In 1959 Seiko assembled a team of researchers to develop a quartz wristwatch.
Seiko had been a maker of mechanical watches since the end ot the 19th century. The company had introduced the first Japanese pocketwatch in 1895 and the first Japanese wristwatch, the Laurel, in 1913. Seiko turned its attention to quartz timekeeping in 1958, when it introduced a quartz crystal clock. A team of researchers was then assembled to work on project "59," the quartz wristwatch. The primary objectives of the project were to reduce the size to that of conventional mechanical watches, and to achieve reasonable prices through volume production.
The research team's progress was marked by the introduction of increasingly smaller quartz timekeepers.
The first prototype of a portable quartz chronometer, the Seiko 951 was announced in 1961 and marketed in 1963. It was this chronometer that was used as the official timepiece at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. A prototype pocketwatch and wristwatch, the model 953, were announced in 1967. After 10 years of effort the Seiko 35SQ Astron went on the Japanese market on December 25, 1969, the first commercially available quartz watch.
Before 1960 ~