|Introduced||December 25, 1969|
The Astron wristwatch, formally known as the Seiko Quartz-Astron 35SQ, was the world's first "quartz clock" wristwatch. 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). Essential elements included a XY-type quartz oscillator of 8192 Hz (8192 = 213), a hybrid integrated circuit, and a phase locked ultra-small stepping motor to turn its hands. According to Seiko, Astron was accurate to ±5 seconds per month or one minute per year, and its battery life was 1 year or longer.
In March 2010, at the Baselworld watch fair and trade show in Switzerland, Seiko previewed a limited edition new version of the watch and related designs of the original Astron watch, commemorating the fortieth anniversary in December 2009 of the debut of the Astron watch.
References and footnotes
- "IEEE History Center: Electronic Quartz Wristwatch, 1969". IEEE.
- "Seiko Quartz Astron 35SQ December 1969: The quartz watch that revolutionized horological history". Seiko Epson.
- "The Watch That Changed Horological History" (PDF). Seiko Epson. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2010. (alternate version)
- ^ The price of Toyota Corolla E10 was 432,000 yen (US$1,200) when it was released in 1966.
- ^ "Seiko Quartz Astron 35SQ" (PDF). Seiko Epson Corporation. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
- ^ "The new SEIKO Quartz Astron: A demonstration of SEIKO’s four decades of dedication to the perfection of the quartz watch", Archived 2013-03-19 at the Wayback Machine Seiko press release, March 18, 2010
- "Seiko Quartz 35 SQ: The Seiko 35 SQ Astron was the first quartz watch on the market", Smithsonian Institution website.
- Thompson, Joe, "1969: Seiko’s Breakout Year", WatchTime Magazine, December 20, 2009