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Thread: The fascinating tale of clepsydra, pendulums and quartz

  1. #1
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    The fascinating tale of clepsydra, pendulums and quartz

    Clepsydra, pendulums and quartz? Have I some lock-down cabin fever? A sake too far?

    Well with one thing and another, I have been favouring my simple quartz watches lately. In this I suspect I am not alone.

    And this is mainly a long ramble. At least a two-cuppa. I can’t guarantee factual accuracy. It’s not a thesis. There are doubtless many mistakes. And I’ve probably already blown my avoiding-contention budget in choosing pendulums over pendula. With all that understood, prepare your horological digestive for a long dunk into the hot mug of quartz history.

    My very first watch was a quartz, some time in the 1970s, and a new-fangled digital LCD type at that. These were innovative and accurate and very modern. They were all set to brush away our dads' old-fashioned and inaccurate mechanical watches into well-deserved and permanent obscurity. James Bond had moved on to digital from his watches-of-yesterday too, those creaky old Rolex Submariners and 6238s.

    Pah, who'd be seen with one of those, when you could have one of these:


    Yes there is a watch there

    In the absence of other influencers, this truly vindicated my young self’s excellent choice to move with, well, the times.

    There was no such thing as a “child’s” digital watch, so my treasured item, by Ingersoll if I recall, hung proudly off my arm like a manacle.


    Not my actual watch. Picture handcuffs on an action man

    I was though, briefly, the toast of my primary school. Until Trevor or Derek or some other 70’s named boy bought one that featured the seconds readout on the same display. And then Alan or Brian or Richard acquired one with a stop watch with a 100th seconds counter, and perhaps even a little marker denoting the day of the week. The game truly was afoot. It was a time when I could feel technology accelerate away from me.

    My fascination has never subsided, although it took a deep detour into mechanical watches for a long time.

    But innovation in the mechanical realm, at least during my lifetime, has tended to be a new bezel colour (“stunning”) or minor variation in case dimension or a re-issue of an older watch design. All good for Instagram appreciation and forum rumination. Or for rewarding one’s attainments, taste or discernment. Perhaps in some cases, even for telling the time.

    But notwithstanding a newer escapement here nor a longer mainspring there, I think that most progress, viewed objectively in horological rather than jewellery terms, has been in the quartz realm for most of my life.

    And somewhat before my life too...

    (You are going to need that biscuit, perhaps even a packet. You deserve it)



    As generally understood, Seiko’s Astron was the first commercial quartz watch, released on Christmas Day in 1969.


    Seiko 35A movement from the Astron. Genesis. It took a bit more than 7 days though

    But quartz time pieces (rather than wristwatches) had been around since the late 1920s.

    Canadian Warren Marrison and his Bell Labs colleague J.W. Horton are credited with inventing the quartz clock in 1927:


    Hodinkee "Marrison" tribute version expected imminently

    The keen-eyed will have already spotted the obvious challenge: how to fit it onto a Nato strap?

    So just how did the quartz clock become the quartz watch? We have to go back in well, time, a little.


    19th century illustration of 3rd century BC clepsydra

    As with this water clock, there is something of a continuous flow through horological history from those ancient Babylonian clepsydra to the GPS quartz watches today. Sometimes development runs quickly, other times it meanders, awaiting a new direction or the gradual erosion of an obstacle.

    Water clocks had been around for at least a couple of thousand years before they were finally eclipsed technologically by mechanical clocks in the 10th century.

    These in turn were much improved by the invention of the escapement in the 14th century.

    A clock built in this time by Henry De Vick for Charles V is still in use (with quite a few subsequent services and upgrades, naturally…) in the Palais de Justice in Paris. Imagine!


    Best not enquire about service history

    The escapement was the first time that vibratory motion in a mechanism was used to control the rate of a clock.

    It’s a fair bet that whatever watch you are wearing today, quartz or mechanical, depends on vibration rather than falling weights or the flow of water, to measure the passage of time.

    The next improvement was in regulating that escapement using a resonant element. Resonance being either mechanical or electrical, whereby deformation from rest results in a returns to the initial position. Or as physicists might describe it, potential energy changed into kinetic energy, with a little lost in each oscillation due to friction.

    The pendulum fits that description. Its use as a resonant element to regulate a clock was described by Galileo Galilei to his son Vincenzio sometime around 1637:



    The period of oscillation, Galileo observed, was seemingly constant regardless of amplitude. An excellent attribute for timekeeping.

