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.
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.
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).
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.
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