People all over the world now consider wristwatches to be a necessary accessory because they give them an easy way to keep track of time. Although it is difficult to picture a time before the wristwatch, its development was an evolution that took a long time. The early 16th century was the starting point for the development of the timepiece.

The history of the wristwatch’s development is long and interesting, featuring many timekeeping advancements made through the ages. The earliest timepieces were mechanical clocks, which were first invented in the 13th century, and these eventually led to the development of portable watches that could be worn on the wrist in the 16th century.

Bracelet Watches

The evolution of the wristwatch

The earliest form of the wristwatch which was known as a “bracelet watch” was made in the 16th century. It was created by a German watchmaker named Peter Henlein. He created a small, portable timepiece which could be worn on the wrist as a bracelet. These bracelets were mainly used by women as a fashion accessory. Although, these watches were not very accurate as they required constant winding making them less practical for everyday use.

Pocket Watches

The evolution of the wristwatch

Pocket Watches In the 17th century, pocket watches were invented. Pocket watches were more accurate and reliable than bracelet watches because they did not need constant winding like bracelet watches. However, carrying a pocket watch around could be difficult, especially for people who were always on journeys. Wristwatches didn’t become widely used until the creation of smaller, more precise movements in the late 19th century.

Wrist Watches

The evolution of the wristwatch

Men started wearing wristwatches more frequently in the early 20th century, and they were made with accuracy and durability in mind. Industrialization and mass production techniques in the 20th century made it possible to manufacture wristwatches on a large scale. This made wristwatches more affordable. They also became a fashion accessories. Watchmakers began to offer a wide range of styles, designs, and colors to appeal to different tastes and preferences.

The wristwatch quickly gained popularity and was adopted by the military during World War 1. The convenience of having a timepiece easily available on the wrist proved to be a game-changer, making it simpler for soldiers to tell time while they were on the move thanks to wristwatches. Wristwatches’ improved reliability and precision worked to their benefit on the battlefield. Soldiers found it useful for keeping track of time during battle, and it soon became a standard part of their uniform.

Quartz Watches

The evolution of the wristwatch

In the 1960s quartz watches were invented. They were the upgrade to mechanical wristwatches because they were more accurate and affordable, leading to a decline in mechanical watches.

In the 1960s wristwatches became more than just timepieces, they became symbols of status and luxury. Swiss watchmakers such as Rolex, Omega, and other brand started creating high-end watches with complex movement and design. Watches made by these companies were more of a luxury statement because only rich people could afford those watches.

Smart Watches

The evolution of the wristwatch

In the 21st century, smartwatches were introduced by the companies like Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit. These watches were superior to traditional watches because of several reasons. First and foremost, they are more than just a timepiece. They can perform a wide range of functions, such as tracking fitness and health, sending and receiving messages, making phone calls, and controlling smart home devices.

Furthermore, a lot of smartwatches are now waterproof, which makes them perfect for swimming and other outdoor activities. The fact that smartwatches offer a variety of features that make them more fashionable than conventional timepieces is another reason why they are growing in popularity. For instance, a lot of smartwatches are now available in a range of colors and designs, allowing users to customize their watches to their style.


In summary, the development of the wristwatch has been slow and steady over many years. Wristwatches have advanced significantly over time. From the first bracelet watches to the most recent smartwatches. They have become more accurate, reliable, and affordable over time, and they have played a significant role in shaping the way we measure and keep track of time.