The Evolution of Watches

Posted by Nicole on 9th Aug 2019

Time has been a concept for thousands of years, but when did we start measuring it?

First, in 3500 B.C. we had the time stick – a primitive sun dial and the world’s first timekeeping device. Then we had the water clock in 1500 B.C. – the first timekeeping device that didn’t need a celestial body. In 1200’s A.D. we had the mechanical clock – the first timekeeping device not to use the sun or water. Next, in 1430 A.D. we had the spring-driven clock – the precursor of the portable clock. In 1500’s A.D. we had the portable clock – the precursor of the pocket watch, but it did not end there!

With the 1500’s bringing us the portable clock, the world was then able to give birth to 2 of the most familiar timekeepers. Pocket watches and Wristwatches.

‘Pocket Clocks’ as they were originally named, became popular in the 16th century after the creation of them in 1510 by Peter Henlein. It wasn’t until World War 1 that wristwatches replaced pocket watches as being the most common watch.

The first wristwatch was made for Countess Koscwicz of Hungary by Patek Philippe in 1868. Though rumours do exist that watchmaker Girard-Perregaux may have supplied the first examples to the German Imperial Navy in 1880, after an officer reportedly complained that operating a pocket watch was difficult when timing a bombardment.

So, there we have it, the beginning of time…! We have had a long history of time measurement and it doesn’t stop there. New creations continue to be made as the years go on and they just keep getting better and better.