    This concept of using resonance for regulation remains in use in mechanical (balance resonator), quartz (crystal resonator) and atomic (atomic resonator) time pieces today.

    Galileo was near blind at the time, and his idea was not built. But a working model was later fashioned from these drawings, and can be seen in the Science Museum in London.

    The first actual use of a pendulum in a clock is attributed to Dutchman Christian Huygens, in 1657:


    Not just tulip aficionados

    Moving on, but still with resonance, French physicist Jules Antoine Lissajous showed in 1857 that a tuning fork could be sustained in vibration indefinitely by electrical means, using an electromagnet. We are getting closer!

    Although the principle of maintaining resonance at a fixed frequency is common to mechanical and quartz watches, using electricity requires less energy, is more consistent, and has negligible wear, compared to a pendulum (or balance wheel) mechanically stimulated.

    And so, finally, to quartz as a resonator.

    In addition to its physical and chemical stability, the elastic hysteresis of quartz is extremely small. It requires only a tiny amount of energy to sustain oscillation.

    A good tuning fork (in a vacuum) might resonate around 2000 times before reaching half its original amplitude. The best pendulums might manage up to 20,000 times. But a quartz crystal can achieve over 1,000,000 vibrations before falling to half amplitude. Due to the piezo-electric property of quartz, its frequency can also be determined electrically too.

    Thus following Marrison and Horton’s quartz clock of 1927, all the processes necessary for the quartz watch existed - an accurate resonator and a means of maintaining and measuring the vibration (electrical).

    Quartz clocks of these times were generally only used in labs. They were driven by vacuum tubes and power-hungry frequency dividers reduced the resonant frequency to something more easily coupled to a synchronous motor. Later, as transistors replaced tubes, table-top “electric” quartz clocks became viable.

    The main challenges in making a quartz watch were to reduce its overall footprint and to lower its power consumption. The total size needed to be around 3cm cubed or less, and power consumption less than 10μW. This was to enable one year of operational life from a 1.35V mercury button cell compatible with the watch volume.

    In 1962, it was shown by Eric Vittoz at CEH (Centre Electronique Horloger, a lab set up that year by the Swiss watch industry in Neuch‚tel) that a commercial 10Khz quartz crystal could be used, with four transistorised divide-by-ten frequency dividers, to output a signal at… 1Hz.


    A demonstration of Vittoz's transistorised divider

    Yes, 10KHz divided by 10 four times gives us the precious one-cycle-per-second. An electronic tick!

    And furthermore, the whole circuit consumed less than 10μA at 1.5V. It was true that the actual display took more power still. But it was close enough that, as Vittoz himself recalls, a 1.8 million Swiss Franc research budget for 1963 was approved by the CEH board of directors.



    From there it was a race to further reduce power consumption to meet the 10μW goal for the entire solution, display included. Engineers from around the world were engaged.

    There were many dead ends. One of the design requirements was for a quartz frequency of 10Kz or less, simply to ensure the fewest number of power-consuming divider circuits. Another was for that crystal to have a precision better than 10 parts per million (roughly 1 second per day).

    But commercial quartz crystals of these frequencies and quality were simply too large. Eventually, Armin Frei, also working at CEH, managed to mount a miniaturized 8KHz quartz in the vacuum of a small metallic package:


    This is the actual prototype

    Which led to focus on the frequency divider. Again, many approaches were tried. Diodes. Magnetic flux accumulation (similar to computer memory circuits of the time) and capacitors. These were analogue circuits and the maximum frequency division was limited by the precision of the components, generally a “divide by 10” being about the most consistently usable.

    Vittoz subsequently created a newly-developed frequency divider of his own design based on a phase-lock-loop circuit:


    Still not quite ready to wear

    It probably says something about the challenge, that when presenting such ideas at the 1964 International Solid-State Circuits Conference, the concept of miniaturising all this into something that could fit into a watch was considered foolish.

    "Foolish" is engineer speak for “near-impossible, best start looking elsewhere for next years research budget”.

    Persistence and two years later however, a frequency divider based on binary division (i.e., divide by two) was developed. There were no circuit simulators nor chip design tools, so the proposed design was “integrated” by first making a larger version (multiplying component values by 1000 for example) on a breadboard for modelling, before the smaller version was burned into silicon.

