A wristwatch is much more than a device for measuring time. Whole folios and regular magazine editions are devoted to the subject of wristwatches, the various manufacturers, and even individual models. But what is the fascination for the noble timepieces for the wrist?
THE BEGINNING OF A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF TIME
The watch in general and the wristwatch in particular look back on an eventful past full of myths. Rotating hands and circular indices have adorned the church towers of Europe since the 13th century and thus formed the central focal point of urban life. The standardized time display in public space and the associated more regulated daily routines created a new sense of community. From then on, time was understood as an absolute and objectively measurable quantity, a consciousness that only experienced a slight damper in everyday life through Einstein’s theory of relativity.
Due to the miniaturization of the mechanics, it was later expanded into private space, which also paved the way for portable time measurement on the wrist. More than 200 years ago, Breguet made a watch attached to gold threads and strands of hair for the Neapolitan Queen Caroline Murat. The prestigious manufacturer and then coat pocket filler of the high nobility still prides itself on having developed the world’s first wristwatch.