Of all accessories, a wristwatch has to be the most practical. It’s convenient to wear, looks stylish, is available in many different designs and combines the best of both worlds really – good mechanics and accessorizing without looking geeky. It’s comes as no surprise then that watches have remained a favorite for both men and women. Even mobile phones and smartphones which can also serve as time-telling devices can’t replace the wrist or pocket watch – an accessory that has been around for centuries.
A brief history of watches
The first wearable timepieces were manufactured in Southern Germany, in the cities of Nuremberg and Augsburg, in the 16th century. They were large in size, looked like a mixture between a watch and a clock, and were usually carried around the neck or fastened to the clothes. However, their time-telling qualities were so poor that they were practically useless in terms of functionality. Instead of having any practical purposes they were consequently simply worn as jewelry, (just like Flavor Flav!). In terms of weight and shape they were not at all comparable to watches of today. Rather than being small and round they had the shape of cylindrical boxes that were richly ornamented.
It wasn’t until the 17th century when pocket-watches first emerged. Small in size and round in shape, fitting any pocket, their appearance hasn‘t altered much since. Lack of accuracy, however, remained a problem though. Their verge and foliot mechanism was very sensitive to changes in driving force. As a result, they slowed down quickly during their running period. Later, during the 18th century, watches were significantly improved with a second hand being added to indicate the minutes. By this point, watches had become more and more accurate thanks to the invention of the balance spring to the balance wheel.
Fast Forward to today – Updated technology
Innovations like the temperature compensated balance wheel, the going barrel and others followed over the course of the years, and Europe, in particular Switzerland, have become the chief manufacturer of watches. For years prominent watches brands and models from Cartier Roadster to Maurice Lacroixand Rolex have been amongst the best and most reliable watches you can find on the market. It’s interesting that unlike other accessories, luxury watch brands have a certain amount of prestige. Perhaps it is not due to their aesthetics but also their functionality as their unprecedented mechanics, handmade craftsmanship and overall quality have made them more than just a watch. The fact that watches are also unisex mean that their style, elegance and usability make the watch a must-have for any style-conscious or gadget savvy person.