It’s all about…History.
“The measure of time was primordially used to organize religious, social and economic societies.”
(Histoire de l’horlogerie, www.hautehorlogerie.org)
Time has a particular relationship with humans, as a matter of fact it originally started off with the first civilizations such as Egypt or China. The measure of time was primordially used to organize religious, social and economic societies. The Egyptians used an old vase with a hole at the bottom to let escape water as a time indicator. Also called “clepsydra” or “water clock” is one of the oldest time measuring instruments. Moreover, the Greeks then perfected it to make it more precise. They added a dial and a needle and therefore created the first clock.
The first clock appeared during the XIV century, the mechanical systems of these clocks were very simple at first; an engine weight was in charge of directing the needles. Although the more time passed, knowledge of time became a priority for our society. Indeed, knowing how to read time meant figuring out how to organize, planify, delegate, govern but also dress oneself. We noticed that being able to read time was approximatively the same compared to the ways we had to present this changing measure. Until the beginning of the 20th century it was only a specific social class that was generally very fashionable that wore around their necks or in their pockets what was called “pocket watches”. In the 19th century, the industrialization of horology allowed the average household to own a clock or a pendulum. Later on, thanks to telegraphs the engineering of time spread. Also, due to the creation of railroads that were constrained to the standardization of clocks, the entire country adjusted itself.
The use of the watch and the artistic point of view that we were willing to give it comes from a famous French mastermind not only know for his philosophy but also for his mathematical gift. Blaise Pascal who passed away in 1662, was known for his brilliant habit; he used to attach with a string around his left wrist so he could read time more easily.
Besides, it is primordial to remind oneself that the “wristwatch” was originally created to conquer the feminine market. It was known to be a fashion accessory, way more than an accurate, reliable watch. The Queen of Naples owned the first wristwatch that went down in history, ordered at the watchmaking house Breguet in 1810 by Caroline Murat who was the sister of Napoleon.
Since the creation of the wristwatch it didn’t take much time before men were attracted by it. During the Boers War of 1899 to 1902, the army men were the first to use the wristwatches. The watches were said to be essential to the military equipment. Furthermore, depending on the “customers need” other watches were created as small ones, as big ones, as metallic ones with grills on them, or as any other special need.
To sum everything up, one century was enough to create between our wrists and our watches an unbreakable bond. Different horology houses have pushed the limits of details and perfection to give graciousness to this 200-year-old object. Today, your watch not only reflects a style but also your social class, it isn’t uniquely used to tell time. It is also portrayed as jewellery of the highest distinction. Through ages, certain big houses such as Cartier have always kept their eminency and have succeeded in changing the watch from basic to elaborate and sometimes even convoluted.