Watches have rooted so deeply into our lives that we often fail to look at them as one of the greatest inventions by our mankind. Though A watch is a small timepiece meant to be carried or worn by a person, it has become a piece of luxury and  Fashion statement.

knowithow - evolution of watches

It is designed to keep working despite various movements caused by the human body. Today most inexpensive and medium-priced watches, have quartz movements. Expensive collectible watches are valued more for their elaborate craftsmanship, aesthetic appeal, and glamorous design.


Watches made their debut into history as clock watches. They were of a size in between a clock and a watch. These were mostly fastened to clothes or worn around the neck. They looked liked small brass drums engraved and ornamented. Their faces were not covered with glass, however. These generally had to be wound twice a day. Watches were mostly worn as jewelry, as timekeeping wasn’t of much importance back then.

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These slowly took the form of pocket watches with the evolution of style and fashion. Men wore these pocket watches as necklaces. Their design evolved into a more compact and rounded form to fit a pocket well. This was because it was impossible to keep the elements of a watch from getting fouled. Pocket Watches were glass covered. Prince Albert introduced a chain called the “Albert chain” to secure the watch to men’s pocket with a clip.

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Modern watches are designed to show the day, date, month and year. Electronic watches have many other Time-related features such as timers, chronograph and alarm functions. Some modern designs incorporate calculators, GPS and Bluetooth technology or have heart-rate monitoring capabilities. Some watches use radio clock technology to regularly correct the time. Watches have always surprised us with their steady advancements, leaving us with a better version every time. Let us take a deeper look at these beauties which we often take for granted.


Though the main purpose of a watch is to tell time, they have evolved over years to suit the requirements of quite a few professions. This brings us a lot more variety to look at with new technology involved. A detailed information about the categories is listed below.

1. Automatic :

Automatic watches, commonly known as self-winding watches, are among today’s most popular mechanical timepieces. Modern automatic watches use the natural motion of the wearer’s arm to turn a semicircular rotor, which winds the watch’s mainspring, making manual winding unnecessary. Since a fully wound wristwatch typically stores enough energy to run for two days, most automatic watches will keep running through the night, even while stationary. As a result, top quality automatic watches will keep running almost indefinitely without the need for batteries or external power.

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2. Chronography:

Chronograph watches have a long and illustrious history. King Louis XVIII of France was quite fond of horseracing and wanted to know exactly how long each race lasted. He ordered the royal watchmaker, to develop a timepiece that allowed him to pursue his passion. Chronographs didn’t take long to catch the attention of watch pundits. It is considered the most popular and complicated advancement in the history of watches. It is a valuable tool that can be used to time a wide variety of events like cycling or car racing. These watches range from simple stopwatch models to watches with multiple subdials that measure seconds, minutes, hours or even tenths of a second.

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Current chronograph watches include calendar chronographs, flyback chronographs, regulator chronographs, double chronographs, tachometer chronographs, and much more. There are sailor’s chronographs that calculate the tides as well as doctor’s chronographs that record a patient’s heartbeat and respiration levels.

3. Diver:

It all began in the 17th century when people wanted a good diver’s watch. It took manufacturers over two centuries to make a successful one. These were initially custom made to the individual’s taste and very pretty expensive.They became a commercial success only after the 1930’s. The first commercial diver’s watch could withstand pressures up to 433 feet which caught the eye of professional divers.

Initially, the diver watches were made to fit the military specifications. In spite of being successful, these watches didn’t receive attention until the release of the underwater film Le monde du silence. after the film won at Cannes film festival, everybody wanted a Diver’s watch. These watches feature a unidirectional rotating bezel which helps Divers track their oxygen supply. These also have large dials and luminous number for easy readability underwater.

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The design of these watches evolved over years to withstand a pressure of over 2000 feet. The  Current minimum standard for water resistant dive watches is 100 meters or about 330 feet. For divers and everybody who appreciates fine timepieces, diver watches are a style that will probably endure forever.

4. Luxury :

It is easily arguable that luxury watches started as early as the 1500’s. These first timepieces were certainly luxuries as they were entirely handmade and their intricate designs put them out of reach. Watchmakers thought it was practical to make smaller watches by 1600’s and it soon became a fashion statement. The evolved timepieces were expensive, however.

knowithow - Luxury watchOnly after the introduction of mass production did the watch become an affordable commodity. But this still didn’t put an end to luxury. They only became more luxurious with the introduction of new techniques which wouldn’t have been possible in the earlier times. It didn’t take long for the wristwatches that could display phases of the moon and remind you of appointments appear. These have become far more that simple time-telling tools.The best luxury watches are now considered genuine works of art, with exquisite movements doing seemingly impossible things with gold, diamonds, springs and tiny gears. Whatever your personal preference, if you appreciate the finer things in life, there are an abundance of luxury watches designed to satisfy your desire to wear the very best.

5. Mechanical:

When quartz watches made their debut, it was thought that the mechanical watches would get extinct. The exact opposite has happened and mechanical watches did make a remarkable comeback.Even though the working principle of the mechanical watch has been the same, over a hundred innovations developed over the years in addition to the basic mechanical system.

knowithow - Mechanical watch

These are generally called complications and more the complications, the more expensive the watch. some of the most popular complications include a self-winding mechanism, calendars, alarms and moon phase.All mechanical watches use jeweled bearings to reduce friction which proves to be wonderfully accurate. Watch maniacs don’t buy these beauties for their accuracy alone and they are also the finest examples of the watchmaker’s art. There is no better way to display elegance appreciate art than having a mechanical watch on your wrist.

6. Military:

The military watches are a new addition to the list of timekeepers. Initially, military watches were pocket watches attached with straps soldered to the case. These allowed the soldier in the field to coordinate in a much better way which wasn’t of much success before. The British army gained a lot of advantage in the wars with the extensive usage of this watch. Military watches led to a wide range of other innovations as well.

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The concept of second hand started with the military watches. Military pilots encouraged a lot of new developments to the industry. Pilots soon realized the need for an accurate watch which could be worn in the cockpit. Most of these had huge dials with luminous hands which allowed to read at night times as well. The modern military watch has features like GPS and atomic clock synchronization. Usage of materials like titanium makes the military watch almost indestructible.

7. Quartz:

The quartz watches have a very small history. In the 1928’s the scientist’s realized that a vibrating quartz crystal provided a better result in regulating clocks. Over the next ten years, quartz oscillators slowly took over pendulum clocks. It took 30 years fothisis technology to become small enough to fit a wrist watch which proved to be a pretty tough task. many factors like size, durability and cost proved to be hurdles to make this a practical one.

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By the early 1970’s watchmakers vanquished the problems and the quartz watches were intoduced to the public. It might come across as a surprise but the quartz watch was considered quite a luxury and was far more expensive than the mechanical watch. The invention of the integrated circuit brought down the prices of quartz watches and they soon lost their charm. howerve, it must be accepted that Quartz watches democratized timekeeping. It made Wrist watches practically available to everyone and inexpensive. These changed time keeping forever but one must acknowledge that this “revolution” has been good for the industry.

8. Smart:

A smart watch is a computerized timekeeping device that sinks with your phone and lets you perform basic tasks like answering phone calls, reading messages etc. Most of them have an electronic visual display with touch and a rechargeable battery. The smart watch has definitely outdone the quartz watch in revolutionizing the watch history.


knowithow - Smart watch

As long as people continue to measure events, there will be a need watches. These iconic timepieces have deeply penetrated the world of fashion which makes them quite difficult to forget. The watch has definitely come a long way since the days when it was fit just for royalty. Chances are that you are probably wearing a watch now and you can now appreciate these beauties for the service they provide.