The watch magazine for pocketwatches, antique watches, vintage watches and modern watches

Seiko celebrates the 40th year of the quartz watch with a special edition Quartz Astron

by Michael Weare
20 October, 2010
1 Comment | Discuss this article

Tags

,

About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

seiko-quartz-astron

It’s been a busy year for Seiko. Not only is it 50 years since they launched the Grand Seiko, it is also 40 years since they launched the world’s first quartz watch. Although the Swiss were the first to make a quartz watch prototype, crucially, the Japanese Seiko 35SQ Astron was the first analogue quartz watch to reach the market on Christmas Day 1969. To mark this achievement Seiko have launched a special 40th anniversary Quartz Astron.

The new Quartz Astron houses the Seiko quartz caliber, 9F62, which may well be the most advanced quartz calibre ever built. It uses entirely new technologies to control accuracy, to allow the use of heavier and longer hands, and to increase the watch’s longevity.

Accurate to 10 seconds a year

Designed to look like a mechanical watch, in the design stages, important steps were taken to ensure that accuracy is maintained at +/- 10 seconds a year. The movement is enclosed in a super-sealed cover so that no dust enters the mechanism to ensure long-term reliability.

Despite the head start that the Swiss watch industry had with the first quartz watch prototype, they failed to see the enormous market potential of the quartz watch and focused instead on improving the existing mechanical technology. Upon such seemingly wise decisions does history turn.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the quartz revolution and world economic recession resulted in a drastic reduction in the size of the Swiss watch industry.

The number of employees in Swiss watch manufacturing fell from 90,000 in 1970 to a little over 30,000 in 1984 – a figure which has remained stable over the past 13 years. Meanwhile, the number of Swiss watch companies dropped from about 1600 in 1970 to about 650 today.

It was only the arrival of Swatch in the 1980s that helped the Swiss watch industry to recover.It was an important lesson and the Swiss watch industry had to learn how to accept and cope with this new technology.

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

Discuss: Seiko celebrates the 40th year of the quartz watch with a special edition Quartz Astron

1 Comment


  1. Vlora

    I feel satisfied after reading that one.

Add your comment