Japan Semiconductor Innovation 50     (A-6 1960s)

Electronic Wristwatch (Seiko-Epson)

Seiko Epson (then Suwaseikosha) developed and commercialized the world first quartz watch, Seiko Quarts Astron 35SQ, in December 1969. The birth of this world first electronic wristwatch moved into limelight in the market and the industry in and outside of Japan. This watch had a stepping motor drive by a crystal oscillation circuitry and realized far better accuracy compared to conventional mechanical watches. Newly developed Hybrid IC was incorporated with oscillation, dividing, and driving circuits, thus removing all mechanical parts in the watch. This created a historic conversion of wristwatches from conventional mechanical systems to electronic systems. CMOS ICs for electronic watches were developed in 1971, replacing hybrid ICs. The electronic watch industry led the technology of Japanese low power CMOS semiconductors for consumer use.
76 transistors, 29 condensers and other elements composed the hybrid IC of the first Seiko Quarts Watch.

Astron 35SQ
Quote from Seiko-Epson HP


To main gallery (Application 1960s)