As mentioned previously, it was in the 1800s that women became the first to don a wristwatch. In fact, the early wristwatches saw the case of the watch being attached to ladies jewellery such as the bangle to attach to the wrist. After the First World War, when men began to wear wristwatches, the world shifted its production into making more and more wristwatches as pocket watches soon went into obsolescence.
(Photo: Women working at a watch factory by Laco 1925)
At this time, watches were purely of the mechanical handwound nature. In the 1800s itself, watches went from being wound by key to being installed with a crown to set the time as well as wind the watch. The winding action is meant to wind the spring with which to power the watch as it tells time. Although the automatic watch was invented by Abraham-Louis Perrelet in the 1770s, automatic wristwatches only came about in the 1920s. Soon after, as the wristwatch went through many steps of evolution to its design and technical aspects, man found it necessary to improve the performance of these watches as well as their durability. Slowly but surely, the watch became more and more accurate until it would only deviate in timing to just a few seconds each day. Along with it, these watches would gain robustness with improvements such as water resistance, shock resistance and magnetic resistance.
However, the arrival of the Quartz watch in the 1970s almost wiped out the dependence of man towards the Mechanical watch and for a few decades, the mechanical watch industry went into the doldrums until its resurgence in the 1980s. Man realized that the Watch, in all its forms, represents his achievements and ability. It is the ultimate expression of Engineering combined with Art, and should therefore, always, be held in high regard.