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The Rise of the Smartwatch: Will the Traditional Wristwatch Stand the Test of Time?

The Rise of the Smartwatch: Will the Traditional Wristwatch Stand the Test of Time?


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From the invention of the traditional wristwatch to the breakthrough of the cutting-edge smartwatch, it is safe to say that watches have evolved extensively in their time (no pun intended). That is why we think it’s a good idea to pay tribute to the wristwatches that have made an influential appearance throughout the years, as well as look at why these classic pieces are still timeless even in 2019. 

The Beginning of the Wristwatch  

Having arrived on the scene in 1812, traditional wristwatches were primarily worn by women, while men stuck to their pocket watches. However, come 1880, these watches were in demand by men serving in the military. This urged a mass production of two-thousand wrist watches for German naval officers. As well as this, the impact of the First World War dramatically increased public interest for the wristwatch, giving the means for a mass commercial market to open up mid 20th century. 

Modern developments of the wristwatch throughout the 20th century 

The traditional wristwatch had many revolutionary breakthroughs throughout the 20th century, with several manufacturers choosing to produce purpose-built wristwatches. An iconic example of a purpose-built wristwatch was the Breitling’s Navitimer model back in the 1950s, which served to assist pilots with their flight calculations. 

The electric wristwatch  

Electric-powered watches started to dominate the watch industry during the 1950s. These timepieces were fitted with a balance wheel powered by a solenoid, and the hands of the pieces were moved mechanically by a wheel train. 

The quartz wristwatch 

As we descend into the late 1960s, we see the arrival of the Quartz wristwatches to the consumer market. The Quartz watch served to remove all moving parts found in the mechanical watch by replacing these with a battery. This feature enabled these timepieces to become more shock resistant and uphold better accuracy, with no cleaning or oiling needed. 

The radio-controlled wristwatch 

The 1990s saw the arrival of the first radio-controlled wristwatch. This model sought to correct time daily by coded radio time signals broadcasted by Government-operated time stations. These signals were received by a radio receiver fitted into the watch. 

The atomic wristwatch 

The first automatic wristwatch said hello to the market back in 2013. In contrast to radio wristwatches, this modern timepiece is powered by atomic clock accuracy. It also sports quartz clock circuits which are corrected by radio time signals received from government automatic clocks. 

The smartwatch 

As advanced as they may sound, smartwatches are not a recent new player to the watch industry. Did you know that Samsung released the world’s first watch phone back in 1999? Known as the SPH-WP10, this timepiece has a built-in speaker and mic, features a monochrome LCD screen and offers 90 minutes of talk time. It was only after this year that things started to become quite advanced for the watch industry, with many more swanky models being launched. These innovations bring one question to mind – has the traditional wristwatch disappeared before our eyes? 

The Traditional Wristwatch in 2019 

To answer the question above, the traditional wristwatch hasn’t disappeared, but rather it seems that this timepiece has stood the test of time. Why? This is because 2019 has seen the revival of the most iconic traditional wristwatches that were around back in the day. From the contemporary makeover of the Breitling Navitimer to the revival of the Longines Heritage 1945, it seems that the world certainly doesn’t want to forget about the beauty of these timeless classics. Also, many luxury Swiss brands today are still producing these iconic timepieces, keeping their original design well and truly alive. 

Whether you have a traditional wristwatch or a smartwatch, it is important to keep them safe from harm’s way. Want complete dustproof, waterproof, and crush-proof protection for your timepieces? Take a look at the collection of watch cases by The Case Farm, available in a range of sizes for the beginner watch collector to the avid enthusiast. 

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