In the 15th century portable spring-driven clocks were made and after that from the 16th-century evolution of watches started taking place. The watch that developed during the 16th century to mid 20th century was a mechanical device. Quartz watches were invented in the 1960s, which ran on electricity and that was proven to be a revolutionary step for the progress of the industry. By 1980s quartz watches took over the market from mechanical watches. Although mechanical watches have not been vanished and were considered high-end watches, the vast majority of affordable watches for women, men, and kids were quartz.
Let us understand the evolution of watches step by step:
- Clock Watch: These watches were made to be worn on a chain around the neck. They only had an hour hand. The mechanisms used in this clock include striking or alarm mechanisms.
- Pocket Watches: In the 17th-century men began to keep their watches in their pockets instead of wearing them as pendants. This was a convenient way to keep the men’s pocket watches
- Balance Spring: A great leap took place in 1657 with the addition of balance spring as the balance spring made the balance wheel a harmonic oscillator. This enormously increased the accuracy of the watch reducing the error.
- Temperature compensation and chronometers: After understanding that elasticity of the balance spring changes with temperature changes due to which error occurs. The issue was resolved using a bimetallic temperature compensated balance wheel.
- Level Escapement: The advantage of using level escapement was that it allowed the balance wheel to swing completely free during its cycle; due to its ‘locking’ and ‘draw’, its action was very precise.
- Wristwatch: Wristwatch came into existence in the early 18th century and was first worn by military men in the late 19th During the war wearing pocket watches was impractical and therefore they strap the watches to their wrist.
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After the invention of the wristwatch, the development was rapid with an increase in accuracy of time, from mechanical watch to electrical watch to smartwatch.
Nowadays people are more inclined towards smartwatches. A smartwatch is a computer worn on the wrist. The device is built with the latest technology that can work as a cell phone, portable music player, and even as a personal digital assistant. Few big companies have launched watchphones that have inbuild speaker and mic, monochrome LCD screen, and 90 minutes of talk time, 12 hours battery life, and much more.