These days, almost everything has the time. Your computer, your mobile phone, the clock in your car, your blackberry, your iPhone…everything does! But back when the only timekeepers were mechanical tickers, how did you keep time? And how did you know the right time?
The Pocket Watch. A hundred years ago, men didn’t believe in wearing wristwatches. Wristwatches looked like bracelets. And who wears bracelets? That’s right, the ladies! No self-respecting man back when our grandparents were kids, wore a wristwatch! It wasn’t the done thing! So instead, men wore pocket watches, with watch-chains and fobs. These days, we have all kinds of heavy, chunky metal watches with dials for the day of the week, the day of the month, what second it is and so on…and we think they’re new. But they’re not.
Pocket watches had this, and more, back when our grandparents were kids. Chronograph chronometer pocket watches had all kinds of bells and whistles, everything from repeaters (little gongs inside the watch that chimed the hours and minutes), moon phases, days, dates, months and more. If you think something is new, think again.
Pocket watches lasted a long time, not finally ceasing regular production until the 1960s. Many fine pocket watches are kept in families and are handed down as heirlooms, which is what most of them are these days.
The Wristwatch. The wristwatch came out in the 1910s after WWI. Originally shunned by most people (who continued to wear pocket watches regularly well into the 1950s), the wristwatch soon gained acceptance amongst the world’s men and women, being sold for a long time alongside equally stunning pocket watches. Women’s watches were small and petite, often no larger than a small coin. Men’s watches were also rather small. The 1920s-1940s saw the rise of the ‘tank’ style watch, which was very popular because it was so unique. Instead of being round, it was square or rectangular and it’s a wristwatch style that remains popular to this day.
Wind-up watches: If your watch has died on you, you may hear your grandfather absent-mindedly tell you to wind it up. All watches back then were mechanical. You had to wind them up every morning for them to keep accurate time.