Hello Fellow Horologists! The TMJDV is back again with a feature article that takes a candid, new- look at Creative and Innovative Wrist Watches for Men! In fact, when I say ‘Creative and Innovative’, I also mean ‘Abnormal, Abstract, Bizarre, Complex, Outrageous, Eccentric, Exquisite, Extraordinary, Surreal, Unique, Unusual, Way-Out, Wacky, and Weird’ ! And aesthetically speaking, these particular wrist watches are just that! So one might ask, what deeming qualities or characteristics make a wrist watch creative and innovative? Its overall appearance? Obviously. Or the number of complications and/or features it has? To a certain degree. Also, do creative and innovative wrist watches for men include automatic, aviator, chronograph, digital, diver, dress, hybrid, quartz, LED, luxury, mechanical, military, smartwatch, and sports watches as well? The answer to all three is a resounding YES! Nevertheless, because “knowledge is key!”, let us begin with a brief historical synopsis of wrist watches and describe the different types of wrist watches available for men.
A Brief History of Wrist Watches
Historically, the first wrist watch made for men is not easy to determine. Although there were several watchmakers creating time pieces during the 15th Century, the credit for the invention of the wrist watch goes to Peter Heinlein in 1505 with the Pomander Watch in 1505.
Wrist watches made up until the 18th Century were traditionally worn by women and nobility. As a matter of fact, wrist watches for men, as opposed to the then impractical pocket watches, do not come into play until The Second Boer War (1899-1902) and The First World War (1914-1918) with the overwhelming need for the military to accurately coordinate troops and synchronize battle maneuvers. In the post-war era, the utilitarian use of wrist watches with extended features and/or complications for men sparks a vast market. By the mid 20th Century, wrist watches for men become fashionable and more and more men begin to adorn them as part of their everyday regalia.
The Types of Wrist Watches
- Automatic – An automatic watch, also considered a mechanical watch, is self-winding and uses natural movement to power the watch.
- Aviator– An aviator or pilot watch is usually over sized with large, easily read dials, a triangle at the 12 o’clock position and ratcheted “onion” crown.
- Chronograph – Traditionally, a chronograph watch is also a stopwatch with an analog or digital display and an independent sweeping second hand that can be stopped or started on the stem.
- Digital – A watch that displays electronic numbers for time, rather than hands on a dial (analog).
- Diver – A diver watch or dive watch is one that is able to resist water pressure at least 100 meters in depth.
- Dress – A dress watch is a particular timepiece (digital or analog) made to be worn with formal and business attire, typically with long sleeve shirts.
- Hybrid – A hybrid watch or hybrid smartwatch looks like any traditional or ordinary timepiece, but is able to send you notifications or incorporate other apps like music, fitness trackers, etc.
- Quartz – A quartz watch is more accurate than an automatic or mechanical watch. It utilizes a battery to send electricity through a quartz crystal by way of an electric circuit at which point causes the quartz crystal to vibrate at a precise frequency of 32768 times/s.
- LED – A LED watch is basically a digital watch that uses light emitting pulse nodes to generate light on the display.
- Luxury – A luxury watch is a very high quality manufactured watch made with fine materials, and sold at an extremely high price. These watches typically are made by long time reputable watchmakers.
- Mechanical – A mechanical watch must be wound up manually and utilizes a mainspring to drive the hands on the mechanism to measure time.
- Military – A military watch is one that is issued by the military to soldiers for strategic purposes and has no identifying marks such as logos and manufacturing labels.
- Smartwatch – A smartwatch uses a touch screen to get notifications, receive and send messages, and utilize apps.
- Sport – A sport watch is rugged with resistances to water damage, scratches, and shock due to physical contact.
What Makes A Watch Creative and Innovative?
Without a shadow of a doubt, the first characteristic that makes a wrist watch creative and innovative is its overall design and visual appearance. Manufactured using the best materials available, these particular watches are unorthodox and unusual, yet sleek and high tech. They tend to bold and loud with elaborate designs, interesting themes, fantastic colors, and rather odd shapes.
Other characteristics that make a wrist watch creative and innovative are the number of complications and/or features the timepiece (mostly mechanical) possesses. To horologists, a complication is any additional feature (time related only) of a timepiece that exceeds just displaying hours, minutes, and seconds. For example, there are alarm, calendar (month, day, and year), chronograph, moon phase, perpetual calendar, repeater, and striking complications. The wrist watch with the most complications is currently The Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 with a total of 57 (see image right).
What Men Wear Creative and Innovative Wrist Watches?
Since creative and innovative wrist watches encompass automatic, aviator, chronograph, digital, diver, dress, hybrid, quartz, LED, luxury, mechanical, military, smartwatch, and sports watches as well, the answer to this question is All Men Wear Creative and Innovative Wrist Watches! Athletes, Adventure and Sport Enthusiasts, Divers, Pilots, Entertainers, Technicians, and Yours Truly. The list goes on and on and on.
In all , men’s fascination with wrist watches has almost grown exponentially after a century. Whether it’s for function or sophistication or both, it is certainly safe to say that there are at best hundreds of millions of men across the globe wearing these timepieces today and the trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Writing this article has been enlightening and fun. This said, I would like to dedicate this article to my beloved sister, Jennifer Mae Richardson, who passed on June 7th, 2020. She was also fun I will miss her dearly.