Bulova 'Accutron' electronic wristwatch, c. 1963.
When the Accutron was introduced in 1960 it was described as the first electronic watch but it also had another revolutionary feature, the time keeping was controlled by a tuning fork. The tuning fork vibrated 360 times per second and the vibrations were maintained at a constant amplitude by means of a transistor, dispensing with the mechanical contact which had been a source of trouble with earlier electric watches. The tuning fork was made of Elinvar, for temperature stability, and Bulova was able to guarantee that it would not gain or loose more than a minute a month thoughout its life. It was designed by a Swiss engineer, Max Hetzel, and manufactured in the USA. It remained in production until 1976, by which time five million watches had been sold.
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- Measuring Time
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