Quartz crisis

Quartz Revolutionadventchallengefrom the 1980sinexpensive Japanese wristwatchesquartz cirsisSwiss watch industry crisisuse of miniaturized electric batteries
The quartz crisis (also known as the quartz revolution) is a term used in the watchmaking industry to refer to the economic upheavals caused by the advent of quartz watches in the 1970s and early 1980s, which largely replaced mechanical watches.wikipedia
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Omega Electroquartz

The Beta 21 was released by numerous manufacturers including the Omega Electroquartz.
The beta 21 is noteworthy and significantly important to the history of watch making as well as the Astron as it marked the first quartz watch produced on an industrial level and began the quartz crisis

Quartz clock

quartz watchquartzquartz movement
The quartz crisis (also known as the quartz revolution) is a term used in the watchmaking industry to refer to the economic upheavals caused by the advent of quartz watches in the 1970s and early 1980s, which largely replaced mechanical watches. In the early 1950s a joint venture between the Elgin Watch Company in the United States and Lip of France to produce an electromechanical watch – one powered by a small battery rather than an unwinding spring – laid the groundwork for the quartz watch.
By the 1980s, quartz technology had taken over applications such as kitchen timers, alarm clocks, bank vault time locks, and time fuzes on munitions, from earlier mechanical balance wheel movements, an upheaval known in watchmaking as the quartz crisis.

Watch

wristwatchwatchesdigital watch
In 1954, Swiss engineer Max Hetzel developed an electronic wristwatch that used an electrically charged tuning fork powered by a 1.35 volt battery.
Historically, this is called the quartz revolution.

Swatch

swatchesMercedes SwatchSwatch the Club
A research consortium, the Swiss ASUAG group (Société Générale de l'Horlogerie Suisse SA), was formed to save the industry and the result was launched in March 1983 – the Swatch.
The Swatch product line was developed as a response to the "quartz crisis" of the 1970s and 1980s, in which Asian-made digital watches were competing against traditional European-made mechanical watches.

Patek Philippe SA

Patek PhilippePatek Philippe & CoPatek Philippe with a Sky Moon Tourbillion
Paradoxically, the quartz revolution drove many Swiss manufacturers to seek refuge in (or be winnowed out to) the higher end of the market, such as Rolex and Patek Philippe.
It was designed by Swiss watchmaker Gérald Genta, who previously designed the Royal Oak collection for Audemars Piguet, and was released during the quartz crisis by Patek Philippe in the hope that it would help re-attract attention from people to high-end Swiss mechanical watches.

Watchmaker

watchmakingwatchmakerswatch-maker
The quartz crisis (also known as the quartz revolution) is a term used in the watchmaking industry to refer to the economic upheavals caused by the advent of quartz watches in the 1970s and early 1980s, which largely replaced mechanical watches.

Mechanical watch

mechanicalmechanical watchesmanual winding
The quartz crisis (also known as the quartz revolution) is a term used in the watchmaking industry to refer to the economic upheavals caused by the advent of quartz watches in the 1970s and early 1980s, which largely replaced mechanical watches.

Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry

Swiss watch manufacturersFederation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FHS)Fédération de L'industrie Horlogère Suisse
It caused a decline of the Swiss watchmaking industry, which chose to remain focused on traditional mechanical watches, while the majority of the world's watch production shifted to Asian companies that embraced the new technology.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
During World War II, Swiss neutrality permitted the watch industry to continue making consumer time-keeping apparatus, while the major nations of the world shifted timing apparatus production to timing devices for military ordnance.

Swiss neutrality

neutralitycountry's neutralityinternational neutrality
During World War II, Swiss neutrality permitted the watch industry to continue making consumer time-keeping apparatus, while the major nations of the world shifted timing apparatus production to timing devices for military ordnance.

Joint venture

joint-venturejoint venturesJV
In the early 1950s a joint venture between the Elgin Watch Company in the United States and Lip of France to produce an electromechanical watch – one powered by a small battery rather than an unwinding spring – laid the groundwork for the quartz watch.

Elgin National Watch Company

ElginElgin Watch CompanyElgin Watches
In the early 1950s a joint venture between the Elgin Watch Company in the United States and Lip of France to produce an electromechanical watch – one powered by a small battery rather than an unwinding spring – laid the groundwork for the quartz watch.

Electric watch

electromechanical watchelectronic watchelectronic watches
In the early 1950s a joint venture between the Elgin Watch Company in the United States and Lip of France to produce an electromechanical watch – one powered by a small battery rather than an unwinding spring – laid the groundwork for the quartz watch.

Hamilton Watch Company

HamiltonBurenHamilton 500
Although the Lip-Elgin enterprise produced only prototypes, in 1957 the first battery-driven watch was in production, the American-made Hamilton 500.

Tuning fork

tuning forkstuning-forkDiapasons
In 1954, Swiss engineer Max Hetzel developed an electronic wristwatch that used an electrically charged tuning fork powered by a 1.35 volt battery.

Resonance

resonantresonant frequencyresonance frequency
The tuning fork resonated at precisely 360 Hz and it powered the hands of the watch through an electro-mechanical gear train.

Hertz

MHzkHzHz
The tuning fork resonated at precisely 360 Hz and it powered the hands of the watch through an electro-mechanical gear train.

Gear train

gear ratioreduction gearreduction gearing
The tuning fork resonated at precisely 360 Hz and it powered the hands of the watch through an electro-mechanical gear train.

Bulova

Bulova Watch CompanyAccutronBulova Watch Co.
This watch was called the Accutron and was marketed by Bulova, starting in 1960.

Market (economics)

marketmarketsglobal market
Although Bulova did not have the first battery-powered wristwatch, the Accutron was a powerful catalyst, as by that time the Swiss watch-manufacturing industry was a mature industry with a centuries-old global market and deeply entrenched patterns of manufacturing, marketing and sales.

Neuchâtel

NeuenburgNeuchâtel, SwitzerlandNeufchâtel
In 1962, the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH) was established in Neuchâtel to develop a Swiss-made quartz wristwatch, while simultaneously in Japan, Seiko was also working on an electric watch and developing quartz technology.

Seiko

Hattori SeikoHattori Seiko Co.lorus
In 1962, the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH) was established in Neuchâtel to develop a Swiss-made quartz wristwatch, while simultaneously in Japan, Seiko was also working on an electric watch and developing quartz technology.

1964 Summer Olympics

19641964 Tokyo Olympics1964 Tokyo
This portable clock was used as a backup timer for marathon events in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Longines

Longines PrizeLongines Ambassador of EleganceLongines watches
In 1966, prototypes of the world's first quartz pocketwatch were unveiled by Seiko and Longines in the Neuchâtel Observatory's 1966 competition.

Neuchâtel Observatory

Neuchâtel ObservatoriesAstronomical Observatory de NeuchatelBulletin de Observation De Neuchâtel
In 1966, prototypes of the world's first quartz pocketwatch were unveiled by Seiko and Longines in the Neuchâtel Observatory's 1966 competition.