Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Timekeepers on Our Wrists: The Remarkable Invention of the Wrist Watch

Timekeepers on Our Wrists: The Remarkable Invention of the Wrist Watch

Timekeepers on Our Wrists: The Remarkable Invention of the Wrist Watch

In the fast-paced modern world, timekeeping has become an essential part of our daily lives. We rely on clocks and watches to keep track of appointments, schedules, and to synchronize our activities with those around us. While the concept of measuring time has existed for millennia, it was not until the late 19th century that a revolutionary invention transformed the way we carry time with us: the wrist watch. In this blog, we delve into the captivating history of the wrist watch, its early beginnings, and how it evolved into the ubiquitous timepiece we know today.

The Dawn of Timekeeping

The quest to measure time accurately dates back to ancient civilizations. The sundial, one of the earliest timekeeping devices, utilized the movement of the sun's shadow to indicate the time of day. Over time, these early timepieces were refined and complemented by water clocks, candle clocks, and sandglasses.

The Advent of the Pocket Watch

Throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, timekeeping devices progressed with the invention of the mechanical clock. These clocks were large and cumbersome, primarily confined to churches and public spaces due to their size. However, it wasn't until the 16th century that the first portable timekeeping device, the pocket watch, emerged.

The pocket watch was a remarkable achievement, featuring intricate mechanisms enclosed in beautifully crafted cases. Initially worn as decorative accessories by the aristocracy, pocket watches quickly became symbols of prestige and status. However, their bulkiness remained a hindrance, prompting watchmakers to search for a more practical and convenient solution.

The Emergence of the Wrist Watch

The turning point in timekeeping came during the late 19th century when the wristwatch, in its early form, began to gain popularity. Although wrist-worn timepieces had been experimented with in previous centuries, it was the practical demands of soldiers during wartime that accelerated their development.

The First World War and the Boer War saw soldiers struggling to coordinate attacks while having to rely on pocket watches. Recognizing the need for a hands-free solution, military personnel began improvising by strapping pocket watches to their wrists using leather bands or fabric straps. This innovation significantly increased their efficiency on the battlefield, leading to the rapid adoption of wrist-worn timepieces.

The Turning Point: Pioneering Brands

In the years following the World Wars, the wristwatch's popularity soared, and watchmakers saw a commercial opportunity. Several pioneering brands emerged during this period, contributing significantly to the evolution of wrist watches. Some of the most influential brands include Rolex, Omega, Longines, and Patek Philippe.

These watchmakers focused on refining the technology, enhancing the precision of movements, and improving the aesthetics of the timepieces. As demand grew, wristwatches became more accessible to the general public, and they soon became a staple accessory for men and women alike.

The Quartz Revolution

The development of electronic quartz movements in the 1960s and 1970s revolutionized the watch industry. Unlike traditional mechanical watches, quartz watches used electronic oscillators regulated by a quartz crystal to keep time. This breakthrough dramatically increased accuracy while reducing the cost of production.

The Rise of Smartwatches

In the 21st century, the watch industry experienced another transformative wave with the rise of smartwatches. These wrist-worn gadgets combined traditional timekeeping with modern technology, offering features such as fitness tracking, notifications, and even the ability to make phone calls. Companies like Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit played a significant role in popularizing smartwatches and making them an integral part of our digital lives.


The invention of the wristwatch has undoubtedly been one of the most influential and transformative developments in the history of timekeeping. From humble beginnings as a wartime necessity to becoming a stylish accessory and a technological marvel, the wristwatch has stood the test of time. Today, whether it's a classic mechanical masterpiece or a cutting-edge smartwatch, these timekeepers on our wrists continue to be a reflection of our fascination with time and our quest for precision and convenience. As technology advances further, the wristwatch will likely evolve, but its essence as a symbol of punctuality, elegance, and functionality will endure for generations to come.

Read more