    Here’s the first such divider integrated circuit used in a watch:


    1966: getting closer to size and power requirements now

    This contains 110 components and yet permits the power draw, including the frequency dividers, to be 12μA at 1.3V.

    The first prototype (Beta 1) had used that 8Kz crystal, with 13 binary dividers (8KHz->4KHz->2KHz->1KHz->512Hz->256Hz->128Hz->64Hz->32Hz->16Hz->8Hz->4Hz->2Hz>1Hz) to drive a synchronous motor once per second.

    The second prototype, Beta 2, used just 5 binary dividers resulting in a 256Hz output frequency. This was to reduce the power needs of the circuit. The output drove a motor and through a gear train, the frequency was reduced down to show the time. Ten of these prototypes were created in 1967.


    Size and power objectives met!

    The commercial version (Beta 21) was modified further, with such additions as a rate trimmer capacitor. About 6000 examples were made to be sold under various Swiss brand names including Omega, Rolex and Patek Philippe. The Beta 21 was launched in 1970, just shortly after Seiko’s Astron.

    Today most quartz watches operate using a 32KHz crystal (there are notable exceptions) with a 20-stage divider. A good quality 32Khz quartz crystal can still be physically small enough (about 3mm) while lower power divider circuits permit a higher base frequency.

    The advantage is the elimination of the rate trimmer, which had proved problematic in the Beta 21. Fine-tuning is obtained by removing pulses (“inhibition”) before they enter the divider. With a 20 stage divider, the average frequency could be adjusted to within 1 part per million, or roughly 0.1 second per day, depending on the performance of the actual circuit.

    And some examples:


    Omega Beta 21 (not mine)


    Omega Megaquartz (the inside of mine... for the outside, try here


    My modern Astron (yes it fits on a Nato)

    All quartz watches share this rich and exciting history. Many interesting ones don't cost much either. For examples, see the interesting quartz thread.

    If you made it this far, congratulations! I hope you enjoyed this little meander through a truly fascinating history. A time of horological innovation, and one we are actually living through. I find wearing even my cheapest quartz watch provides a source of great pride in the ingenuity of others. I appreciate the no-nonsense classless appeal, and the absence of associated stresses.

    I think in these times especially, there is some accessible comfort in this.

    Paul
    Last edited by Tokyo Tokei; 20th October 2020 at 14:31.

  2. #2
    Master
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    Paul, I donít know you at all but I always enjoyed reading your posts. I noticed when you werenít around and this place was certainly diminished by your absence. Itís good to see that youíre back and on form. I know Iíll come back to this post as much for the entertainment value as for the quality of information provided. Welcome home.

  3. #3
    Master
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    Nice little interesting read, thank you.

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    Very enjoyable, thank you.



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    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

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    Craftsman
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    Great post. I have been both enlightened and amused.

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    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Soooo much I didn't know. A couple of quick observations.

    Presumably, A Sake Too Far was the original title of the sequel. Which was understandably quashed.

    I'm familiar with a Two-Cuppa but I thought that was a situation Bond sought to avoid while on active service.

    Looking forward to reading the rest of the post once I have the requisite biscuit supply.

  7. #7
    Grand Master
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    Excellent post!!

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    Great post!

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    As the saying goes, ďevery dayís a school dayĒ. Well worth the time it took to read, thanks.

    Cheers,

    Plug

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    Master petethegeek's Avatar
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    Great story, well related. I am eagerly anticipating the next episode where you describe how the fickle consumers, after their initial awe, turned to complaining that the watches were 'only accurate to within +/- 15 spm'. Unfazed the intrepid R&D department disappear to harness the latest developments in atomic time keeping and find a manner in which it could be utilised to ensure we were all able to turn up at our business meetings simultaneously.

    As others have said, good to see you back.

  11. #11
    Welcome back, Paul! Where have you been all this time?
    Although no trees were harmed during the creation of this post, a large number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.

  12. #12
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I enjoyed that.

    Very well written.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

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    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Well said, thanks. In the early 80s I was totally obsessed with quartz. It was the best thing that ever happened to timekeeping.
    A fully wound watch smells like Switzerland.

  14. #14
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    That's a drive-by "Brilliant!" from me



    Any rehabilitation of quartz's reputation is to be savoured.

