Astron (wristwatch)

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Seiko Quartz-Astron 35SQ
Type Quartz
Display Analogue
Introduced 1969
Quartz Movement of the Seiko Astron, 1969 (Deutsches Uhrenmuseum, Inv. Inv. 2010-006)

The Astron wristwatch, formally known as the Seiko Quartz-Astron 35SQ, was the world's first "quartz clock" wristwatch, i.e., one based on a quartz crystal oscillator. It is now registered on the List of IEEE Milestones as a key advance in electrical engineering.

The Astron was unveiled in Tokyo on December 25, 1969, after ten years of research and development at Suwa Seikosha (currently named Seiko Epson), a manufacturing company of Seiko Group. Within one week 100 gold watches had been sold, at a retail price of 450,000 yen (US$1,250) each (at the time, equivalent to the price of a medium-sized car).[1] Essential elements included a quartz crystal oscillator (8,192 cyles/second), a hybrid integrated circuit, and a miniature stepping motor to turn its hands. The Astron was accurate to ±5 seconds per month, or one minute per year.

Anniversaries[edit]

In March 2010, at the BaselWorld watch fair and trade show in Switzerland, Seiko previewed a limited edition new version and related designs of the original Astron watch, commemorating the fortieth anniversary in December 2009 of the debut of the Astron watch.[2]

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The price of Toyota Corolla E10 was 432,000 yen (US$1,200) when it was released in 1966.[1]
  2. ^ "The new SEIKO Quartz Astron: A demonstration of SEIKO’s four decades of dedication to the perfection of the quartz watch", Seiko press release, March 18, 2010

Further reading[edit]