Thursday, June 18, 2009
The wrist watch was invented by the Swiss watch maker, Patek Phillippe in the late 1800s, 1868 to be precisely. Though at first only women wore them. They have also pioneered the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches. Amongst manufacturers, PP has a long history. Polish watchmaker Antoni Norbert Patek started making pocket watches in 1839 in Geneva, along with his fellow Polish migrant Franciszek Czapek. They separated in 1844, and in 1845 Patek joined with the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe, inventor of the keyless winding mechanism. In 1851, Patek Philippe & Co was founded. The man's wristwatch was invented by Louis Cartier in the early 1900s for Mr. Alberto Santos-Dumont. Dumont was working on the development of aircraft and found a pocket watch inconvenient to look at while in the aircraft. He asked his friend Cartier to design a watch for him.
To become part of mainstream culture, wristwatches needed to be relatively easy to use and maintain. The self-winding watch, invented by Abraham-Louis Perrelet in 1770 and perfected in 1923 by John Harwood, ensured that the watch would keep time without the wearer needing to maintain the watch's time-keeping ability constantly. Today, watches are powered by batteries, the wearer's motion or by the self-winding mechanism that is part of the watch.