Wearable Storytelling: The Wristwatch

by baltringer

The Item I decided to research is something that I rely on the most from day to day. My Timex wristwatch. Camping it’s the only source of time reference and it’s a great convenience to have the time readily available on your wrist. But when there was a time where something as simple and logical as a wristwatch didn’t exist. Pocket watches were invented in the 15th century but it wasn’t until 1868 that the first wristwatch was invented. At that time, it was primarily intended as a piece of decorative jewelry and was looked upon by Americans as a “silly ass” fad. It wasn’t until World War 1 that the brilliance of wrist watches (or “strap watches” as they were referred to). In a New York Times article on July 9th, 1916 the need for watches was explained by saying: “the telephone and signal service, which play important parts in modern warfare, have made the wearing of watches by soldiers obligatory”. Even after this realization that soldiers did not have the time to look at pocket watches, watches almost got discontinued because the glass was breaking and proving to be extremely dangerous. Therefore, watches only got their true hold in history with the invention of break proof glass. It would be even longer before watches became a popular item in the United States as an everyday wearable.

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