QUARTZ IN A NUTSHELL: Seiko Astron cal35SQ

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Seiko 35SQ Astron -- the first quartz wristwatch, debuting on the first Christmas day of the year 1969 and thus several weeks after the unveiling of Longines' UltraQuartz, the somehow experimental quartz-corrected tuning fork-watch here but as well several months before the Swiss high horology was able to present its Beta21 movement on Basel fair in April 1970.

And you can imagine the bang the presentation of this mega-disruptor out of Nagano, Japan had: the Swiss watch industry was sitting warm-lighted under their Christmas trees, singing songs in the circle of their families and the competition from far east, that was gaining track in mechanical watchmaking in the years before, already and started to dominate the last Chronometer competitions presented the worlds first quartz watch -- what a Christmas present.

The pressure that was created by this watch to the competitors is hard to imagine but the reason the CEH Beta21 here -- joint efforts of the strongest Swiss watch brands -- was now in a rush to finalize the first Swiss quartz watch to not stand empty handed at the April 1970 fair in Basle.

And this tells some kind of industrial history, a chapter that is eye opening -- but we will dig into this later.