Sunday, 31 May 2009

Wristwatches: History & Evolution (part 4)

Thereafter, women's wristwatches developed more and more as combinations of utility and decoration. In the years after 1880, the woman's wristwatch was not a commercial success but neither was it a rarity. The products of Swiss manufacturers found varying acceptance in different countries. While samples from a watchmaking firm were returned from the US and Chile, orders followed from Peru.

For a short time, styles of dress also had an influence. Before 1900, when long-sleeved dresses were in style, the wristwatch, according to contemporaries, suffered a setback. On the other hand, since 1890 the advertisement pages of watchmakers' trade papers repeatedly show pictures of wristwatches.

The further spread of wristwatches is not attributable to society ladies, though, but to feminine employees whose numbers increased in Germany from 93,000 to 452,000 between 1882 and 1907. Women working as cashiers and store clerks in post offices, school and health services brought the wristwatch into common use even before World War I.

The traditional, openly worn lady's watch did not meet the requirement of working life. Wearing the watch on the wrist decreased the danger of damage, theft and loss, allowed quick reading of the time and still allowed its use as an ornament.

In the 1880-1920 ear, the world of spare time, sport and modern means of transportation also had positive effects on the popularity of the wristwatch.

From the 1930s, wristwatches have completely overtaken pocketwatches and continuously progressed to become part of everyday life.

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