When Were Watches Invented?


Wristwatches were first officially invented in 1868 when a watch was created for the Countess of Hungary. Prior to the first official wristwatch, pocket watches were adapted to be worn on the wrist as early as 1570.

Wristwatches were originally designed to be a piece of jewelry. The jewelry was created to make a statement and the pieces were originally intended only for women. The watches were functional, but few women used them for practicality. Instead, they used them to help accentuate an outfit while complementing the rest of the jewelry. Men preferred to rely on traditional pocket watches for up to a decade after the first wristwatch was created.

The idea of a wristwatch for men caught on after the military realized it would be easier for soldiers to see the time on their wrist. Before military personnel wore wristwatches, they carried pocket watches that required them to be able to use both hands. In the 1880s, a Swiss watch manufacturer created wristwatches specifically for the German military. These watches allowed the soldiers to be able to operate their machinery, equipment and weapons while still checking the time. Other militaries soon adopted the ideas of wristwatches for the convenience of soldiers.