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.