What's Inside
Watch Wars
Cool Watches

There's been a revolution on your wrist.

The wristwatch was completely reinvented with all-new electronic components scarcely thirty years ago. For centuries before then, watches had been mechanical--composed of intricate moving parts powered by an unwinding spring. When battery-driven quartz wristwatches first hit the market, it seemed unlikely that the new-fangled gadgets would sell. But electronic watches won over the buying public.

Today, mechanical watches make up only approximately 13% of the world watch market. What happened?

The components for the quartz watch emerged from independent streams of invention that stretched over nearly a century. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries scientists identified new materials like liquid crystals and discovered unknown properties such as piezoelectricity. During the Cold war, researchers in defense and aerospace technologies laid the basis for miniaturizing electronic circuitry. In the 1960s, enterprising manufacturers applied the new research to the first electronic consumer products--tvs, calculators, hearing aids, and watches.

Explore this website to discover what's inside your watch and the people who made the wristwatch revolution possible.

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