History of Wrist Watches

Watch History
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History of the Wrist Watch

Wrist watch trends over time have changed drastically. From watches worn around the neck in the 16th century for practical use, then the first trendy diamond watches in the early 1900s as a symbol of wealth, to the huge bling’d out status symbol watches of the past three decades in hip hop, and contemporary mainstream fashions adoption of the classic diamond watch. Today designers such as Jacob & Co., Joe Rodeo, Luxurman, Chanel, Michelle and many others have adopted the one class defining diamond watch pieces of the early 1900s into everyday wear. The diamond watch has evolved into an affordable, trendy, and practical jewelry piece.

16th Century

The first timepieces made to be worn are seen in 16th century Europe and were fastened to clothing or worn on a chain around the neck (think Flava Flav). They are mainly worn as jewelry as they are relatively reliable at timekeeping.

17th Century

Men began to wear watches in their pockets, while the women’s watch remained a pendant into the 20th century. Around 1680, the minute hand makes its debut on the faces of watches.

18th Century

During the Enlightenment, watches began to be viewed as scientific instruments bringing rapid advances to their mechanisms. They evolved into marine chronometers to determine longitude during sea voyages. Complicated pocket chronometers and astronomical watches with many hands and functions were made during this time period.

1868

Patek Philippe makes the first wrist watch.

1904

Louis Cartier designs the first wrist watch for men, although wrist watches are still viewed by many as a timepiece solely for women.

1914-1918

World War I greatly enhanced the popularity of wrist watches among men as soldiers found it more convenient to be able to look at their wrist to tell the time than to dig in their pocket for a pocket watch.

1932

Longines makes the Lindbergh Aviator.

1933

The first watch made for children is sold by Ingersoll (featuring Mickey Mouse).

1945

Rolex introduces the “Datejust”, the first watch to show the day’s date.

1947

Omega introduces the Seamaster, still made today. The Seamaster has been associated with James Bond movies since 1995.

1953

The Rolex “Explorer”, reported as the watch Edmund Hillary wore as the first climber to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

1957

Hamilton produces the first electric watch.

1959

“The day the music died”, rock-n-roll icon Buddy Holly died, wearing his 14 karat white gold Omega watch with 45 single cut diamonds, said to be one of the most famous watches in history.

1969

The Omega Speedmaster Professional, first watch on the moon worn by Neil Armstrong.

1971

Hamilton brings the first digital watch, the Pulsar, to market.

1980

The 80’s gave birth to hip hop, although arguably some believe early styles of hip hop can be seen in 40’s and 50’s music. Hip hop transformed the music industry, fashion industry, and jewelry industry. Gold chains, diamond watches, diamond pendants, were made even more popular in the early 80’s.

1983

Casio launches the G-Shock, a digital watch known for its resistance to hard knocks and strong vibrations. Swatch was founded, popular watch fashion accessories worn throughout the 80’s.

1985

Tag Heur appears on the market.

1986

Tissot brings out the rock watch, extremely popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

1996

Notorious BIG reportedly purchases gold and stainless-steel Rolex with raised diamonds, featured in ‘Mo Money, Mo Problems’ music video. The watch is one of his first expensive purchases after hitting the rap scene.

1999

Casio launches first watch with Global Positioning System.

2005

Timezone Watch of the Year, Seiko Spring Drive, finished in stainless steel and sapphire crystal.

2007

Christopher Mintz-Piasse (Fogell), sports a Casio G-Shock in the movie Superbad.

2009

January 21st, Barack Obama was sworn into office. His watch of choice? Black Jorg Gray 6500 Series Chronograph. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) wears a Casio Pathfinder PAW-1300G-1V in the movie Avatar.

2010

For the first time, diamonds tell time in this stunning watch piece by TAG Heuer. Estimated value? Priceless….only three in the world have been produced.

2011

The latest in diamond watch trends includes diamond CENTORVM watches. These cutting edge, luxurious pieces are sure to stand out and take the watch lovers by storm.




Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/watch
http://www.watches-universe.com/23-history+of+the+wristwatch.html
http://www.wrist-watches.org
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