Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Wristwatches: History & Evolution (part 6)

The seeming marriage between the wristwatch and the aeroplane continued throughout the 1990s and was analogous to the development of the sportscar, driven as a rule by "lovers" of the most sophisticated watches, with one model ahead of all the rest: the chronograph.

The first experimental era was now over and a period of sustained growth and success followed between 1910 and 1930. From the 1930s, pocketwatches lost their supremacy. The wristwatch became the rule, with an increasingly more refined and perfected form with technical characteristics.

During the fifties and sixties, more innovative projects followed: experiments with the electric watch; confirmation of the Accutron of Bulova, up to the electronic watch and the "invasion" of the Oriental watch.

The Swiss passed through a period of crisis but came out of it with hard work and emerged with the launching of the Swatch watch onto the market, the most famous quartz watch in the world.

But it is the mechanical model, the classical watch that dominates collections. The attraction of the period pieces that became popular during the eighties captivated collectors from many different countries and stimulated the most important manufacturers to make reproductions of very complex models.

The story of the wristwatch therefore comes down to an analysis of the evolution of fashion and its products and the originality of the producers.

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