The first wearable timepieces were made in the 1500s. These clock-watches weren’t very accurate, but were prized for their ornate designs. Many of them were shaped like small spheres or eggs. Some had more unusual shapes like stars, flowers and crosses. Over time, these timepieces evolved into round pocket watches and finally to the wrist watches that are common today.
As the design of these portable watches improved, so did the technology that helped them keep time. Early mechanical watches used gears and springs to remain accurate, but the timepieces typically started to run slowly as the main spring became unwound.
Over the years, improvements to the design and materials used to make watches made them more and more accurate.
Quartz Watches Developed
In the early 1970s, quartz watches were developed and immediately became very popular on the market. In these watches, a quartz crystal is fed an electric current which causes it to vibrate at a certain frequency.
These vibrations are then counted and used to display the time, either on a traditional clock face or a digital display. Quartz movements are much more reliable and make for more accurate watches than the traditional mechanical movement of the past.
Today, watches are available in all sorts of style and designs. While their main purpose is to tell the time, many people look for stylish timepieces that are more fashion accessories than they are simple tools.
It’s not uncommon to find watches made with precious metals or studded with fancy gems. There are also more durable watches available for sports or leisure that are better suited to people with more active lifestyles.
A watch makes a thoughtful gift for almost any occasion, regardless of the age of the person you’re buying for. Many people have a “wardrobe of watches they add to on a frequent basis. In addition, scores of people collect antique timepieces. You may be surprised to learn that some early watches are actually quite valuable.