THE HISTORY OF THE WRISTWATCH


INTRODUCTION

We all run on time and time they say is the most expensive currency in the world. Time waits for no one, time cannot be stopped, time is always running. The ability to track and read time is important to our very existence. 

Ever since the stone age to the modern-day, man has always been fascinated with the passage of time. Man has devised various methods for tracking time, Sundials and Water clocks were one of the common devices used before the invention of the mechanical clock in the 1200s.

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The Oldest Watch

 

Having a watch wasn’t always as convenient as owning as a wristwatch in recent times. A watch started out as a clock first, which was too large to be carried around easily. The answer to smaller and mobile timepiece hasn’t always been the wrist. It was first the pocket known as the pocket watch. 

In modern times, the wristwatch is an indispensable accessory and asides its functionality a solid fashion statement. It has been normalized to the extent that when you ask for the time all it takes is a glance at your wrist. 

 The shift from the pocket watch to the wristwatch did not happen until the late 19th century. We have the women to thank for this marvelous innovation. Our lives have become significantly easier with the advent of the wristwatch.

WOMEN’S FASHION OF THE 19TH CENTURY

Though the majority watchmaking industry is largely dominated by the men’s watch today, the first wristwatch was made for a woman. As a matter of fact, the idea of wearing a watch on the wrist was made popular by the women’s fashion late in the 19th century. It was for both utility and fashion statements, as 19th-century women wore watches embedded in beautiful bracelets.

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A replica of the Queen of Naples' watch

The first wristwatch was made to fit the wrist of the Queen of Naples in 1810, by Abraham-Louis Breguet a watchmaker. The second wristwatch wasn’t made until 58 years later, in 1868, when the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary had Patek Philippe the Swiss watch manufacturer make her a bracelet watch. Shortly, women’s wristwatches began to make waves all across Europe.

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Figure 1The watch of the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary

Wristwatches gained popularity among the women in that era. It was called “wristlets” a precursor to the wristwatch. However, men stuck to their pocket watch as the wristwatches then were prone to damage by the elements. 

ADVENT OF THE MAINSTREAM ACCEPTANCE OF THE WRISTWATCH

In the early 20th century, men started to dabble with the idea of wristwatches for both functionality and fashion purposes. It became popular for men when it was introduced to the military. Soldiers wore wristwatches purely for utilitarian purposes.

In 1880, Girard-Perregaux produced over two-thousand wristwatches for the German Naval Officers. At the turn of the century, after the Boer War ended the men’s market began to consider wristwatches semi-fashionable. Even a few manufacturers started making wristwatches not only for soldiers.

The most significant example of that era would be the watch designed by Cartier Santos for Alberto Santos-Dumont, a famous Brazilian aviator, in 1904. Alberto needed a watch that would allow keeping both hands on the controls while timing flights. It is considered as the first purpose-built wristwatch and the first aviator watch.

Despite this rich history surrounding the history of wristwatches, its impact was not felt until the First World War which dramatically shifted public perceptions on the men’s watch. During the war, the pocket watch was inconvenient, as it hindered the soldiers for carrying all their equipment. To keep their hands free for other purposes asides checking the time, the soldiers were giving wristwatches called “trench watches” with leather straps. This enables the military to carry out perfectly coordinated attacks and maneuvers. 

It soon became a necessary part of the officer’s kit for the war front. Due to the nature of the required use, wristwatches were made to be more durable with unbreakable crystal glass and functions like luminosity to enable soldiers to read the time at night. There were many adverts by watch manufacturers, which helped make the wristwatch widely popular.

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Among civilians, there was an increasing desire for the battlefield look and it was considered fashionable. It was in this era that the watch industry was largely revolutionized. The impact of the war on the popularity of the wristwatch tends to overshadow the history that women were the first to wear wristwatches and it has been around for years.

With the men’s watch dominating the majority of the watchmaking industry, and watch brands focusing more on men’s watch. Women the original pioneers of the wristwatch are limited in their options in recent times. This is why Megalith has a specialized women’s watch collection named CIVO, with an array of beautiful options.

CIVO WOMENS COLLECTION

This was born out of the desire to provide women more options in the watchmaking industry. This isn’t just a mere women’s watch category but a whole different brand, CIVO, dedicated to the women’s watch exclusively. To bridge the wide gap between the men’s watch, dominating the watchmaking industry, and the women’s watch. 

The CIVO brand features elegantly designed and sophisticated timepieces you would not find anywhere else and also at an affordable price. These wristwatches are aesthetically pleasing and the finest crop among the women’s watch. The CIVO watches come in leather, mesh, and stainless-steel straps, to suit your preference. 

Here are a few of my personal favorites of the CIVO brand:

                    

CIVO 8095C

The CIVO 8095c comes in a mixture of stainless-steel silver and rose touches on the strap. The round casing compliments the straps with an elegant rose gold finish. The watch runs a clear line of quartz movement, with a convex sapphire crystal glass giving it that glittering appearance.  

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CIVO 8002C

The CIVO 8002c guaranteed is a minimalist masterpiece. The watch’s stainless-steel strap and round casing come in rose gold. The 8002c runs on a quartz movement with a flat sapphire crystal glass. The dial is the most intriguing part of the watch, as it resembles a starry night sky with rose gold details for the hands and makers.

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CIVO 0104C

The 0104c comes in a variety of bronze, silver, black colors. This is a classic lady watch with a small round casing with an undeniable asymmetry. The 0104c runs on a quartz movement with a complementary stainless-steel strap and flat sapphire crystal glass.

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CIVO 8061C

The 8061c watch has a simple but very sophisticated outlook, with a super fine mesh strap. It comes in a variety of silver and rose gold colors, with complimentary dial color and hand. The 8061c runs on a quartz movement, with a sapphire crystal glass on enclosing the round watch face

THE HISTORY OF THE WRISTWATCH

CIVO 8061C

The 8061c watch has a simple but very sophisticated outlook, with a super fine mesh strap. It comes in a variety of silver and rose gold colors, with complimentary dial color and hand. The 8061c runs on a quartz movement, with a sapphire crystal glass on enclosing the round watch face

THE HISTORY OF THE WRISTWATCH

CIVO 8065C

The 8065c comes in a very attractive wine-colored genuine leather with a rose gold casing that blends beautifully. The dial is also wine in color with rose gold hands and markers. This enchanting timepiece runs on a quartz movement, with a geometrically designed sapphire crystal glass.

THE HISTORY OF THE WRISTWATCH

Check out the entire CIVO Stainless Steel collection, the leather collection and the mesh collection.