During the 1970s, the "quartz watch" burst onto the scene as the newest high-tech gadget. Initially, these watches had red LED displays and they cost around $500 in the United States. Since then, the quartz watch has evolved so that either an LCD or a traditional mechanical (hour and minute hand) movement displays the time, and the price has fallen dramatically. It is not uncommon to find quartz watches given away for free in boxes of cereal!
Have you ever wondered why it is called a quartz watch? Or why quartz watches are so much more accurate than wind-up watches? In this edition of HowStuffWorks, you will learn all about the amazing electronic phenomenon called the quartz crystal and how it forms the heart of a quartz watch!