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The Development Of the Watch

By Edited Aug 5, 2015 0 0

As man developed, he soon required needs which stemmed further than just food and shelter. Time soon became a huge factor of mans life as we he looked for ways in which to add routine to our day. However, without a time system in order to notify us of the time, how would we be able to know when the right time was to start work or go to school? Without a method in which to notify us of the time, it is impossible for a routine to be followed efficiently.


Although the realization that we needed to keep track of time has been realized, we were still stuck as to a device which would identify the time of day. Around 20,000 years ago, ancient Europe utilized the various phases of the moon in order to identify the time of day. Furthermore, the concept of separating the year into 12 separate months is believed to have been devised during the Babylonians in 2000 B.C, with further development of time being divided into a number of short spaces of time, or days, being developed around 6000 years ago in North Africa. It was during these times that man had realized the importance of time in order to organize ourselves and activities in order to be more efficient.


As one would expect, time devices during this time were not as accurate as the watches and clocks which are utilized today. These time devices were not aesthetically pleasing, nor were they portable, but it was a step in the right direction. It is believed that the Egyptians began dividing their time into small segments, which led to the invention of the sun-dial which signified the time based on shadows cast by the presence or lack of sunlight. However, these were not useful at night as without sunlight, no shadow would be cast. The next invention came from the Greeks, who devised the water clock which was devised in order to decipher the time at night, but could still be utilized in daylight also.


Further developments led to the mechanical clock, although it is unknown exactly when this device was first invented. The first mechanical clock relied on a mechanism named escapement which was first discovered by engineer Villard de Honnecourt, although it was not yet utilized within clocks or watches. The first mechanical clock is believed to have been made during the late 1200’s, with the first image of the clock being drafted by Jacopo Di Dondi in 1934. This clock was designed with rotating hands which moved in the same direction as the shadows on a sundial. The movement of the shadows/hands at time progressed throughout the day is where the movement of hands on clocks and watches was first devised and so the concept of the clock was created.


Thanks to advances in technology, the clock was developed a number of times, with one of its most innovative reincarnations being the watch, a portable time telling device which worked in the same way as a clock, just smaller. The first watch is believed to have been developed during the 16th century following the need for timekeeping throughout the 15th century. The first pocket watch was designed by Peter Heinlein in 1524, with the wristwatch following soon after during the end of the 19th century, designed by Patek Philippe. As the 20th century called for accurate timekeeping during WWII, the wristwatch steered away from being merely a women’s accessory and was soon heavily utilized by the army and since then, has developed into a vital accessory for individuals across the globe.


Further advances in design and technology have opened up doors for technological wristwatches, such as diver’s watches which allow diver’s to keep track of time and the depth of their dive. These types of watches rely on water-proof technology which help to protect the mechanism of the watch, for increased durability.


With many of us juggling work, family life and our social life, timekeeping has never been so important. With a wide range of watch designs on the market today, we can not only find a watch that fits its function, but one that is also expertly designed in order to suit our personal taste and style.  Reading reviews of the best watches can help us find the perfect watch for our needs.



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