How And Why Wrist Watches Were First Created

The first watches were pocket watches used by rich men. A popular fashion item among gentry they were kept in the top pocket of a long waistcoat. They were also extremely large and bulky back then. The first wristwatches were worn by women as fashion accessories. They were small and designed to look delicate on a female's wrist. As many new fashion statements are they were very expensive and worn primarily by society women in order to show off their wealth.

Surprisingly they were not considered practical and rather just a fad that people would soon get bored with. Of course this was not the case. Wristwatches really started to be used as a practical item during the Boer war and even then it could be claimed that it was accident. What they actually did was strap their pocket watches around their wrists in order to be able to tell the time quickly. These were found so practical on the battlefield that it became mandatory to wear them on the wrist.

It was not until 1915 when Rolex decided it the right time to introduce them into the market. These wristwatches came with leather straps and much like the watches today they had a buckle to fasten them. These proved to be a huge success and the age the wristwatch was born. The real turn around for watches again was the war. Heroes were returning from the Great War sporting wristwatches and an item deemed originally to be for women suddenly had masculine connotations. Again it was Rolex that took the initiative and introduced a line of wristwatches solely for men.

It soon became apparent that wristwatches were far more practical than pocket watches and they quickly took over the market place. The next significant change was Quartz watches in the 1970s. With the computer age looming these watches seems incredibly futuristic. Initially they were expensive, but the more popular they became the more the price came down and before long every hip youngster had one.

The popularity in digital watches increased as new features were developed for them. Over the years they have had games, alarms, stopwatches, calculators and world time. Nowadays everyone has owned a wristwatch, as much for fashion as telling the time. The straps are easy to fix on and they come in a variety of styles to suit everyone's taste. It seems though he age of the wristwatch is disappearing.

Everyone now owns mobile phones and they have all the features of a digital watch and more. Perhaps one day mobiles themselves will be worn on wrists. It does seem like it could evolve that way.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as fine watches at

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