First Swiss Quartz Crystal Watch


Donald de Carle showing the first new Swiss quartz crystal electronic watch outside of Switzerland at a special exhibition at Garrard & Co., Crown Jewellers, c. 1967.

The watches were developed by Dr. Farrer and Max Hetzel (inventor of the tuning fork watch) at the Centre Electronique Horloger, Neuchatel, at a cost of £1,250,000 for ten watches – £125,000 each.

There were no position errors and timekeeping was to 1.62 seconds a week. The watch movement was in a square case with one and 3cm sides, at the time a miracle of compression of quartz crystal and decade counter circuits.

When it was shown it was thought that production would start within a year or two with an eventual retail price of around £100 to £120.


Donald de Carle 1893 – 1989 Fellow, Medallist and Councillor, and past Chairman of the British Horological Institute, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. Freeman of the City of London, Craftsman, Inventor, Horologist and Author