A short History of the Wrist Watch

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There are many fashion accessories that can be worn by both men and women. But any list that didn’t include wrist watches would be sorely lacking without including wrist watches. They were initially used as a piece for keeping time but in the modern day they have evolved into much more than that. They are now a fashion piece which has become almost a necessity in our modern era. To a great extent they have become a symbol for status and are worn for a variety of of purposes today.

To begin with the wrist watches of today are inherently accurate and convenient. Some people purchase watches for their precision with technical aspect, to measure time in milliseconds, but most people purchase a specific watch simply because it is aesthetically pleasing. There are many people who pay thousands or hundreds-of-thousands to buy a specific watch that is “just what they are looking for”.

As far as historical records go back, the year 1868 was the first year the modern day wrist watch was born and Phillippe Patek was the inventor. Women’s wrist watches were part of a fashion ensemble whereas men used to keep pocket watches. This continued until World War I. It was around this time that soldiers realized that having a watch on the wrist was a more convenient way of telling time than carrying it in the pocket.

The type of wrist watches made today were first created by Louis Cartier. He had created a watch for Santos Dumont, a flying hero. This occurred around 1911 and this is when it was first purchased. This category of watch occurred then and this turned into the blueprint for our modern wrist watches.

The shape of the dial began to modify from the classic round shape. More brands began to evolve, apart from the classic Cartier wrist watch. The “polyplan” design was made by Movado, while the rectangle shape was released by Patek Phillippe. This design received much fame and recognition.

Several design styles came about around 1913. Some models got their inspirations from armored cars and includes “Gondola” created by Patek Phillippe and “Tank” launched by Louis Cartier. Watches came available with advanced features including the ability to keep track of lunar phases, days, and months.

When it comes to the names of watches the name of Rolex cannot be ignored. Rolex made its mark in the wrist watch market in the 1920s. The first Rolex was the very sophisticated and elegant Rolex Prince which also included a dual time feature. The second hand was larger than the minute hand. This quality gathered much attention.

As history shows watches are continually evolving. It used to be that all watches were analog but with the explosion of digital wrist watches around the 1980s, one can see that watches have been constantly changing and will continue in this way throughout the foreseeable future.