Watches are everywhere nowadays, in every size, style, and color. Timepieces have become a piece of fashion that we pair with different outfits, and for different occasions. Watches have even evolved from complex and delicate works filled with clicking gears, to a simple touchscreen. With this comprehensive list of 21 cool facts about watches, you’ll learn to appreciate the history and popularity of watches over the years.
Without further ado, here’s our list, 21 cool Facts About Watches:
Fact 1 – A Timepiece Out of This World
Luxury timepieces were worn by both American and Russian astronauts during the Apollo and Soyuz missions, and by many other astronauts during space expeditions.
Fact 2 – A History of Time
Humans have used our current sexagesimal system (a number system that uses ‘60’ as its base) since 2000 B.C.
Fact 3 – Watches Take Center Stage
Several watches are iconic because of the films they appear in, such as those famously worn by Sean Connery as James Bond. Daniel Craig also sports a luxury timepiece, while Matt Damon flaunts a similar watch in The Bourne Ultimatum.
Fact 4 – Do You Have a Minute?
In the beginning, the classic pocket watch only showed the hour hand. Minute hands didn’t appear on watches until the 17th century.
Fact 5 – Fancy a Date?
The first wristwatch invented in 1868 also featured the first perpetual calendar operated by a pendant watch movement.
Fact 6 – High Time
British mountaineer Sir Edmund HIllary wore a wristwatch during the 1953 British HImalaya Expedition. Here he became the first man to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest in the world.
Fact 7 – The Life Saving Bezel
Most dive watches feature a unidirectional bezel around the watch face that serves as a reference for different points in time. Divers use this feature to know how long they’ve been underwater, and how long their oxygen will last. The bezel only moves one way in case it’s bumped so it won’t go backwards, making the diver believe they have more oxygen than they do.
Fact 8 – Who Invented the First Watch?
Peter Henlein, a repair man and locksmith, created the first clock in 1510 in Nuremberg, Germany. More than 300 years later, in 1868, a Swiss watchmaker made the first wristwatch for the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. Read more about his invention here on T1TactWatch.com by: clicking here.
Fact 9 – Who Invented the First Smartwatch?
Timex created the first digital smartwatch in 1994, though this can also be a title awarded to Seiko [ read here ]. Particularly, this innovative product allowed the wearer the ability to wirelessly download data from a computer. Four years later, inventor Steve Mann created the first smartwatch with an operating system [ see here ], for which he was deemed the “father of wearable computing”.
Fact 10 – Designed For Women
Originally, the first watch was designed for a Hungarian countess. Queen Elizabeth I was one of the first women to wear a wristwatch, gifted to her by her lover. It was only until later than men began to wear them too.
Fact 11 – The Most Expensive Watch
Fact 12 – Black is Best
The most popular color for a watch is black due to its versatility with any style and occasion. The second most used color for a watch is silver stainless steel which also is greatly versatile, if less elegant.
Fact 13 – Watchmaker Origins
Despite many watch companies’ headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, a city long known for its watchmaking history, several famous watchmakers actually began in Great Britain in the 1900’s.
Fact 14 – Happy Time!
When watches are set on a window display, they are typically set to 10:10, which is called ‘Happy Time’. Specifically, the name comes from the minute and hour hands resembling a ‘V’ shape, which could also be a smile, pleasing potential customers as they walk by.
Fact 15 – Imploding Watches
Diving watches are tested until they implode under the pressure of water, making them some of the most rugged watches in the industry.
Fact 16 – A Real ‘Shocker’
The ubiquitous shock-resistant watch was originally tested by tossing it out the window to a 10-meter fall. This tested the watch’s shock absorption, which to this day is its main selling point.
Fact 17 – So Many Complications!
When a watch does something other than simply tell time, that additional function is termed a ‘complication’. Watches that display a calendar, set alarms, read atmospheric or pressure data, are, therefore, watches with ‘several complications’. These include divers watches, pilot’s watches, and other multi-functional watches.
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Fact 18 – Expensive Doesn’t Mean Accurate
This is a real conundrum in the watch community. Commonly, cheaper watches use quartz movement, while more expensive use mechanical movement. This is because mechanical movement requires complicated gears and parts, which make the watches a luxury piece to look at. However, mechanical movement is less accurate than quartz watches, making the former more of an art piece than functional.
Fact 19 – War Tested
Wristwatches gained widespread use when soldiers began carrying them during war. This allowed everyone to know the time, which was necessary for strategic planning when troops were positioned away from each other.
Fact 20 – The Origin of ‘Bling-Bling’
During the 16th century Tudor reign in England, wealthy citizens and royalty would wear watches around their necks. This was due to the particularly large sizes that just weren’t practical to wear anywhere else!
Fact 21 – Where It All Began
When did time begin? Well, we don’t quite know that yet, but we know when timekeeping began. It all started in 1500 B.C. in ancient Egypt where they would use sundials to keep track of the sun’s movement. They went on to divide the total length of sunlight into sections, which eventually became hours, minutes, and seconds.
Now that you’ve read through all 21 cool facts about watches, you can appreciate this magnificent piece of craftsmanship and history. If you’re not in the market for a new watch, you can always follow the example of the Egyptians and use the sun, just make sure you wear sunscreen!