Quartz Watch - History of Quartz Watch

Quartz Watch

For most of human history, telling time was a guessing game that depended on the position of the sun, moon, and stars. When civilization began to need more complex and accurate ways to mark the passing hours, clocks and watches were invented.

Galileo Galilei created one of the earliest clocks in 1583. This design used a swinging pendulum, which is a long rod attached to a string, to mark the passing time. Each movement of the pendulum would result in one turn of a gear, and by counting these turns the pendulum clock would measure the amount of time passed.

Unfortunately, the pendulum clock is greatly dependent on gravity, which is not exactly the same throughout the world. This results in the clock marking time differently in landscapes like mountains, and areas with extreme temperatures. Obviously this wasn't a reliable system.

To overcome these difficulties a quartz clock was built in 1927 by Warren Marrison and J.W. Horton. These clocks work quite differently than the pendulum variety. First, these devices are battery powered, meaning that they require little to no upkeep. Second, the gears within the clock that measure the passing of time do so through a quartz crystal instead of a pendulum. Therefore, gravity has no effect on these clocks, and the time remains the same throughout the world.

Soon after the invention of the quartz clock, a quartz wristwatch followed. In 1967 the Centre Electornique Horlonger in Switzerland released the first quartz wristwatch prototype. Soon after, a Japanese company names Seiko released the first commercial quartz wristwatch in 1969.

From the late 1960s to now, the quartz clock and watch remains the most used type of time telling device. Even the more modern digital clocks of today still use quartz technology to mark the passage of time. Although the quartz watch can be off by around a second a day, these watches continue to be commonly used as the pinnacle time-telling device throughout the world.

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