Is this true?? (TI & watches

dwight elvey dkelvey at
Mon Feb 19 22:13:40 CST 2007

>From: "Glen Slick" <glen.slick at>
>On 2/19/07, aliensrcooluk at <aliensrcooluk at> wrote:
>>No idea whether this is true or not, as it
>>was in part of a spam email, but because of
>>the TI link, I thought it might be of some
>>interest here (and perhaps someone can confirm
>>whether it's true or not?):
>>In 1960 an engineer working for a watch
>>company in Switzerland discovered that a small
>>crystal would vibrate at a constant rate.
>I imagine the history of crystal oscillators goes back a lot longer
>than the 1960s.
>A quick web search found this article with much earlier dates:

The use of quartz crystals in watches did take some invention.
Most crystals used for oscillators would have either had to be made
very large to get to lower frequencies or run at high frequencies.
Running at high frequencies would run the battery down
quite soon.
It was the concept of the cantilever mounted crystal that allowed
a piece of quartz to both oscillate at a low frequency and be small
as well.
They also found a cut with the right temp coef to work well attached
to a humans arm.
It was these things that made the quartz watch work. The Swiss
were into making chronometers. This also required that they maintain
exact time, over a wide range of temperatures. With out additional
correction, these quartz watches can't meet such requirements.
Of course, the Swiss didn't think that most would keep their
watch with them most of the time and would still be quite accurate.
Such is life.
When looking at the inventions of the twentieth century, I have
considered the quartz oscillator to be the most important. No good
replacement has been found. Tubes to transistors to FET's and the
quartz crystal is still essential.

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