A wristwatch provides you with a stylish way to tell time, and this popular accessory has a long and interesting history. The watch industry is booming with a 24.4% increase in sales year-over-year as of February 2022.
So, when were wristwatches invented, and what is their history related to the world of function and fashion?
Read on to learn more about the history of wristwatches so you can gain new insight into the process of why and how these trendy timekeepers are made.
The Very First Watch in History
Sundials were invented before watches, which date back to around 3500 BC. People relied on the sun’s movement to determine the time of day. In 1505, the very first pocket watch (or pocket-sized clock) was invented.
The term “watch” was coined by sailors who used these miniature clocks to time the shifts on deck. The name stuck, and the word watch continues to be synonymous with keeping time today.
When Were Wristwatches Invented?
You may wonder, when were wristwatches invented? While there’s no clear answer on who invented them, most historians acknowledge that they came about sometime during the 19th century.
The concept of wristwatches didn’t catch on in the United States for quite some time. Most people believed they were much too small to tell time accurately. However, during World War I, those perceptions started to change.
American and European soldiers began attaching pocket watches to their wrists so they were easier to see. By the year 1916, it was clear that wristwatches were a part of daily life. Originally, they had a utilitarian purpose and weren’t worn to make a fashion statement.
Watches as a Fashion Accessory
As the industrial revolution took hold, companies started to see the value in marketing wristwatches as a fashion accessory. Today, the watch market is huge with sales in the billions of dollars worldwide.
Wristwatch fashion is now commonplace, and you can shop for high-end brands like Rolex at this company. New technology is making smartwatches even more appealing to modern buyers, too.
Pop culture also made wristwatches popular. Movies like Dick Tracy and James Bond helped to shape the way the public started to view these miniature time-keeping devices.
While the history of wristwatches isn’t entirely known, it’s clear that they’ve become a vital part of everyday life. From checking on the weather at a glance to making calls, today’s wristwatches offer much more than just a simple way to tell the time.
A Unique History
When you ask, “when were wristwatches invented?” it’s agreed that they became a popular product in the mid to late 1800s. Today, watches are still an important part of life as well as a fashion accessory. From luxury Rolex watches to smartwatches, these timekeepers are a vital part of daily living for many people.
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