How one tiny mineral works to be so precise
Ever wonders how the quartz watch got its name? The name has a more literal significance than you might think. It is actually powered by the quartz crystal, a mineral most closely resembling the compound of sand and which comes from the Earths continental crust. It is this mineral in minute quantity that has the ability to keep time more accurately than any other mechanical or automatic watch.
The discovery of how a quartz crystal could accurately power a wrist watch changed portable timekeeping like no other invention. When the first quartz watch was introduced in the United States in the early 1970s it was an expensive wrist watch priced at around $500. Not only that, it wasnt the most beautiful face ever to adorn a wrist. The LED (light emitting diode) that showed digital time was bright red, and the technology was only applied to digital watches. Later, the engineering behind quartz watches was transformed so the displays could be shown in digital format using LCD (liquid crystal display) or an hour and minute hand, just like a mechanical watchs face.
Shaping the Quartz Crystal
The quartz crystal of...