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Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, technology was developed which made the watch possible. Perhaps one of the most significant innovations in horological technology during the 20th century was the development of the quartz watch, resulting in widespread rejection of mechanical watches. The first commercial quartz wristwatch - the Astron - was released in 1969 by the Japanese company Seiko. The accuracy of these watches led to crisis in the Swiss watchmaking industry, which continued to produce watches with traditional mechanical movements. One newly-established Swiss watch manufacturer - Raymond Weil - saw an opportunity to gain prominence in the market by embracing this new technology, releasing the 'Golden Eagle' collection with quartz movements in 1979. Other renowned luxury brand also accepted quartz technology, with Rolex releasing the rare 'Oysterquartz' watch.

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Snuff bottles, still up to snuff

During the Qing dynasty, the snuff bottle became a fashion and art in its own right. In the first half of the 18th century, an imperial workshop was even dedicated to making these items. To rephrase French writer Charles Baudelaire who suggested that the bottle didn’t matter so much as drunkenness, here, the opposite applied: drunkenness didn’t matter so much as the bottle…