Technology has a funny way of upsetting the status quo. Take reading, for example: We used to literally burn the midnight oil to read when it got dark. Then came electric lightbulbs. Today, LEDs are the norm. And with each successive invention, how we consumed the written word changed completely. This was exactly what happened to the watch industry during the quartz revolution, which began in 1969.Fifty years on, we take a look at how digital technology changed the wristwatch for consumers back then, and how the new digital revolution is impacting watch consumers today.THE QUARTZ CRYSTAL COMETHThe year was 1969. On Dec 25, it was the Japanese watchmaker Seiko who brought forth the bane that was quartz upon the kingdom of mechanical watchmaking. The very first quartz wristwatch was known as the Seiko Quartz-Astron 35SQ. Contrary to what the quartz movement would go on to become (a cheap, mass produced power source), the first quartz movement was priced at JPY 450,000. According to some sources, this was equivalent to the price of a medium-sized car back then.How did it evolve into the inexpensive quartz watch we know today? Throughout the 1970s, Seiko continued to develop their quartz technology, even… Read full this story
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