A Concise History of the Middle East | Westview Press

In November 1997, I wrote a column called “Calling Dick Tracy: Your Watch is Nearly Ready.” (It appeared in American Time , a watch trade magazine.) With the quartz-watch revolution nearly 30 years old, I noted that “a new generation of sophisticated quartz timepieces is beginning to make quartz technology interesting again.”

It took 18 years, but it appears that the fourth revolution that I speculated about, lo, those many years ago, has finally arrived. Not with smartwatches (i.e., watches with internet connections); they’ve been around for at least 14 years. No, the revolution began two years ago with the Apple Watch. If, in fact, smartwatches move from a high-tech niche category to become a fixture of the watch industry’s middle market, then the 2015 Apple Watch will be the Seiko Astron of the smartwatch revolution -- the watch that changed the game.

Not everyone thinks that will happen. The latest smartwatch wave, which began with the Pebble watch in 2013, has suffered setbacks. In fact, just a year ago, some smartwatch watchers were calling it curtains for the whole category. “Let’s Face It: Smartwatches Are Dead” declared a headline in  Variety  on December 5, 2016. A week later,  Business Insider  blared “Wearables Are Dead.” 

The first salvo of the quartz watch revolution was fired in the last week of the 1960s. On December 25, in Tokyo, Seiko introduced the Astron, the world’s first quartz wristwatch. It was a limited edition of 100 gold-case watches, priced at ¥450,000, equivalent then to the cost of a Toyota Corolla. Its battery-powered movement featured a quartz oscillator with a frequency of 8,192 Hz, accurate to within five seconds a day.

Astron was the shot heard round the watch world. But it took a while for the revolutionaries to start really storming the barricades. Seiko and other pioneering watch producers (a few Swiss brands unveiled quartz analogs at the 1970 Basel Fair) needed time to perfect the new technology and begin producing watches in volume. Seiko, for example, didn’t introduce more Astrons until 1971. 

It was digital watches, not analogs, that created the first big fuss of the quartz era. In April 1972, Hamilton Watch Co., of Lancaster, PA, unveiled the world’s first digital watch, the Pulsar. The watch had a gold case, a $2,100 price tag, and an LED (light-emitting diode) display that lit up to show the time in digits at the push of a button on the case. Unlike analog quartz watches, which had a conventional dial and hands, digitals were totally electronic, with no moving parts at all. 

In November 1997, I wrote a column called “Calling Dick Tracy: Your Watch is Nearly Ready.” (It appeared in American Time , a watch trade magazine.) With the quartz-watch revolution nearly 30 years old, I noted that “a new generation of sophisticated quartz timepieces is beginning to make quartz technology interesting again.”

It took 18 years, but it appears that the fourth revolution that I speculated about, lo, those many years ago, has finally arrived. Not with smartwatches (i.e., watches with internet connections); they’ve been around for at least 14 years. No, the revolution began two years ago with the Apple Watch. If, in fact, smartwatches move from a high-tech niche category to become a fixture of the watch industry’s middle market, then the 2015 Apple Watch will be the Seiko Astron of the smartwatch revolution -- the watch that changed the game.

Not everyone thinks that will happen. The latest smartwatch wave, which began with the Pebble watch in 2013, has suffered setbacks. In fact, just a year ago, some smartwatch watchers were calling it curtains for the whole category. “Let’s Face It: Smartwatches Are Dead” declared a headline in  Variety  on December 5, 2016. A week later,  Business Insider  blared “Wearables Are Dead.” 

The first salvo of the quartz watch revolution was fired in the last week of the 1960s. On December 25, in Tokyo, Seiko introduced the Astron, the world’s first quartz wristwatch. It was a limited edition of 100 gold-case watches, priced at ¥450,000, equivalent then to the cost of a Toyota Corolla. Its battery-powered movement featured a quartz oscillator with a frequency of 8,192 Hz, accurate to within five seconds a day.

