A Brief History of the Wristwatchimages

The word “watch” comes from the Old English word woecce – meaning “watchman” – because town watchmen use this technology to track their shifts at work. Because town watchmen used this technology to track their shifts at work. It is also said that the word comes from 17th century sailors who used a new mechanism to time the length of their ship’s watches.

A Brief History of the Wristwatchimages1
modern wristwatch

History of Development

The concept of the wristwatch can be traced back to the 16th century. In 1571, Elizabeth I of England received a watch from Robert Dudley, known as the “armed watch”.

From the mid-19th century onwards, the wristwatch was gradually improved, reduced in size and embellished to become a watch. The oldest surviving wristwatch (then known as a “bracelet watch”) was made in 1806 and given to Joséphine de Beauharnais, and the Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe made the first Swiss watch for the Hungarian Countess Koscowicz in 1868.

A Brief History of the Wristwatchimages2
pocket watch

At first, wristwatches were worn almost exclusively by women – men continued to use pocket watches until the early 20th century. The early models were essentially standard pocket watches mounted on leather straps, but by the beginning of the 20th century, manufacturers began producing specially manufactured watches. The Swiss company Dimier Frères & Cie patented the watch design with the now-standard wire lugs in 1903.

In 1904, Louis-François Cartier, a French businessman who dealt in jewelry, received a complaint from his pilot friend Alberto Santos-Dumont that it was difficult to take his pocket watch out of his pocket when flying an airplane and wanted his assistance in solving the problem so that he could see the time even during the flight. So Cartier came up with the idea of strapping a pocket watch to his hand with a belt and buckle to solve his friend’s problem. The pocket watch strapped to the hand is now known as the wristwatch.

Cartier commercialized this form of watch in 1911 with the launch of the famous Santos watch. Since then, wristwatches have been popular. From 1960 onwards, the traditional round model was generally preferred by the public. Since then, new technologies began to be developed rapidly, and different brands of watches began to develop rapidly.

After a century of improvements, the Swiss first made quartz clocks into quartz watches in 1967, and wristwatches have since evolved from manual/automatic winding to displaying time with quartz and electronic power, mixed with simpler other functions such as chronographs, moon phases, pulse measurement, etc. Modern wristwatches have added more complex functions in the form of electronic handbooks, MP3s, cell phones, etc. Some of these wristwatches have also become a type of jewelry, where the focus is not on the display of time, but on the design, brand and materials (such as precious metals and diamonds).

What style of wrist watch do you like? Do you know the famous brands that produce wrist watches? Feel free to talk to us in the comments section.



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