The Fate Of A Brand Depends On Its Own Struggle, But Also The Historical Process.

In 1969, Japan’s SEIKO (Seiko) introduced the first quartz watch product ‘Quartz Astron’ made by it, which was also the world’s first quartz watch. However, the invention of quartz clocks did not originate in Japan, but in the United States, which has a very low sense of presence in clock circles. On January 1, 1925, the then AT & T President Walter Gifford acquired the research department of Western Electronics, and established an independent entity called ‘Bell Telephone Labs’, later renamed Bell Labs Bell Labs. Three years after its establishment, Bell Labs invented the Quartz quartz clock. A characteristic of a crystal that is cut into a fixed shape is that when a voltage is applied to it, the crystal generates stable vibration. The technique of expressing time by using the regular vibration of quartz crystal can be described as a new era. The advantages of Quartz quartz technology are obvious, but the disadvantages are also obvious. At the time, quartz clocks were huge and very power hungry. It is impossible to wear it on the wrist like a traditional mechanical watch, so quartz clocks are more in the laboratory. With the advancement of technology, quartz clocks have gradually become smaller. By the 1960s, quartz clocks were ‘small’ enough to fit in a box. The Japanese SEIKO (Seiko) started its quartz crystal oscillator research and development program from its Suwa Seikosha (Suwa Seikosha) to the first quartz hand surface, which took a full 10 years. In the Christmas of 1969, this quartz watch named Astron was officially launched in an 18k yellow gold case and was priced at 450,000 yen. According to the yen gold standard system, the value is 1,100 grams of gold, which is converted to 1,239 US dollars. At that time, it could be used to buy a car or a water ghost who could buy 13.5 Rolex, which was very expensive. In order to put quartz watches into practical use, SEIKO has created a unique technology. For example, the shape of the quartz crystal cut is adjusted to the style of a tuning fork; through the development of ICs (integrated circuits) and stepping motors (time can run one second per second) to better utilize the signals from the crystal oscillator Accurate operation. Before SEIKO in Japan introduced the first quartz watch product ‘Quartz Astron’, the world’s hottest electronic watch was the American brand Bulova Bulova’s ‘Accutron’. The first ‘Accutron’ tuning fork watch was officially released by Bulova on October 25, 1960. The principle of the tuning fork table is that the two electromagnetic coils of the battery-driven movement make piston movements, and then drive one tentacle to move. The tentacles make high-speed movements to drive the gears. The purpose is to avoid the first tentacle to be pushed too far. The frequency of vibration is as high as 360 to 480 times per second, which is nearly a hundred times higher than that of traditional mechanical watches, and the error is further reduced. When Bulova sold its ‘Accutron’ in order to win alone, it used patent rights to block other watch brands from developing similar tuning fork watches based on this principle. And after the Japanese SEIKO (Seiko) launched the first quartz watch product ‘Quartz Astron’, it did a very meritorious thing. They published most of the patented technical documents obtained during the development of quartz watches to free of charge, so that companies around the world know the structure of micro quartz watches. It is similar to the 21st century Tesla open source all patented technology, free for all companies to use. However, among the many quartz watch technologies used today, an important standard is not from Seiko, but from Girard-Perregaux. In addition to Seiko’s research and development of quartz watches, in 1962, 20 Swiss watch-related companies and associations came together, including Patek Philippe, Rolex, Piaget, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Longines, Zenith and other brands. They funded an institution called Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH), which together developed a quartz movement that could be worn on the wrist. Girard-Perregaux is very hard at pursuing precision. In 1965, the brand launched the world’s first mass-produced 10Hz high-frequency automatic mechanical watch. When everyone was holding a group at CEH, GP Girard-Perregaux disliked ‘congee and less monks’, so he began to independently develop the quartz movement. The mystery of @Hodinkee quartz watch over traditional mechanical watch is that its vibration frequency is higher. Mechanical watch usually vibrates at 3Hz, that is, it vibrates back and forth 3 times per second, while quartz watch can achieve tens of thousands per second. Times. The Beta21 movement of Quartz Astron and CEH Electronic Clock Center is designed at 8192Hz, which means that it vibrates back and forth 8192 times per second. In 1971, Girard Perregaux introduced the Cal.350 quartz movement, which increased the vibration frequency to 32768Hz. Such a frequency can not only ensure that the movement of the quartz watch is more accurate, but also save production costs and reduce power consumption compared to higher frequency settings. Therefore, 32768Hz became the universal standard for quartz watches, and is still in use today. @ Hodinkee’s Ref.9444 with Cal.350 movement, the dial design comes from the circuit board, plus blue-orange color, even today it is very beautiful. What’s more interesting is that the integrated circuit on this Cal.350 quartz movement comes from a company we are familiar with-‘Motorola’, and the ‘M’ logo of ‘Motorola’ is also printed on it. Girard Perregaux was weak at the time, and it was extremely difficult to develop and produce a quartz movement from scratch in a short time. But it cleverly hired a talented student named Georges Vuffray, and then found a non-watch industry partner ‘Motorola’ from the United States with the most advanced electronic technology. With his own struggle, Girard Perregaux was successful. Cal.350 and its subsequent quartz movements are quite hot. According to Girard Perregaux records, about 50,000 pieces were produced in 4 years, except for their own use. Girard Perregaux also sells these movements to other watch brands. There is JLC Jaeger-LeCoultre in it. You must know that JLC ​​Jaeger-LeCoultre was originally a member of CEH Electronic Clock Center. Facing this situation, GP Girard Perregaux decisively shifted the brand’s production focus from traditional mechanical watches. However, the fate of a brand depends on its own struggle, but also the historical process. I never expected that because of the outbreak of the Fourth Middle East War, the economies of the United States and Britain were in recession, which triggered a worldwide financial crisis. Capitalist countries are the main targets of Swiss watch exports. The economic downturn in the United States and the United Kingdom has directly affected the market demand for Swiss watches. At the same time, the Swiss franc, as a safe-haven currency, has appreciated rapidly and watch exports have suffered even more. Coupled with the rapid development of quartz watch technology, the cost reduction is amazing. Girard Perregaux, who is concentrating on quartz watches, has gradually reached an impasse. Of course, this is not to blame GP Girard-Perregaux, after all, at that time, quartz watches were indeed the most advanced and scientific technology. No one can predict the course of history, but Girard Perregaux is not alone. Another watch brand did even better at the time. The company announced in 1975 that it had since produced only quartz watches, and its name was ‘Zenith Zenith’.