Astron was the shot heard round the watch world. But it took a while for the revolutionaries to start really storming the barricades. Seiko and other pioneering watch producers (a few Swiss brands unveiled quartz analogs at the 1970 Basel Fair) needed time to perfect the new technology and begin producing watches in volume. Seiko, for example, didn’t introduce more Astrons until 1971. 

It was digital watches, not analogs, that created the first big fuss of the quartz era. In April 1972, Hamilton Watch Co., of Lancaster, PA, unveiled the world’s first digital watch, the Pulsar. The watch had a gold case, a $2,100 price tag, and an LED (light-emitting diode) display that lit up to show the time in digits at the push of a button on the case. Unlike analog quartz watches, which had a conventional dial and hands, digitals were totally electronic, with no moving parts at all. 

From: The Catholic Historical Review
Volume 86, Number 4, October 2000
pp. 658-660 | 10.1353/cat.2000.0060

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The Enlargement of International Society: Culture versus Anarchy and Greece’s Entry into International Society by Yannis A. Stivachtis (review)

In November 1997, I wrote a column called “Calling Dick Tracy: Your Watch is Nearly Ready.” (It appeared in American Time , a watch trade magazine.) With the quartz-watch revolution nearly 30 years old, I noted that “a new generation of sophisticated quartz timepieces is beginning to make quartz technology interesting again.”

It took 18 years, but it appears that the fourth revolution that I speculated about, lo, those many years ago, has finally arrived. Not with smartwatches (i.e., watches with internet connections); they’ve been around for at least 14 years. No, the revolution began two years ago with the Apple Watch. If, in fact, smartwatches move from a high-tech niche category to become a fixture of the watch industry’s middle market, then the 2015 Apple Watch will be the Seiko Astron of the smartwatch revolution -- the watch that changed the game.

Not everyone thinks that will happen. The latest smartwatch wave, which began with the Pebble watch in 2013, has suffered setbacks. In fact, just a year ago, some smartwatch watchers were calling it curtains for the whole category. “Let’s Face It: Smartwatches Are Dead” declared a headline in  Variety  on December 5, 2016. A week later,  Business Insider  blared “Wearables Are Dead.” 

The first salvo of the quartz watch revolution was fired in the last week of the 1960s. On December 25, in Tokyo, Seiko introduced the Astron, the world’s first quartz wristwatch. It was a limited edition of 100 gold-case watches, priced at ¥450,000, equivalent then to the cost of a Toyota Corolla. Its battery-powered movement featured a quartz oscillator with a frequency of 8,192 Hz, accurate to within five seconds a day.

Astron was the shot heard round the watch world. But it took a while for the revolutionaries to start really storming the barricades. Seiko and other pioneering watch producers (a few Swiss brands unveiled quartz analogs at the 1970 Basel Fair) needed time to perfect the new technology and begin producing watches in volume. Seiko, for example, didn’t introduce more Astrons until 1971. 

It was digital watches, not analogs, that created the first big fuss of the quartz era. In April 1972, Hamilton Watch Co., of Lancaster, PA, unveiled the world’s first digital watch, the Pulsar. The watch had a gold case, a $2,100 price tag, and an LED (light-emitting diode) display that lit up to show the time in digits at the push of a button on the case. Unlike analog quartz watches, which had a conventional dial and hands, digitals were totally electronic, with no moving parts at all. 

From: The Catholic Historical Review
Volume 86, Number 4, October 2000
pp. 658-660 | 10.1353/cat.2000.0060

If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.


The Enlargement of International Society: Culture versus Anarchy and Greece’s Entry into International Society by Yannis A. Stivachtis (review)

A Week On The Wrist — In-depth reviews of modern watches with historical context and detailed technical information.

Talking Watches — An original video series featuring interviews with notable watch collectors.

A Week On The Wrist — In-depth reviews of modern watches with historical context and detailed technical information.

