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History Of The Wrist Watch

It’s fair to say that people have always been fascinated with the measurement of time and the devices used to measure time. Before mechanical clocks were invented, sundials and water clocks were the most commonly used device to measure time.

It’s very common to see people wearing watches on their wrist. Nowadays, you can keep track of your heart beat and respond to text messages just with a tap on your wrist. That just goes to show how far the wrist watch has come over the years.

The Evolution

The first mechanical clock was invented in the late 1200s. One of the oldest working clocks is located in the Salisbury Cathedral. This clock has no face and tells the time by striking the hours.

In the early 1300s, technology took another leap, and three mechanical clocks were built. For the time that all this is taking place, this is an amazing advancement in technology. As time went on, blacksmiths went on to create and build clocks that would ring loud bells for towns to hear. The ringing of the bell is how the townspeople kept track of time.

Now, with the 16th century, we’re starting to get into some new territory. The use of brass, bronze, and silver are becoming more popular, rather than the iron that was used by the blacksmiths. There is a little story behind how those metals came into the picture.

In the late 1500s, the Swiss watch industry came about because of reformer John Calvin. He banned people from wearing jewelry. All of this happened during the Protestant Reformation. He felt that the attire should be modest. With jewelry being out of the picture, jewelers had to learn another trade. That trade became watch making.

It was during this time that the first known pocket watch was created. It was bronze with religious markings and depictions on it.

The first “wrist watch” was created in 1812, for the Queen of Naples.There was a similar invention in the 1570s, but it went by the name of “arm watch,” so the actual name of “wrist watch,” technically didn’t come about until the 1800s.

Pocket and Wrist Watches

Over 100 years ago, World War I started. This war brought all kinds of new technological advancements to the battlefield, but the technological advancement we’re here to talk about is the pocket and wrist watch.

The pocket watch was invented first. Pocket watches were created in the late 16th century and only displayed the hour hand. Minute hands were added to the clocks around 1680. It has been said that the pocket watch rose to popularity with the introduction of waistcoats.

The pocket watch was small and compact, with rounded edges, preventing it from ripping or tearing any of the material in the waistcoat.

Initially, the soldiers would carry pocket watches to keep track of the time, but the pocket watches posed an inconvenience. The pocket watch didn’t allow the soldiers to carry all of their equipment. Checking the time through a pocket watch didn’t allow them free use of their hands. So in order for the soldiers to be able to freely use their hands, they were given wrist watches. During that time, the wrist watches were called “trench watches.”

These trench watches were worn on the wrists, but still had elements of the pocket watch. For instance, the trench watch still had movements like the pocket watch.

Being able to wear these watches on their wrist not only allowed the soldiers to carry their equipment properly, but it also allowed them to be able to perform maneuvers and attacks on enemies accurately.

Wearing a wrist watch had suddenly become a military requirement. Having to wear the watches everyday during the war became a habit for the soldiers, so when they returned home from the war, they just continued to wear the watches. This habit is how the wrist watch epidemic began.

Fun Fact

Alberto Santos-Dumont was an inventor and aviator. He made great contributions to world of aviation for the development of aircrafts. Well, one day he was talking to a good friend of his named Louis Cartier. He complained to him about the difficulties of checking his pocket watch while in flight.

He needed a timepiece that would allow him to keep both hands on the control systems of the aircraft, while keeping track of how long his flights were. Well Cartier listened, and then reached out to his watchmaker. Next thing you know, Cartier Santos wrist watches were created. It deemed it’s popular name from Santos-Dumont wearing it during his flights.

Now, wrist watch trends over time have changed drastically. Believe it or not, there was a time when watches were worn around the neck in the 16th century for practical use. The first trendy men's diamond watches and women's diamond watches didn’t appear until the early 1900s. During this time, these trendy watches were worn as a symbol of wealth.

Now, you see all kinds of watches made from different kinds of materials. Silver, gold, and stainless steel are all common types of metals used in the creation of wrist watches. Some watch companies have used titanium as well as aluminum and platinum.

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.

The latest in diamond watch trends includes Jacob and Co and Luxurman diamond 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