who has the time?

history of the steampunk watch

History of Steampunk Watch

July 18, 2018 Jane W.

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY – WRISTWATCHES

The watch was developed in the 15th century  as a means to tell the passing of time. It is commonly defined as a “mechanical device, manpowered by winding a mainspring which turned gears and then moved the hands, and kept time with a rotating balance wheel”.

 In 1571 Elizabeth Ist received a wristwatch from Robert Dudley as a gift. Did you know it was originally called an arm watch? From the beginning wristwatches were almost exclusively worn by women.

In the 18th and 19th centuries female fashion showcased women wearing a bracelet with a timepiece usually turned face downward or swinging loose from a chatelaine pin. This disguised their function and kept them on time for all those important tea parties! 

Mens fashion allowed the use of pocket watches to keep their schedules. These pocket watches were often more intricate the higher the social status of the gentleman in question.

In the late 19th century the standardization of time zones in Europe and the US increased demand for watches. The necessity for change among men became obvious 2 years into WWI. The old school pocket watches hindered soldiers in the trenches, as they had to search their pockets while chaos reigned around them to see if they were synchronized with fellow combatants.

So, in 1917 the British War Department started issuing wristwatches to their men, which became part of modern warfare, enabling soldiers and Officers to coordinate their maneuvers.

After the War, watch manufacturers started designing wristwatches advertising “for men with the promised that this watch could make a man more soldier like, more martial, more masculine”. The Great War, as one US paper in 1919 stated “made the world safe for men who wear wrist-watches”. Marketing genius or peer pressure, you decide…

Steampunk Watches Today

The typical steampunk watch today includes anchronistic display showcasing gears and widgets. Oftentimes a compass can be included to incorporate the nautical theme.  Bands are typically made out of leather or army nylon. They can include multiple leather straps for the fashionistas at heart.

 

Now you know a little bit more about the history of the wrist watch when you go to buy your wicked Steampunk Watch! 

-Audrey W.

Nerd | Entrepreneur | Blogger

**Special Thanks to Cuckoo Nest Art Studio & Atom Fashion for allowing me to feature their products in this blog & on our site 🙂

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