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The end of the 1960s was anything but a blessed time for watch manufacturers in Switzerland. The mechanical watch seemed outdated, and market shares went to Asian manufacturers. In 1962, the Center Electronique Horloger was founded in Neuchatel - with the aim of developing a quartz movement that would beat mechanical chronometers in terms of accuracy. The company was a joint project between Rolex, Patek Philippe, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre and Omega. The first prototype was presented in 1966 and used the electrical properties of a quartz to oscillate in a defined manner when energized. A year later the movement was patented - however, Seiko won the race and on December 25, 1969 presented the Astron Quartz as the first series-produced quartz wristwatch. The Swiss Beta 21 caliber went on sale in the spring of 1970. The technology is complex: the rod quartz oscillates at 8,192 Hertz, which a circuit reduces to 256 Hertz. The micromotor driven by spotting a fake rolex it drives a wheel with 256 teeth via a pawl set with rubies.