Timeline of a wristwatch part 1 of 9 from 1485 to 1686 at Timeline Help.This is the history of the watch worn on the wrist.
Everybody has a little clock that tells the time at first glance. Ever wondered how the mechanism was invented, how were they made, when and where? Answers to all these questions on the following pages.
Due to the fact that the neat mechanisms for the early clocks centuries ago were the fundaments of the watches we wear today, I also grouped those relevant and related facts and data in my timeline of a wristwatch.
|– 1485||Leonardo da Vinci makes a sketch of a mainspring for clocks.|
|– 1524||German locksmith Peter Heinlein invents the first pocket watch.|
|– 1517||Watchmakers construct smaller wrist watches due to the invention of the mainspring.|
|– 1544||The first watch and clockmakers guild is founded in Paris.|
|– 1554||French Thomas Bayard becomes the first official Swiss watchmaker.|
|– 1565||The German watch and clockmakers guild is founded in Nuremberg, Germany.|
|– 1582||Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci presents watchmaking techniques to the Emperor of China in the Portuguese trading post-Macau in Southern China.|
|– 1600s||Watches with decorated cases and religious ornaments are popular jewelry pieces.|
|– 1601||The Swiss guild of watch and clockmakers, the Genevan Corporation of Watchmakers is founded.|
|– 1632||French Jean Toutin develops the enamel painting technique for decorating dials and cases.|
|– 1635||The spirally grooved, conical pulley and chain arrangement for counteracting the diminishing power of the uncoiling mainspring, called a fusee, is used in watches.|
|– 1658||English polymath Robert Hooke invents the balance spring or hairspring to keep time with reasonable accuracy.|
|– 1675||Dutch physicist Christian Huygens invents the spiral balance spring, a winding mechanism to regulate the force that drives the timekeeping mechanism of a clock, called the remontoire.|
|– 1680||English horologist Daniel Quare invents a repeating pocket watch mechanism that sounds quarter hours and the hours.|
|– 1685||Many French watchmakers emigrate to the U.K. and Switzerland.|
|– 1686||English horologist Edward Barlow patents his mechanism for pulling and repeating pocket watches and clocks.|
|– 1704||Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier patent the use of jewels as wheel bearings in mechanical watches.|
|– 1710||Samuel Watson invents the five-minute repeater.|
|– 1715||English clockmaker George Graham invents the dead-beat escapement.|
|– 1725||George Graham invents the cylinder escapement.|
|– 1750||Watchmakers start decorating clocks with an enamel technique.|
|– 1753||French watchmaker Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais invents the escape mechanism for compact watches, including a ring-watch for mistress Madame de Pompadour of Louis XV.|
|– 1755||Vacheron Constantin founded in Geneva by Jean-Marc Vacheron and Francois Constantin.|
|– 1757||English horologist Thomas Mudge invents the lever escapement.|
|– 1760||The Swiss watch shop opens its doors in Zurich, Switzerland.|
|– 1775||Abraham Louis Breguet founds the Breguet watchmaking shop in the Île de la Cité in Paris, France.|
|– 1776||Genevan watchmaker Jean-Moïse Pouzait invents the independent sweep seconds mechanism.|
|– 1780||Abraham Louis Breguet developes the Perpétuelle, the first a self-winding watch. Much more on him in this Timeline of a Wristwatch 2 and the next pages.|
|– 1783||English watchmaker Thomas Earnshaw patents the pocket spring detent chronometer escapement.|
|– 1786||First watches with the guilloché engraving dials appear.|
|– 1789||Abraham Louis Breguet invents the key which prevents a watch from being wound in the wrong direction, called the Breguet Key.|
|– 1790||Abraham Louis Breguet invents the anti-shock device Pare-Chute.|
|– 1791||Swiss watchmaker Jean-Francois Bautte founds his manufacturing company, that later becomes the Girard-Perregaux.|
|– 1795||Abraham Louis Breguet presents the Souscription – subscription watch, it regulates time in a special recess.|
|– 1798||Abraham Louis Breguet presents invents the Sympathique clock and watch set.|
|– 1799||Breguet presents the Tact watch, it shows the time by touch.|
|– 1801||Breguet patents his Tourbillon Regulator.|
|– 1809||Luther Goddard of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts becomes the first watch manufacturer of the U.S.|
|– 1810||Breguet makes a wristwatch for the Queen of Naples.|
