The commercial introduction of the quartz watch in 1969 in the form of the Seiko Astron 35SQ and in 1970 in the form of the Omega Beta 21 was a revolutionary improvement in watch technology. In place of a balance wheel which oscillated at perhaps 5 or 6 beats per second, these devices used a quartz-crystal resonator which vibrated at 8,192 Hz, driven by a battery-powered oscillator circuit. Most quartz-watch oscillators now operate at 32,768 Hz, although quartz movements have been designed with frequencies as high as 262 kHz. Since the 1980s, more quartz watches than mechanical ones have been marketed.
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