The modern gadget known to many of us simply as a wrist watch gets its humble beginnings in the 15th century when it was called a pocket watch. Back in those days they were mostly owned by wealthy individuals, mainly men. The pocket-watches used to be carried in pockets and attached by a small chain to the men’s coats in order to prevent them from being dropped and damaged. These days, pocket-watches are mainly bought as collector items.
Wristwatches started to become popular in the 20th century, earlier in the century men still dominated wrist watch purchases but that changed over time as more manufactures started producing women’s versions. Wristwatches were secured to the wrist with a variety of straps and bracelets including various metals, leathers, plastics and rubbers.
Modern day wristwatches have come a long way from their humble beginnings and there are many different types of timepieces currently available. The classic watches were mechanical, meaning they had to be manually wound by hand after a certain number of hours. The next generation of timepieces were call automatic watches, they functioned the same as mechanical versions, however, they did not need to be manually wound, instead they were automatically wound by the motion of the wrist, hence the name. Mechanical and automatic timepieces are still manufactured and sold and many of the true watch collectors only buy these types of watches.
The next big leap in timepieces came in the 1970’s with the introduction of the quartz movements, which drove a lot of the traditional watch makers out of business. The quartz timepieces were powered by a small battery placed within the movement, the electricity provided by the battery got converted via a quartz crystal to power the watch. The quartz watches were extremely accurate compared to their automatic and mechanical counterparts. They did not require any maintenance and only required a battery change every few years, which is the reason they became so popular.
The next evolution in the watch industry was quartz timepieces that had a rechargeable battery. These watches were supposed to take the industry by storm; however, not too many manufacturers used the new technology. The technology is starting to slowly catch on. One of the iteration of the technology is a solar powered quartz watch, which uses the energy from the sun to charge the battery. The other way this technology was used was by mixing quartz and automatic. The watch still used a battery but it was charged by the movement of the wrist. Both of these types of watches have all the same features as quartz watches.
What does the future hold for wrist watches, many people believe watches are dead since we have so many other gadgets that perform the same function. There is still a healthy market for watches as can be seen by the increasing number of watch manufacturers.