|– 1812||First watches with off-centre hour ring dials.|
|– 1820||Thomas Prest patents the self winding watch.|
|– 1822||French watchmaker Nicolas Rieussec patents the seconds chronograph.|
|– 1830||Breguet designs the first keyless winding watch.|
|– 1833||Swiss manufacturer Auguste Agassiz starts Longines Watch Company with Ernest Francillon, Henri Raiguel and Florian Morel.|
|– 1834||Abraham Louis Breguet patents the Sympathique clock watch.|
|– 1838||Swiss watch maker Louis Audemars invents the keyless stem winding and setting mechanism.|
|– 1839||Georges-Auguste Leschot of Swiss manufacturer Vacheron and Constantin builds machine tools for manufacturing wristwatches.|
|– 1842||French horologist Adrien Philippe patents his keyless winding mechanism and setting through the crown.|
|– 1844||Antoine LeCoultre invents the Millionometer.|
|– 1847||Antoine LeCoultre invents his keyless crown winding system.|
|– 1848||Louis Brandt founds the Omega Watch Company in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.|
|– 1850||American watchmaker Aaron Lufkin Dennison founds the Waltham Watch Company in Freeport, Maine, making watches with interchangeable parts.|
|– 1853||Swiss watchmaker company Tissot is founded.|
|– 1856||Swiss watch company Eterna is founded.|
|– 1858||Swiss manufacturers Charles-Yvan Robert and Hyppolite Robert of Villeret found Minerva Watch.|
|– 1860||Edouard Heuer founds the Heuer watchmaking company in St-Imier, Switzerland.|
|– 1865||Georges Favre-Jacot founds Zenith in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.|
|– 1867||Swiss manufacturer Ernest Francillon builds the first keyless hunting-cased pocket-watch.|
|– 1868||Patek Philippe & Co. produces the first wristwatch.|
|– 1869||Edouard Heuer patents the first crown-winding mechanism for watches.|
|– 1870||E. Brown Jewelers in London buys Breguet Company from the descendants of Breguet.|
|– 1871||Aaros Dennison of International Watch Company invents a waterproof case.|
|– 1875||Joseph Bulova founds the Bulova Watch Company in New York.|
|– 1877||Charles-Auguste Paillard invents the palladium balance-spring.|
|– 1880||Swiss horlogist François Borgel invents the first water-resistant watch case.|
|Girard-Perregaux produces wrist-chronometers for the German Navy.|
|– 1881||Swiss watchmaker Achille Ditisheim founds Movado.
Japanese Kintaro Hattori founds Seiko.
|– 1882||Edouard Heuer patents its first chronograph. More on Heuer after this Timeline of a wristwatch 4.|
|– 1884||Léon Breitling founds Breitling in Switzerland.|
|– 1888||Cartier launches its first ladies wristwatches with diamond and gold bracelets.|
|– 1889||The Longines winged hourglass is trademarked.|
|– 1890||The Voirol Frères patent their winding mechanism with hand-setting button on the side for wristwatches.|
|Le Roy et Fils patents a keyless mechanism.|
|– 1892||First minute repeater wristwatch.|
|– 1894||Numa Emile Descombes and Ulysse Georges Perret found Universal Geneve.|
|– 1895||Seiko starts manufacturing kits Fob watches.|
|– 1900||Omega Watch receives the Grand Prix at the Paris World Fair.
Longines receives the Grand Prix at the Paris Universal Fair.
|– 1902||Omega produces of special women’s wristwatches.|
|– 1903||Charles Didisheim patents a wristwatch.|
|Dimier Frères and Co patents their strap watch.|
|– 1904||Wristwatches are army equipment during the Boer War.
Cartier designs the Santos-Dumont.
|– 1905||Schild Frères patents a wristwatch case.|
|– 1906||Grumbach patents an improved wristwatch.
Swiss watch manufacturer Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis found the Rolex Company.
|– 1907||The expandable flexible bracelet is invented.|
|– 1910||LeCoultre creates the thinnest pocket watch.|
|– 1911||Longines begins to produce wristwatches.
Louis Cartier patents the deployant folding clasp.
Movado receives Grand Prix Exhibitions Awards in Brussels, Paris and Rio de Janeiro.
The School of Horology awards Rolex for its first wrist Chronometer.
|– 1912||Shokosha company founded, later called Citizen Watch.|
|– 1913||Longines presents the first automatic wrist timekeeping device.
First Movado army wristwatch, glass protected by a grid.
Seiko presents a wristwatch.
|– 1914||First alarm wristwatch by Eterna.
Class A Certificate of Precision for Rolex.
|– 1915||Gaston creates the first wristwatch for pilots.
Wilsdorf & Davis renamed The Rolex Watch Company.
|– 1917||Omega produces special pilot watches for the British Royal Airforce.
