I recently began an internet business selling watches, and while studying my niche market, I was overwhelmed at the vast range of styles and brands available.
You can pick any brand of watch to discover the different styled watches, colour of watch faces, colour of watch bands, Stainless steel watches, gold plated watches even wood watches are available. When you get into the expensive range of watches you discover a whole new range of watches with diamonds, solid gold watches, titanium, and lots of other precious metal watches and jewel filled watches.
The watch movements vary as well from manual to fully electronic with some newer style watches having heart monitors, temperature, speed, and a whole lot of analytic information available. Then there are dive watches going down to 4000 Mtr, now that’s a long way down but deep sea divers need reliable watches that can handle the pressure at these depths so it’s great to see a range of wrist watches that cater for the individual as well as all the other divers who enjoy the ocean or cave diving.
Glamorous watches make up a large part of the industry because everybody wants to look different from the girl next door. New watches come on the market every day so keep watching or searching for your favourite style of watch, there is something out there to keep you happy when you look at all the watches available right now. I saw a watch the other day that has belts going in different directions to tell the time I was really intrigued as to how it works, it would be a real talking point at a party or with your friends.
In the beginning people could only tell the time from sun dials which they placed over doorways of their homes or businesses, showing midday and the four stages of the sun as it travels throughout the day, the other forms of clocks for telling time were water clocks, not easy to transport when you were on the move. In the 1500’s with the invention of the springs, portable clocks and watches were produced. One locksmith from Germany Peter Henlein created the “Nuremberg Eggs” which could be put on the table instead of being hung from the wall, they only had an hour hand as the minute hand was not introduced until much later and they lost time as the spring unwound but they were popular with the wealthy individuals as they were a truly portable timepiece.
With the invention of the humble spring the world of clocks and watches took a giant leap into the forward. Men didn’t wear wrist watches back in the 1800’s they were thought to be too feminine and only ladies wore them. Men had a watch on a chain which they kept in the pocket of their vest which was called a fob pocket. Remember in the old movies, there would be someone standing at the train station taking out his watch on a gold chain from his fob pocket checking the time, today the fob pockets are still on the vest of men’s 3 piece suits. It wasn’t until someone tied one of these watches to his wrist with a piece of string so he could kept track of time and keep working that he asked a watchmaker to make a watch he could wear on his wrist, a couple of lugs were attached to the sides of the watch and a strap was put on so he could wear it.
It took a long time for this to become popular as the first real use was in the military and watches were worn by soldiers so they could synchronise battle plans, check time without fumbling with a pocket watch, Soldiers wore watches in the Boer War and in WW1. After the Great War more men were wearing watches as they had done during the war and it became recognised as a tribute to those who had served their countries on the battle fields so from this time on women weren’t the only ones wearing watches. By 1920 it was fashionable for men to wear a watch and new designs were being made by a whole range of watchmakers, glass faces were replaced with plastics, different metals were used for the casing, minute hands were added and the rest is history.
When I was child, watches weren’t really worn by children unless you were from the upper class as most families couldn’t afford to buy their children a watch, when out playing one day I remember asking my friend what the time was but neither of us had a watch so he pulled up his sleeve looked at his arm and said “A hair passed a freckle” and we burst out laughing, it shows how far we have come over a short period of time. How many children have a watch today?
The first watch I ever got was back in 1960. Two sailors we knew had just returned from Singapore and brought these watches back for us as gifts I do remember they didn’t last all that long maybe because I didn’t know how to treat or look after it properly, I probably over-wound it, breaking the main spring.
A few years later I was given another watch from a close friend of the family he was an American Pilot and it was a gold Bulova which I still have to this day although I don’t wear it. Every time I see or think about it, I see the person who gave it to me, unfortunately he passed away a short time ago so he and his watch are constantly on my mind.
Its funny when you have your wrist watch on, it becomes a part of you, and you don’t give it another thought all day, you check it quite regularly for the time doing this action without thinking about it. Then one day you leave your watch off your wrist and all day long you worry about where you left it and it nags you until it is back on your wrist. One time during my travels I was at the airport in Paris and wanting to freshen up, went to the toilets, took off my watch, and had a quick wash and then walked off leaving my watch behind. A few minutes later I looked to check the time for my flight and no watch. My heart sank, I hurried back down to the toilets and thankfully my watch was still there on the basin – there are some honest people in the world. I had such a strong feeling of loss when my watch was missing for that short time, it confirmed how much the watch meant to me.
A few months later I was not so lucky. I was on a ferry travelling from Italy to Greece, the same thing happened, washed my hands, left the watch on the basin then went up on deck, I soon realised that I had left the watch in the toilet but this time when I got back it was gone. I reported it missing and had it broadcast over the ships speakers but the person who took it did not return it and I felt naked without it on my wrist, There was a strong feeling of loss, I guess we all have feelings like this when something is taken away from us, something we treasure. So look after your Wrist Watches.
The more I look into Wrist Watches I discover that they certainly have come a long way from the sundials produced in 500AD to the century we live in now, going to the Moon and beyond, humans love inventing new ideas and there is a lot more discoveries to be made on how we calculate TIME and the humble watch will be travelling as fast as the next discovery. Keep inventing Please!
To answer to my question – How many watches out there in our universe? – Billions.