The Swiss were the first to develop a quartz wristwatch prototype.
The first analog quartz watch prototypes were developed by a cooperative
research laboratory founded in 1962, Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH) in
Neuchâtel, Switzerland. At the International Chronometric Competition, held
at the Neuchâtel Observatory in 1967, CEH's prototypes rated a new precision
record for timing accuracy, off only a few tenths of a second per day.
Swiss quartz watches were made available to consumers in 1970.
An industrial consortium of Swiss watch manufacturers was created in 1968 in order to mass produce the Beta 21. Its members were shareholders of CEH, and several of them were responsible for a specific component of the watch. CEH designed the watch module and produced the integrated circuit. Ebauches S.A. manufactured the mechanical parts and the quartz crystal resonator. Omega produced the micromotor. The watches were assembled by three separate shops that produced the final products according to the design requests of the Swiss watch companies that placed orders. Sixteen Swiss watch companies began selling the quartz watches under their own brand names in 1970.
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