Cartier creates the Tank watch.
|– 1918||Omega constructs special watches for the U.S.|
|– 1920||Audemars presents the smallest repeater watch.
Tag Heuer watches are used as timekeepers at the Olympics in Antwerp, Paris and Amsterdam.
|– 1921||The hour-angle pilot watch to determine longitude, is invented.|
|– 1923||English watchmaker John Harwood invents a water-resistant wristwatch.
Breitling builds the first independent chronograph push device.
Harwood invents an automatic wrist watch.
Harwood produces self-winding watches.
|– 1925||Patek Philippe creates the first perpetual calendar wristwatch.|
|– 1926||Rolex launches the Oyster, the first truly water-resistant case and crown.|
|– 1927||Patek Philippe makes the Packard, world’s most complicated watch.
Warren Marrison and J.W. Horton invent the first quartz clock.
|– 1929||Eterna launches an eight-day alarm wristwatch.
Tissot produces the first anti-magnetic watch.
LeCoultre’s Jean-Louis Reutter invents Atmos, a perpetual clock.
LeCoultre presents the smallest device, the 101 Calibre.
|– 1930||The first known tourbillon wristwatch.|
|– 1931||Shokosha Watch renamed Citizen.
Rolex introduces the waterproof and perpetually self-winding Auto Rotor.
Italian Louis Cottier creates World Time wristwatch with rectangular movement.
Rolex Perpetual, the first automatic wristwatch, the rotor swings in a complete circle.
|– 1932||Jaeger-LeCoultre presents the Reverso.
Longines creates the Lindbergh Aviator.
|– 1933||Ingersoll makes the first watch for children featuring Mickey Mouse.
Nivarox compensating balance-spring and Nivaflex mainspring introduced.
Longines is official timekeeper at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Patek Philippe presents the Calatrava.
Breitling patents the push-button chronograph.
Porte-Echappement Universel invents a shock absorption system, the Incabloc.
|– 1934||Breitling makes the second return-to-zero push watch.|
|– 1936||Breitling becomes official wristwatch supplier to the Royal Air Force.
Omega, Hamilton and Breitling official wristwatch supplier to the U.S. air forces.
Omega is the official time keeper at the Olympic games in Berlin.
|– 1937||Dubois/Depraz creates a chronograph module system.|
|– 1938||Rolex presents the Bubble Back.|
|– 1939||The sidereal timekeeper is patented.|
|– 1942||Breitling presents the Chronomat, the first chronograph with a circular slide rule.
Felsa and Eterna invent the bidirectional rotating winder or bidynator.
|– 1945||The first watch with a date display, the Rolex Date is launched.
Rolex Jubilee Bracelet is presented.
|– 1946||Audemars Piguet creates world’s thinnest wristwatch.|
|– 1947||American designer Nathan George Horwitt creates the Movado Museum watch.
The first Russian wristwatch, the Poljot, is presented.
Rolex presents its Oyster Bracelet.
Rolex introduces the Submariner watch.
Tissot launches its Tissot Navigator with a universal calendar.
|– 1948||American horlogerist Harold Lyons of Eterna invents the ammonia maser atomic clock.|
|– 1950||Rolex presents the Mercedes Hands.|
|Swiss horlogerist Louis Cottier invents the World Time system with two crowns.|
|– 1951||Longines Wittnauer Watch company merger.|
|– 1952||Breitling presents the pilot Navitimer for handling all flight plan calculations.|
|– 1953||Lips launches the first battery powered wristwatch with contacts devices.
Rolex introduces its Explorer.
|– 1954||Rolex introduces its Cyclops on Crystal.
Rolex introduces its GMT-Master.
Rolex introduces its Ladies Oyster Perpetual.
Swiss manufacturer Vacheron Constantin designs the Extraplate.
|– 1955||Jaeger LeCoultre presents Memovox, the first self winding alarm watch.|
|– 1956||Rolex presents its Day Date President.|
|– 1957||Hamilton Watch introduces battery driven watches.|
|– 1959||Rolex introduces its Crown Guards.|
|– 1960||Bulova presents the Accutron tuning fork watches.|
|– 1961||Breitling creates the 24 hour dial Cosmonaute Navitimer for the astronauts of the NASA Mercury space program.
U.S.S.R. cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin wears a Shturmanskie Poljot during his first space flight.
|– 1962||First light emitting diodes for wrist watches are invented.
U.S. astronaut Scott Carpenter uses a Cosmonaute Navitimer chronograph aboard the Aurora 7 space capsule.
Swiss manufacturer ETA invents the first quartz battery operated watch.
