12 interesting facts about watches that you probably did not know

Here are 12 interesting facts about watches that you probably did not know:

  1. Watches as we now know them could probably not have come into being without the invention of the mainspring, the spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon that is the source of the power in mechanical watches. 
  2. Pocket watches and waistcoat pockets are a male sartorial coupling that dates back to the 17th century. 
  3. The first wristwatch with an alarm function was produced by luxury Swiss watchmaker Eterna in 1908, but it did not enter into production until 1914.
  4. In the lead up to the First World War a pioneer of aviation technology also played a role in helping to popularise the manly wear of wristwatches.
  5. Necessities of 20th century warfare were a factor in making the wearing of wristwatches by men more socially acceptable.
  6. The self-winding or automatic watch rewinds the mainspring of a mechanical movement by the natural motions of the watch wearer.
  7. Apollo astronauts sported Omega Speedmasters during moonshots.
  8. The development of the electric quartz crystal wristwatch gained much of its driving impetus planning for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
  9. The digital watch concept had its origins in the 1968 sci-fi feature film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.
  10. The Patek Philippe Caliber 89 was created in 1989 to celebrate the maker’s 150th anniversary.
  11. One of the greatest (but possibly least-known to the layperson) names in British watchmaking was Isle of Man-based George Daniels (1926-2011 - pictured), inventor of the co-axial escapement (or ‘Daniels Escapement’), patented in 1980.
  12. The Cesium 133 wristwatch prototype (pictured) was unveiled by Bathys Hawaii in October 2013. 
Read more at theiet.org