The wrist watch is not a new invention. This small timepiece has a long history. Currently, we are using the developed form of the wrist watches with many advanced features. But initially, it was used as a time teller only. With the passage of the time, some new technologies have made watches more useful and gave them a sophisticated, trendy, and classy look.
To know about the history and origin of the watches, we need to go to the initial years of the eighteenth century when people first started to bind the time in their hands with a small piece. It is believed that the first wrist watch was created by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1810. This wrist was made for the queen of the Naples, Caroline Murat.
History of the Wrist watches
The creation of the very earliest wristwatch goes back to the sixteen century. In 1571, Elizabeth 1 of the England received a watch from Robert Dudley. In the initial years, wristwatches were exclusively used by women. Men were using pocket watches only. This trend continued till the end of the nineteenth century. By the mid of the nineteenth century, many watchmakers started to produce a wide range of wrist watches, those are usually referred as the bracelet by the women of that time.
By the end of the nineteenth century, wristwatches were first used by the military men. It was used for the military purpose as it was difficult to use pocket watches during the war on the battleground. Hence, they started using wrist watches to make it convenient and more useful. With this trend, manufacturers started making wristwatches for men, especially for the military men. The British army started using wristwatches during colonial rule in the 1980s, and the Anglo-Burma War of 1885 was an example of this trend.
With the passage of time, these watches became more popular among the military. As the result, Mappin & Web Company began making campaign watch to make it more helpful for the military people. This watch was used during the Boer war and in Sudan in 1989.
Initially, the wristwatches were coming with leather straps, but by the early twentieth century, manufacturers started creating purpose-built watches. Dimmer Freres & Cie first created a wristwatch of developed standards in 1903. The Rolex wristwatch of 1910 became the first wristwatch that received the certification as a chronometer in Switzerland.
After the First World War, the wristwatches were introduced into the consumer market for the use of the common people. With that introduction, the general people began using wristwatches. But it was limited to the elite group only because of its rare availability and the price. During that period, wristwatches were considered as the symbol of the status. But after a period of time and with the invention of the more watches, many people got an opportunity to wear wristwatches. In 1923, the first self-winding system was created by John Harwood. In 1961, the first wristwatch travelled to space. That wristwatch was made by a Russian manufacturer.
Now wrist watches are coming with many developed features and good designs. But these watches have gone through a long history to reach this position.
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