In November 1997, I wrote a column called “Calling Dick Tracy: Your Watch is Nearly Ready.” (It appeared in American Time , a watch trade magazine.) With the quartz-watch revolution nearly 30 years old, I noted that “a new generation of sophisticated quartz timepieces is beginning to make quartz technology interesting again.”

It took 18 years, but it appears that the fourth revolution that I speculated about, lo, those many years ago, has finally arrived. Not with smartwatches (i.e., watches with internet connections); they’ve been around for at least 14 years. No, the revolution began two years ago with the Apple Watch. If, in fact, smartwatches move from a high-tech niche category to become a fixture of the watch industry’s middle market, then the 2015 Apple Watch will be the Seiko Astron of the smartwatch revolution -- the watch that changed the game.

Not everyone thinks that will happen. The latest smartwatch wave, which began with the Pebble watch in 2013, has suffered setbacks. In fact, just a year ago, some smartwatch watchers were calling it curtains for the whole category. “Let’s Face It: Smartwatches Are Dead” declared a headline in  Variety  on December 5, 2016. A week later,  Business Insider  blared “Wearables Are Dead.” 

In November 1997, I wrote a column called “Calling Dick Tracy: Your Watch is Nearly Ready.” (It appeared in American Time , a watch trade magazine.) With the quartz-watch revolution nearly 30 years old, I noted that “a new generation of sophisticated quartz timepieces is beginning to make quartz technology interesting again.”

It took 18 years, but it appears that the fourth revolution that I speculated about, lo, those many years ago, has finally arrived. Not with smartwatches (i.e., watches with internet connections); they’ve been around for at least 14 years. No, the revolution began two years ago with the Apple Watch. If, in fact, smartwatches move from a high-tech niche category to become a fixture of the watch industry’s middle market, then the 2015 Apple Watch will be the Seiko Astron of the smartwatch revolution -- the watch that changed the game.

Not everyone thinks that will happen. The latest smartwatch wave, which began with the Pebble watch in 2013, has suffered setbacks. In fact, just a year ago, some smartwatch watchers were calling it curtains for the whole category. “Let’s Face It: Smartwatches Are Dead” declared a headline in  Variety  on December 5, 2016. A week later,  Business Insider  blared “Wearables Are Dead.” 

The first salvo of the quartz watch revolution was fired in the last week of the 1960s. On December 25, in Tokyo, Seiko introduced the Astron, the world’s first quartz wristwatch. It was a limited edition of 100 gold-case watches, priced at ¥450,000, equivalent then to the cost of a Toyota Corolla. Its battery-powered movement featured a quartz oscillator with a frequency of 8,192 Hz, accurate to within five seconds a day.

Astron was the shot heard round the watch world. But it took a while for the revolutionaries to start really storming the barricades. Seiko and other pioneering watch producers (a few Swiss brands unveiled quartz analogs at the 1970 Basel Fair) needed time to perfect the new technology and begin producing watches in volume. Seiko, for example, didn’t introduce more Astrons until 1971. 

It was digital watches, not analogs, that created the first big fuss of the quartz era. In April 1972, Hamilton Watch Co., of Lancaster, PA, unveiled the world’s first digital watch, the Pulsar. The watch had a gold case, a $2,100 price tag, and an LED (light-emitting diode) display that lit up to show the time in digits at the push of a button on the case. Unlike analog quartz watches, which had a conventional dial and hands, digitals were totally electronic, with no moving parts at all. 

From: The Catholic Historical Review
Volume 86, Number 4, October 2000
pp. 658-660 | 10.1353/cat.2000.0060

If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.


The Enlargement of International Society: Culture versus Anarchy and Greece’s Entry into International Society by Yannis A. Stivachtis (review)

A Week On The Wrist — In-depth reviews of modern watches with historical context and detailed technical information.

Talking Watches — An original video series featuring interviews with notable watch collectors.

A Week On The Wrist — In-depth reviews of modern watches with historical context and detailed technical information.

Uploaded by associate-caitlin-markey on June 20, 2012

 
 
 
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