  15. #15
    Master helidoc's Avatar
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    That was an outstanding read, and it made me dip into the interesting quartz thread too. With my 7548, Tuna and Aerospace Iím really appreciating quality quartz at the moment.

    Oh, and welcome back Paul!

    Dave


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    Master Wooster's Avatar
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    Chapeau for a most excellent post!

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    Master alfat33's Avatar
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    Superb post and nice to see you back.

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    The keen-eyed will have already spotted the obvious challenge: how to fit it onto a Nato strap?
    LMAO

    A very enjoyable read.

    I remember getting my Casio digital watch that played about 8 different tunes. I was the toast of the school until James got one that played 12...

    Happy Daze =)

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    Master
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    An absolute gem of a post, thank you.

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    Master
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    Thank you for the article -and welcome back.

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    Journeyman sickie's Avatar
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    Did I just read a book
    Very enjoyable one at that thank you.

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  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    Great post! Iíve been enjoying my quartz watches a lot during lockdown. The technology really is amazing, even if now fairly ubiquitous, and when itís coupled with good engineering (as in my two 7C46 Tunas) I think is just as horologically interesting as many mechanicals.

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    Journeyman
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    I didn't knew how much I don't know until this post. Great job man! Keep them coming.

  24. #24
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    You lost me at clepsydra.

    Welcome back, was about time you returned to forum duty.

  25. #25
    Master bobbee's Avatar
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    Monumental, this is how to write an interesting post.

  26. #26
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Thanks all, I am humbled some of you made it through. I rather expected this to sink without trace, being mainly a document of me falling down a very deep rabbit hole. I was wondering exactly why most quartz watches used a 32KHz crystal, and in I fell.

    Paul's Adventures in Quartzland, perhaps.

    I remain as excited by the latest mechanical release, new bezel or dial colour as anyone else, but I think a peruse of any forum or social media outlet will suggest that these innovations are quite well covered. The bright and noisy merry-go-round has attracted many to the global watch fair. Watches becoming the nostalgia-inducing painted horse upon which the happy punter gets a few dizzy rounds before dismounting and coming back for more. Expensive ticket in one hand, selfie stick in the other.

    Stunning/Like/Comment/Subscribe!

    But what quartz watches may lack as a vehicle for social attention, they gain as an interesting horologic item. The greatest progress in the ability of a near-autonomous wrist ornament to measure time has been during our lifetimes. And what a great time to live through!

    Plus I confess I quite like the lack of attention and social media noise too, these days, but that's a wider thing.

    Paul

  27. #27
    Master
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    A really outstanding contribution, and itís always good to see quartz given a proper place in the watch world. Iíd never be without one, or two....
    Rather fancy the idea of a quartz circuit driven by valve...a single-ended triode no doubt.

  28. #28
    Master Jon Kenney's Avatar
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    Great write up, Paul.

    Glad you are back in the fold.

  29. #29
    Craftsman gerard's Avatar
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    Paul thank you so much. Superb read and I came away having learnt plenty with a new appreciation for quartz. I finally understand how they work!

    Furthermore so pleasing to read a post about horology, rather than the usual ......how much is this worth; will it appreciate in value; is it a good investment; I m on a waiting list.........yada, yada, yada.

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  30. #30
    Craftsman
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    Thanks for the wonderful post!


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  31. #31
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Although I began the quartz watch section with a nod to the incredible Seiko Astron of 1969, I kind of skipped over the Japanese contribution in favour of the European development.

    Entirely because there was great information available explaining why we use 32KHz quartz crystals from those that actually worked on the challenges. Plus the post was too long anyway by the time I had spent an important explanatory paragraph to justify my inclusion of the stunning Bond Girl Pulsar.

    Well worth studying again:


    A fine example

    But it would be remiss to leave the thread devoid of Japan's input.

    Remembering Marrison and Horton's Quartz Clock of 1927, we pop over to Japan to meet Koga Issaku. Dr Koga's work for his PhD "Characteristics of the crystal oscillator" included making the first quartz tuning forks in 1927. He later invented the "R1-cut" quartz, which showed a zero temperature-coefficient of frequency, in 1933.

    He was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit (the highest Japanese academic decoration) among many other prizes, and was President of the URSI (International Union of Radio Science) in the 1960s. To this day, the URSI still awards prizes in his name.

    And it was Dr Koga who invented Japan's first quartz clock. This, like Marrison's, was for Lab use.

