Human history is a colorful one. There are wars but for the most part, we have enjoyed peace and prosperity. The first world war which started in 1914 and ended in 1918 has paved the way for the mass-production of wristwatches.
You see, pocket watches were the main accessories that told the time back then and although it certainly had its uses, it was not the most ideal timepiece on the battlefield.
Because of its bulky nature and the fact that you have to whip out the timepiece from your pocket, it was definitely not something that can help the various armies fighting in the war.
That being said, wristwatches were produced to help solve this problem and even though the war has ended, some of the soldiers have remained wearing their watches even when they were back in their respective homes.
This has marked the beginning of a new and fruitful era for these amazing timepieces that you can wear every day. Whether you have a fondness for accurate timepieces or you want the traditional mechanical watch, you’ve got to appreciate the rich history of such devices.
Today, I am going to talk about some historic moments of the wristwatch. I hope that, after reading this article, you will appreciate your wristwatch even more. So, without further ado, let’s get on with it!
The Birth of the Chronograph
Chronograph watches are characterized by the many different dials that you see on the watch face of a wristwatch. It usually tells the elapsed time, as well as how many minutes have passed, among other things.
Breitling was actually the first one to launch chronograph wristwatches. Aside from the main crown that helps adjust the timepiece, there are two separate buttons that people can press to start the chronograph feature, similar to what pocket watches can do back then.
The Birth of the Winding Mechanism
Mechanical watches were cumbersome due to the fact that it had to be wounded manually for it to function. It was only until 1926, when a British watchmaker, John Hardwood, created the automatic-winding rotor responsible for creating the automatic watches that we know today.
Cartier introduced their infamous “Tank” watch in 1919. The famous watchmaking company said that it was inspired by the treads of the military tanks back in the day.
The first-ever popular implementation of the Pilot watch was back in 1936 when IWC Schaffhausen made it. It had a rotating bezel that helped pilots know the elapse time
they are on a flight.
The Automatic Chronograph
1969 is quite a popular year in pop culture history as so many historical things had happened. One such historical moment was the mass-production of the world’s first- ever automatic chronograph watches, the Caliber 6139, the Caliber 11, and the El Primero.
The Mechanical Watch’s New Life
Jacques Piguet and Jean-Claude Biver bought the now-defunct watchmaking company, Blancpain, which gave mechanical watches a new life by vowing to create only the said type of watches.
The acronym stands for Societe Suisse de Microeletronique et d’Horlogerie and was established in 1983 thanks to Nicolas Hayek, who commandeered the merger and was known as the CEO of the said group. The same group is now called the Swatch Group today.