time. One hand was for the clock and the other hand to press the button to illuminate the display. The light caused a tremendous drain on the battery.Consequently, in 1973, Seiko and others introduced LCD (liquid crystal display) digital watches to save power. Instead of illuminating with a button press, it displayed the time continuously. It is an undeniable fact that the display was not a very potent for some of the early LCDs. However, in the course of time, it received some improvement in the display. Instead of having many drawbacks, Pulsar was a hit in the market. We cannot avoid its importance in the quartz movement. This is the first phase of the quartz revolution.In the course of time, through many corrections, modifications and additions, we have received modern quartz watches. These are the absolute timepiece to measure and tell time.