Today it is very easy for us to access the time, whether it is thanks to our watch or to technology. But before the first watch was invented it was not easy to get an idea of the time, you had to wait until you went to a town to consult the unique clock hanging from the steeple. So who invented the watch and in what year? In this article, we will go back to the origin of the first watch in order to answer this question.
While the clock has existed since the 13th century, it was only from the 16th century that the miniaturization of the latter took place to becomethe first watches. It should be mentioned, however, that the first watch could not have been invented without the mainspring, a metallic ribbon that stores energy and releases it by gradually relaxing. As it relaxes, it drives a cog system which allows the hands to turn on the dial. The spring thus replaces the weights and pulleys that allowed the clocks of the time to function.
The watch first became popular among women by adapting to their necklaces, then in the 19th century, by being miniaturized in the form of a ring. Reading the time when the watch was hanging on their neck was not very practical, stiff neck was almost assured. As you can see, the watch was used by women more as a fashion accessory than a real tool for measuring time.
The first one wristwatch was born at the end of the 16th century, when the Earl of Leicester had the idea of hanging a bracelet on a watch to give it to Queen Elizabeth Ire. At the end of the XIXth century the wristwatch is beginning to be adopted because it is much more practical than watches worn around the neck. However, this accessory remains almost exclusively reserved for women, because the wristwatch is considered too effeminate by the men of the time. It was not until the Boer War (1899-1902) and the First World War that the wristwatch was adopted by men. In fact, the wristwatch has demonstrated its practicality during the fights and therefore arouses great enthusiasm.
The first watches were naturally hand-winding watches. Every day you had to put your watch back together to re-wrap the spring and allow the watch to function. The mechanical automatic winding watch (named at its creation perpetual watch) was born in 1778 thanks to Abrahal Louis Perrelet, so no need to reassemble his watch every night! This mechanism remains a technical feat for the time but does not develop. It was not until the 20th century with the arrival of the wristwatch that the men's automatic watch and the Women's auto watchdemocratize and adopt themselves in all watchmakings. The first watch in Quartz (battery watch) was created by Seiko in 1969, this technology increases the accuracy of watches and is a real revolution in the world of watchmaking.