Watch History, antique Dials

Watch History

Watches also have their own history, though it’s not as long as the history of Walls or pocket watches. The main problem, in creating a wristwatch, was the minimizing of mechanisms. And at the same time, during the production of wrist watches a lot of new technologies were found, primarily related to balance control spirals.

The wristwatch history began in 1821. The master Abraham Louis Breguet made ​​an elegant bracelet with a clock for Caroline Bonaparte, Queen of Naples. Some ladies immediately rushed to “become like a queen,”. But men did not have their usual pocket watches until the beginning of the XX century.

Louis Cartier

The first wristwatch was the chronometer, which was made in 1904 by Louis Cartier for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. The pilot complained to the great master that he dropped his pocket watch when trying to equalize the course of the balloon. The result is watches produced by Cartier Santos to this day.

The idea to ​​connect the bracelet with a clock attracted the attention of other watch masters. And since 1850 bracelet clocks were the most extended in France. German Admiralty in 1880 ordered from Swiss watchmakers several watches for naval officers.

Abraham Breguet

Wristwatch History Beginning of 20th century

At the beginning of last century watches were not news and were already mass-produced. However, the fragility of the mechanisms disappointed customers.  In 1904 the attempt to send  the clocks to the U.S. failed because there was a low demand and returned back. The  interest in wristwatches was not great in other countries too. And only thanks to the British, improving the quality and reliability of mechanisms. The demand for wristwatches has grown.

The First World War was promoted to the production and improvement of wristwatches. They were used among gunners and pilots. The demand for production grew immediately. U.S. entry into the war, allowed to sell this invention in U.S. markets. In 1918, the most stylish wrist watch models were watches with rectangular bodies.

The First World War was promoted to the production and improvement of wristwatches. They were used among gunners and pilots. The demand for production grew immediately. U.S. entry into the war, allowed to sell this invention in U.S. markets. In 1918, the most stylish wrist watch models were watches with rectangular bodies.

The military wristwatch history

To check the time with commandeer’s watch, before beginning the hostilities – an important element for interaction which exists in all armies of all times. 

The military wristwatch history is a common part in the wristwatch history. But with this, the wars and arms industry played the important role in the invention of wristwatches.

In the wristwatch history of military watchmaking, Breguet company was as the precussor. Of course, it’s hard to imagine the modern watches of this brand on the wrists of the soldiers. But Abraham-Louis Breguet invented the first model, which has become an indispensable companion for the officers during the military campaigns of Napoleon.

These were called “carriage clocks”, which were compactly folded during travels.   Many officers were quickly coveted by the Breguet invention, especially those who participated in the long cruises. Besides the military, travelers like carriage clocks and became their inseparable accessory.

Napoleon Bonaparte getting help with Breguet watch

The first wristwatches were ordered by the German emperor for his officers. In 1879, Wilhelm I visited a trade show in Berlin, where he represented the experimental model on the strap. However, the producers themselves could not appreciate their invention. But the Prussian emperor liked it so much that he immediately ordered 1,000 copies for the German Imperial Navy. And in 1880 more than 2,000 naval officers were equipped by the wristwatches like that.

Unfortunately, the history did not save the original watches. There are only some images in the archive of Girard-Perregaux. It is known that the models were produced in gold casing to prevent the corrosion from contact with sea water, and the dial is protected by a dense lattice. For checking the time, it was necessary to compress the lock, which was located at “6 number” and raise the bar. The idea about a glass was quickly picked up by the  other manufacturers and began to make military wrist watches with bars over the glass and dial.