The History and Uses of Wristwatches: An Overview

Apart from the fact that we’ve got a natural time-checker in the form of a continuous cycle of one set of sunrise and sunset per day to indicate the passage of time, mankind’s ability to measure it down to the last nanosecond is a feat worthy of all the marvel and fascination it can get. The conceptualization of time has drastically changed how the world functions from way back during prehistoric periods to now.

From hour-glasses to pendulum clocks to wristwatches, the time-telling machine has an entire history to understand. With smartphones becoming more commonplace and accessible in the recent age, the use of wristwatches still holds its own ground in popularity despite there being a quicker, more precise competitor for checking the time of day.

Let’s have a look at how the one-and-only wristwatch came to adopt the classic style and form it has today!

The History of the Wristwatch

The first known wristwatch was fashioned by Swiss watch manufacturer, Patek Philippe in 1868 for the countess of Hungary. The history of small, portable watches, however, can be traced back to between the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe, when a mechanical device that used a mainspring, gears, hands and a rotating balance-wheel was invented.

Peter Henlein, an inventor of German origin, is often accredited as the first person to have created a portable watch that was wearable on the body, in the form of a pendant. Then in the 17th century, these pendants were replaced by pocket watches. Wristwatches that came later, from the beginning were exclusively worn by women whilst men only used pocket watches as late as until the 20th century.

A quartz wristwatch

A Versatile Accessory

One of the primary reasons for the popularity of the wristwatch today is its ability to function as a fashion accessory. It is no longer seen as merely a tool, but an ornament that adds a sophisticated finishing touch to your overall appearance. Watches are elegant and embody a history of craftsmanship within them.

In modern times, the wristwatch exists as part of 3 major categories: mechanical, automatic, and quartz. The mechanical watch has a traditional design that uses the manual winding of the mainspring that moves the hands when unwound. The second category, automatic watches use rotor devices to automatically unwind the traditional mainspring. Last but not the least, the quartz watch is the most popular design worn today. Instead of a rotor, a quartz watch is powered by electricity from a small battery.

Despite everything, the original purpose of the watch still remains undefeated and the portable machine is still very much used for time-checking by people all around the world.

Assortment Gallery

At Assortment Gallery, we have a range of classic accessories like wristbands, bracelets and of course, wristwatches. Optimize your wardrobe with the most fashion-forward and timeless apparel and accessories.  Shop with us today!


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