    By the 1950's, Seiko had produced a commercial quartz clock. It was the size of a wardrobe, standing over 2 metres tall. It looked like something out of a 1950s sci-fi movie laboratory. Which it kind of was.


    In the 1950s, quartz remained a challenge to mantlepieces everywhere

    But then something significant happened. At the end of that decade, in May 1959, Japan was confirmed as host of the 1964 Olympics. And this spurred Seiko into a period of manic innovation.

    Could they topple Omega and Longines as the timers for the world's biggest sporting event?


    A marathon not a sprint

    It was a tough challenge. Seiko set three divisions various targets:

    The clock division (Seikosha) would create the large clocks for spectators and the printing timers.

    Daini division would produce stopwatches and more printing timers.

    And Suwa division would produce crystal chronometers and yes, more printing timers.

    It was Suwa upon whom fell the challenge to reduce that 2.1m high wardrobe clock into something more usable.

    By 1962 they had a prototype, and in 1964, a production model.

    This is what they came up with, the QC-951:


    Original 1964


    Same photographed in 2020


    Suwa badged

    It was battery operated (standard "D" cells), thermo-compensated with a daily error rate of 0.2 seconds, also adjustable in steps of 0.2 seconds. It was just 7cm high at its tallest point, and 20cm long. There were also two backup cell batteries of the type used in cameras and lightmeters that could retain the time while those D cells were being changed.

    This was all made possible by reducing the power consumption from well over 100W of its predecessor, to just 0.003W.

    These circuit, power, miniaturisation and motor improvements directly contributed to the development (in 1967) and successful production (in 1969) of the Astron. You can still find working QC-951's on the market today.

    From these beginnings, Quartz watch production ramped up. Seiko developed over 50 patents just for the manufacturing processes alone. Also ramping up, were Seiko sales:


    Yes I made this graphic :)

    Notably, Seiko then released much of their quartz watch patents to the world. Perhaps why for example my 1970s early Omega Quartz looks more like the Seiko Astron than the Beta21, and indeed why most modern quartzes follow the Seiko overall design today:


    1970s Omega quartz movement


    1969 Seiko Astron movement

    Opening the patents led to the dramatic popularisation of quartz watches, and lowered their production costs. It also contributed to progress in power saving technologies for the entire electronic device industry.

    The most significant epoch-making event of our group was being selected as the official timer of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964

    -Shinji Hattori, Chairman & Group CEO, Seiko
    (Quoted in 2019)
    For the Astron and the technologies it developed and shared, Seiko received the IEEE Innovation Recognition Award in 2002, and the IEEE Milestone award in 2004. Milestones "recognize the technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity".

    The high-powered, tiny devices we all use today owe some small debt to the work done by all the quartz pioneers.

    Worth the acknowledgment, I hope.
    Last edited by Tokyo Tokei; 26th October 2020 at 12:46. Reason: picture of Seiko wardrobe clock from 1950s

  32. #32
    Craftsman gerard's Avatar
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    An excellent follow up. Many thanks.

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  33. #33
    Craftsman
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    I have finally found a quiet moment to read this thread (albeit with a cup off coffee and some chocolate), it is fascinating. While reading the first post I kept wondering what was happening in Japan at the time so thank you for the additional post Paul.

    For some slightly strange reason which may become apparent one day I have been making my way through the Seiko catalogues of the 1970s and early '80s. What stands out more than anything else is the progress quartz watches made over those years. From being top end, very expensive watches with a limited number of models through to being a similar price to the mechanicals and then being cheaper and more prevalent than mechanical. And half way through that the digitals burst on to the scene in all of their futuristic wonder. This even included early solar powered ones.

    Seiko always seemed to have a huge product range before quartz watches appeared but boy did it explode when quartz took off. I haven't counted (maybe I will given a particularly miserable winter weekend and no chores) but there must be hundreds of different models. It makes me wonder how they could hope to make any money.

    Thank you again Paul.

  34. #34
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerard View Post
    An excellent follow up. Many thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wimm View Post
    While reading the first post I kept wondering what was happening in Japan at the time so thank you for the additional post Paul
    I am never sure if anyone reads this stuff, and these days it disappears off to well-deserved forum oblivion in less time than it takes to write. The occasional reply is nice to see. Thank you, both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wimm View Post
    Seiko always seemed to have a huge product range before quartz watches appeared but boy did it explode when quartz took off. I haven't counted (maybe I will given a particularly miserable winter weekend and no chores) but there must be hundreds of different models
    Indeed! Seiko has developed an insane amount of models. I have a 1995 catalogue, and it is more than 150 pages long.

