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1980s Affordable Watches For All

the Evolution

Of The Wristwatch

Today we all take wearing wristwatches for granted. We probably don't even stop and think when strapping the watch to our arm, as it is just another part of our daily routine. Today there is an abundance of wristwatches to choose from. Classic Rolex watches, digital watches, the smartwatch, all the way through to luxury watches. But, have you ever thought about where the wristwatch came from? When was the first one made and how did it evolve to become the much loved wristwatch it is today?

Well, below we share some information about the evolution of the wristwatch.


Let's start at the beginning

The beginning is the 1910s, as this is when people swapped their pocket watches for a wristwatch. Although there is no documentation to say when this actually started to happen, it was common for soldiers to wear Swiss watches on their wrist during the First World War, as it was easier for them to see the time. However, the wristwatch was still very much seen as a feminine attribute.


Wristwatches become more practical

It wasn't until the mid 1920s that the wristwatch became more practical. It was designed to be resistant to dust, dirt, and water. However, the first attempts failed and produced fairly delicate watches that simply didn't last. The Oyster Rolex watches were the first to be fully waterproof, with the introduction of various screws.


Small and petite

During the 1930s the wristwatch remained small and petite, with most only measuring 32mm in width. This was very much to do with the style of the day being mimicked upon the traditional pocket watch. This not only proved difficult for the owner to wear comfortably, but resulted in more women wearing wristwatches than men.


The electronic watch is born

The electronic wristwatch was born in 1957. This would change the way in which commercial watches were to be made. The first electronic wrist watches operated via turning forks that powered the small battery. In later years this then progressed on to the use of forked quartz crystal, that helped to increase both battery life and accuracy.


The quartz movement

It was during the 1960s that the wristwatch truly came into its own, and this was because of the invention of the quartz movement. This revolutionised the entire watch making industry and still has a huge impact on today's modern wristwatches. This type of mechanical movement is most commonly linked to high end and luxury wristwatches because of their accuracy.


The first wristwatch on the moon

1969 was a truly historic year. Not only because we witnessed the first man on the moon, but also because Buzz Aldrin was the first person to wear a watch on the moon, the Omega Speedmaster. This was the start of the luxury watch being a status symbol, something that remains true to this day.


Affordable watches for all

The 1980s saw the introduction of affordable quartz wristwatches. Many Swiss watchmakers were unsure about the introduction of the electronic wristwatch, but it grew in popularity, enabling not just the elite to purchase a well made wristwatch.

The wristwatch really has come a long way since the early 20th century.

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