Wikicollecting takes a look at the collectibility of the ever popular wristwatch.
Since time immemorial, man has felt the need to know the hour of the day.
The trend of downsizing as a sign of modernity can be observed acutely in the arena of timekeeping. From heavy stone sundials came tall imposing grandfather clocks, from which evolved mantle clocks and carriage clocks. As lifestyles grew more fast paced, the need arose to carry the time around, quite literally, in one’s pocket. In the 17th century, spring powered clocks developed into portable mechanical timepieces – the pocket watch.
In the early 1900s, the ‘Wristlet’ watch was a strictly feminine fad. But in the trenches and skies of World War I, pocket watches became impractical, and soldiers attached them to straps worn around the wrist. And thus the wristwatch was born.
Since the 1980s and 90s, wristwatches have grown steadily as a collectibles market.
Watches have become an art form, valued for workmanship and aesthetic appeal rather than as simple timekeeping devices. They act as important indicators of lifestyle, affluence and success.
Master watchmakers can charge up to millions for a new creation, competing to include the greatest number of components and complications, and regularly incorporate materials such as precious jewels, even meteorites and pieces of the moon.