Saturday, 22 December 2007

A brief history of watchmaking - Japanese invasion

The Citizen Watch Company, which had produced its first pocket watch in 1924 and became established innovators in horology, marketed Japan's first electronic wristwatch, the X-8, in 1966. The century-old family-owned firm of Seiko, which made its first watch at the turn of the 20th century, marketed its first quartz watch internationally in the late Sixties. Japanese companies, like Casio, owned by the Kashio family, sensibly turned their skills to also producing the distinctively elegant or delightfully innovative watches that combined computer knowledge with functions.

By the Seventies, with the explosion of electronic knowledge, refinements and economical production, plus marketing developments with advertisements appearing in leading magazines, Oriental electronic watches had found a foothold universally.

Stores have since filed with watches that play games, tinkle melodies, give times from East to West, produce calculations, light up at a touch, can be inserted into pens, rulers, briefcases and with increased scientific knowledge of water-proofing can reach a water depth of more than most people could even swim. Divers, joggers, runners, cyclists and businessmen are individually catered for in the diversity of function watches can now be made to supply.

Seiko produced the first TV watch, and the first personal data watch (the RC4000) to send or receive information to or from a computer. With an accoustic coupler it can even communicate with another watch via the telephone. Another irony occurred when the sun helped to tell the time again in solar-powered watches.

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