Fifty year anniversary for the electric wristwatch

TCS Daily – Wrist Action – Wear a wrist watch? The era of the modern watch “started fifty years ago this month, in January 1957, in Lancaster, Pa., when the Hamilton Watch Co. introduced the Ventura – the first electric watch.” This was an electro-mechanical masterpiece that was quickly succeeded by the electronic variety. The Bulova Accutron watch showed up in 1960 to show the way towards wrist computers to tell time.

A key to the accuracy of modern timepieces is from the work of Warren Marrison at Bell Labs who built the first quartz crystal clock in 1927. It wasn’t until 1967 that the Swiss put this electronic mechanism in a watch but it was the Japanese who had a consumer product two years later. The digital watch showed up in 1972.

For an interesting story about this history of a technology we take for granted, see Ralph’s column at TCS.

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