It feels like watches have been around forever. There’s nothing more natural to us in this day and age than to tip our wrist to check the time of day, but this was not always the case. In the 1400s clocks in town squares or in the homes of the more affluent families became the best way to tell the time. So, when did watches appear on the market?
The First Luxury Watch Was Not a WristWatch
You know about pocket watches. They can often be found in market stalls and locksmiths as collectibles or fine gifts. It is with the pocket watch that the wristwatch got its start.
The picture above (from Walters Art Museum) is a Pomander watch of the early 1500s. Pomander watches are the earliest evidence of a watch and as you can see, they are luxurious in design. This doesn’t mean to say no one else made watches before this one, it is simply the only one on record, and people do not quite agree on who the maker of the watch is.
The official story is that the first Pomander watch got its start in Germany which is known as the Bisamapfeluhr. Peter Henlein is known for making watches in Germany in 1505 so many believe this to be one of his inventions. However, this was the German Renaissance and others were also creating new and wondrous little clocks.
The Evolution into a Wristwatch
It may come as no surprise that the first wristwatch is a Swiss watch. Many of the fine watch brands today are Swiss.
Patek Phillipe, in 1868, was asked to create the first-ever wristwatch for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. After this event, the wristwatch got its start as the luxury item that everyone wants. It is convenient as well as becoming an accessory to show status and splendour.
But once again, scholars cannot be sure that this is the first wristwatch. This may be the first one in the Guinness Book of Records, but there is another story. A story of a Queen who also asks for a wristwatch. In this story, it is Breguet who, in response to a commission from the Queen of Naples on June 8th, 1810, brings the wristwatch to life.
Either way, it is someone of high class, working with a professional to bring this piece of convenience into our lives today.
Today’s Luxury WristWatches
I am sure you can agree that the wristwatches of today vary in styles and functionality, but they all fill our need to tell the time exceptionally well.
We have no shortage of brands to choose from. Indeed, with the quality and choices before us, everyone can find a watch that suits them perfectly. You can buy watches for diving, watches for visiting outer space, watches for fashion or watches for accuracy, like the ones that we now use in the Olympics.
While we still consider Swiss watches to be among the highest quality luxury watches available in today’s market, there are many creators trying their hand at achieving the excellence that comes with a luxury watch.
Starting and Maintaining Your Watch Collection
It is no wonder, then, that so many people enjoy collecting watches.
If you are seeking to start your watch collection, why not check out the watches that we currently have for sale? Alternatively, if you have a watch collection, or are starting one, and need some help in the service, repair or maintenance of your luxury watches, our team at Martins of Glasgow can be of service to you.
We have many specialists dedicated to careful watch repair and servicing. It is our mission to repair your watch no matter the watch’s age. As long as we can get the genuine parts, your watch will be as good as new in no time. Please note, however, that over time watches and clocks do become discontinued, so it may become impossible to find the parts an older piece needs.
If you have any questions about our watch repair services or would like to get in touch to make use of our watch maintenance services, get in touch through our contact us form.
Alternatively, you can drop in and talk to one of our friendly team members. Find us at 1158 Maryhill Road, Glasgow, Scotland, G20 9TA.