    Quartz development offers us so many experiments, some good, some... less good. But all happening during our lifetime. And interesting examples are not unobtainable, either.

    I never want to push a "quartz vs mechanicals" stand off, as I own both types and like both. But perhaps a subtext of these posts is that if you can accept quartz as worthy engineering, there is so much out there beyond a slightly different arrangement of a few gears and a spring, or an innovative new bezel colour.

    The line from pendulums to quartz, those different ways to harness vibration through adopting the technology of the age, and the history of innovation and the characters involved, seemed... a way of appreciating that the engineering is worthwhile. A door worth gently pushing upon, I hope.

    Paul

  35. #35
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    I am never sure if anyone reads this stuff, and these days it disappears off to well-deserved forum oblivion in less time than it takes to write.
    My wife expresses similar sentiments regarding preparing meals.

    I'm very much enjoying this thread, although that should come as no surprise. Your 'Interesting Quartz' thread is largely responsible for this:

    My old clock used to tell the time and subdivide diurnity; but now it's lost both hands and chime and only tells eternity. PH

  36. #36
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post

    Quartz development offers us so many experiments, some good, some... less good. But all happening during our lifetime. And interesting examples are not unobtainable, either.


    Paul
    Another interesting thread. I have been having a lot of fun collecting vintage quartz watches and now have three Seiko's with 7546 movements. Plus I have a box currently in transit from Japan with another 7546 and an early solar digital Seiko movement (A258). Both will be winter projects as neither are operational so it will be an interesting challenge. As much as I would love it to be a case of a new battery and off we go I am not usually that lucky.

  37. #37
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    This is covers similar ground, but with more tweed:



    Presented by the magnificent Tim Hunkin, who did the animations too.

  38. #38
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wimm View Post
    I have been having a lot of fun collecting vintage quartz watches and now have three Seiko's with 7546 movements. Plus I have a box currently in transit from Japan with another 7546 and an early solar digital Seiko movement (A258). Both will be winter projects as neither are operational so it will be an interesting challenge. As much as I would love it to be a case of a new battery and off we go I am not usually that lucky.
    Good luck with those! Well worth rescuing if you have the skills. So much interesting stuff around, often hidden in plain sight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post


    Amazing to go from a wardrobe-sized quartz clock in the 1950s to a wrist-worn certified marine chronometer in 1974.

    I still believe this particular case and bracelet design could be resurrected by Omega. A 12-second per year accurate, independent hour hand adjustable (another first, I think?) movement in a superb and original design. Well worth commemorating, I think.

    An Interesting Jumper thread may be required.

  39. #39
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    This is covers similar ground, but with more tweed:

    Presented by the magnificent Tim Hunkin, who did the animations too.
    Cracking Video. The Rotary advert had me in stiches. Took me back to my childhood too as I had a number of books by Tim Hunkin. I may have to watch the rest of the series. Might see what my son thinks of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    Good luck with those! Well worth rescuing if you have the skills.
    Not sure about skills, probably best not to read any of my posts in Mods and Wreckers. Still I like to have a go and I have a soft spot for lost causes. I will know soon enough as they arrived in the country today but I have a customs bill heading my way so I doubt I'll see them until next week.

  40. #40
    A smashing addition to the quartz canon; remiss of me not to have got to it before this evening, but a wonderful read - thank you Paul.

  41. #41
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    I think it's quite pleasing that the efforts of the watch industry to make electronics smaller and less power-hungry to fit the peculiar constraints of our favourite wrist-worn devices have helped the journey to smartphones and all the other low-power, miniaturised tech we depend upon daily.

    There's a lot to appreciate in the ingenuity and engineering of any quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by JGJG View Post
    A smashing addition to the quartz canon; remiss of me not to have got to it before this evening, but a wonderful read - thank you Paul.
    Thank you for reading through it all! Entirely remiss of me actually not to acknowledge each reply (I fear needless vanity bumping) so if I may send a belated bow from Japan to you and collectively to the others who kindly responded.

    Also...

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    I'm familiar with a Two-Cuppa but I thought that was a situation Bond sought to avoid while on active service.
    This is in need of at least a and a

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