Infographic: Highlights and history of watches
Watches have determined the rhythm of a work and private lives for thousands of years. But a watch is more than a timepiece.
It encourages manufacturers and designers to perfect the interplay between technology, design and materials. As a status symbol and a luxury item, a watch reveals a lot about its wearer.
The history of watches
Atomic and radio controlled watches are now part of our daily lives. For millennia, people could only dream of accurate time measurement. Already in ancient times, around 4000 BC, the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians developed the first time measuring devices. The people were watching the course of the sun and moon, and then adjusted their daily routines accordingly. With the invention of the sun and water clocks a rough time schedule became possible.
In the Middle Ages, people used various timing devices such as candles clocks. Using certain markings, one could tell you how much time had elapsed since the candle had been lit. The first mechanical clocks were already in existence in 1300. They were soon to be used in tower clocks, where, in conjunction with the stroke of the bell, they would tell people the time.
At the beginning of the modern era in 1500, the first portable clocks were built. An enclosure protected the movement from dust and damage. Since then, the watchmakers have been using ever better tools and new materials such as brass, so that the clocks could be smaller and lighter still. Only since the beginning of the 20th Century, has the housing become so small that a clock can be comfortably worn on the wrist. With the invention of the automatic transmission, the victory of the wristwatch became unstoppable.
Watchmakers and designers constantly strive to set new records for a marvel of technology such as the watch. The largest clock in the world is at the Mecca Royal Clock Tower in Saudi Arabia. The square face of the giant clock tower measures 43 meters. The minute hand is more than 20 meters long and about three meters wide.
The smallest clock in the world comes from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Jaeger-Le Coultre and was built in 1929 in Geneva. In its 4.85 x 14 millimeter and less than a gram body, 98 parts were used.
The slowest clock with only one click per day and one stroke per year is currently being built in Texas. Its counterpart, the "High-speed Ürli" from Switzerland, is the fastest clock in the world: An hour passes after 36.5 minutes.
The most exclusive watch of the world consists of more than 4,000 parts. Within ten years, a precious masterpiece was created, of which there are only twelve copies. Luxurious materials, delicate decorations and technical innovations make the "Mystery of Time" from the Knesebeck studio in Hamburg so special. With a prize of one million Euros, it a real bargain compared to the most expensive watch of the world. More than 800 diamonds in various colors and shapes adorn the "201-Carat" watch of the Swiss watchmaker Chopard. It costs a proud 25 million U.S. dollars.
Celebrities and their watches
Watches tell much about their owners. Especially celebrities deliberately opt for a particular brand that emphasizes their personality. Chancellor Angela Merkel wears a Boccia Titanium by a German manufacturer from Lower Saxony. The very light wristwatches made from Titanium are said to be particularly stable despite their filigree construction. The watch's simple elegance underlines the appearance of the Chancellor: She puts an emphasis on comfort and quality, while she presents herself as being close to the people with this understated accessory from Germany.
The revolutionary leader Che Guevara (1928-1967) owned a Rolex GMT Master. GMT stands for "Greenwich Mean Time", the West European time zone. The luxury watch was developed in collaboration with Pan American Airways for pilots who wanted to capture two time zones at a single glance. What is special about this watch: It has a 24-hour display. A fourth hand circles the dial once every 24 rather than every 12 hours - for a globally minded person like Che Guevara, this was certainly an interesting additional benefit.
Albert Einstein and Humphrey Bogart had one, Audrey Hepburn wore one on her glove in the Hollywood classic "Breakfast at Tiffany's": an elegant Longines. The Swiss Compagnie des Montres Longines, Francillon SA is the oldest registered watch brand in the world. The wearers of their exclusive watches are steeped in tradition and desire Swiss craftsmanship and a timeless elegance.
- letsPool AG