Posted in: Seiko
Seiko - quartz revolution
One of the greatest breakthrough moments in watchmaking was the introduction of quartz technology. The Seiko brand has devoted much time and effort to this groundbreaking invention. The flagship model that reflects the perfection of the quartz revolution is the Quartz Astron watch made of 18-carat gold.
The beginnings of quartz technology
The revolution started with the Astron watch, the world’s first quartz watch introduced in 1969 by Seiko. The brand has been working very hard for such success since the end of 1950. Quartz technology was inspired by piezoelectricity, which was in turn discovered by Pierre Curie at the end of the 19th century. Curie noticed that quartz crystals generate electrical charges under pressure.
Curie's discovery was a trigger for Warren Morrison to search for a way to generate a fixed electrical frequency. Curie's discovery and Morrison’s efforts led to the creation of the first quartz watch.
Seiko quartz watch - miniaturisation
Seiko quartz watches were much more accurate than mechanical watches, but they didn’t quickly become commercially viable products. The biggest problem was their size - first timepieces were as big as a room. Later, in 1958, Seiko introduced a quartz watch for ships which weighed 30 kg (around 66 lbs).
In 1963, Seiko Crystal Chronometer was released, which weighed only 3 kg. Thanks to its uniqueness, the watch was used for timing athletic events a year later at the Tokyo Olympics. It demonstrated a remarkable advance in watchmaking in terms of producing smaller and lighter timepieces.
The history of Seiko quartz watches is very interesting. The company announced its innovation in 1969 with the debut of the Astron watch. This event still makes people very proud. Thanks to this innovation, people could finally buy quartz watches produced by more than one company.
Seiko Astron and… new challenges
The price of the first Seiko Astron watch was equal to that of a car. As the technology developed and became more widespread, the prices of quartz watches dropped rapidly to tens of dollars. And, as a result, the prestige of the Seiko brand was reduced. The Japanese company, however, didn't rest on its laurels and, instead, continued to manufacture high-quality watches for its customers.
The brand’s proprietary Quartz Caliber 9F movement used in Seiko Grand watches is one of many examples of their top quality products. Another example is Seiko Astron GPS Solar - the world’s first solar GPS watch that is accurate to within one second per 100,000 years.
In 2009 Seiko relaunched the Astron collection - GPS Solar Titanium