Astronaut John Glenn wears a Heuer Stopwatch on the first manned U.S. orbital mission.
First scratch proof watch, the Diastar, by Rado.
Rolex presents its Cosmograph Daytona.
|– 1963||Favre Leuba introduces the Bivouac altimeter and barometer wristwatch.|
|– 1964||Seiko is the official timerkeeper of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.|
|– 1965||Tag Heuer patents the Microtimer.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA chooses the Omega Speedmaster as its official chronometer.
|– 1966||Girard-Perregaux builds the Swiss Quartz Movement high frequency wristwatch.|
|– 1967||The atomic clock is invented.
Swiss Centre Electronique Horloger introduces the first analog quartz watch Bêta 21.
|– 1968||Liquid crystal displays appear.|
|– 1969||Breitling, Büren, Zenith and Heuer-Leonidas develop the self-winding chronograph movement.
First quartz wristwatches with light emitting diode displays appear.
International Watch Company presents the DaVinci watch.
Seiko presents the Astron.
Longines constructs the first quartz cybernetic wristwatch.
Omega Speedmaster Professional is the first watch on the moon worn by U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong on 21 July 1969.
Heuer introduces the Monaco.
Zenith creates the epitome of chronograph movements El Primero.
|– 1970||Seiko Time Corporation starts in the U.S.
Hamilton releases its first electronic digital watch Pulsar with integrated circuit.
Chaumet Jewelers buys the Breguet brand.
Rolex presents the Submariner Date.
|– 1971||Video Longines is introduced, timekeeping in combination with an electronic image.
Rolex presents its Explorer II.
Rolex presents its Sea-Dweller.
|– 1971-79||Heuer official timekeeper in Formula One racing.|
|– 1972||Audemars Piguet presents the first stainless steel luxury wrist watch, the Royal Oak.
Longines and Seiko introduce the Liquid Crystal Display wrist watch.
Rolex presents its Hacking Movement.
|– 1974||Casio launches the first digital watch with automatic calendar, the Casiotron.|
|– 1975||Raymond Weil introduces the ultra slim movement.|
|– 1976||Maurice Lacroix is launched.|
|– 1977||Rolex presents its Oyster Quartz Day Date.
Rolex presents its Quick Set Date Feature.
Rolex presents its Sapphire Crystal.
|– 1978||Ebel presents its Sport Classique.
The Vacheron Constantin Kallista is sold for 5,000,000 U.S. Dollars.
|– 1979||World’s thinnest watch (1.98 mm) is created, called the Delirium.
Longines presents its Golden Leaf gold wristwatches collection.
|– 1980||Corum launches the Golden Bridge.
Carlo Crocco creates the Hublot with the first natural black rubber strap.
Rolex presents its Sea Dweller 4000.
|– 1982||Seiko official timekeeper of the World Cup Soccer Championship in Spain.|
|– 1983||The 150th anniversary of Longines is celebrated with the ultra-thin Comptoir Agassiz.
Casio presents its shock resistant G-Shock.
Longines creates the Conquest.
The Swatch Group introduces the Swatch brand.
Rolex presents its GMT-Master II.
|– 1984||Breitling creates the Chronomat for the pilots of the Italian Frecce Tricolori show flight team.
World’s first talking wristwatch, the Seiko Pyramid Talk, is launched.
|– 1985||Swiss manufacturer International Watch Company creates the Da Vinci chronograph with perpetual calendar.
The Swiss Heuer Company and TAG form TAG Heuer.
|– 1986||The first self winding tourbillon wristwatch presented by Audemars Piguet.
Seiko is the official timekeeper of the World Cup Soccer Championship in Mexico.
Tissot presents its Rock watch.
|– 1987||Seiko is the official timekeeper of the World Athletics Championships in Italy.
Tissot presents a wristwatch with both analog and digital displays.
Investcorp buys the Breguet brand from Chaumet Jewelers.
|– 1988||Jean d’Eve creates the first quartz watch with an automatic rotor power source, called the Samara.
Rolex presents its New Daytona.
Longines is the official timekeeper of the Winter Olympics in Calgary and the Summer Olympics in Seoul. And there are even more timekeeper sports events in this Timeline of a Wristwatch 9.
|– 1989||The 150th anniversary of Patek Philippe is celebrated with the world’s most complicated pocket watch.
International Watch Company presents its Planetarium Copernicus.
|– 1991||House of Franck Muller is founded creating very complicated wristwatches.
Philippe Dufour creates a wristwatch with a double regulator, called the Duality.
Timex presents its Indiglo.
|– 1992||Rolex presents its Yachtmaster.
International Watch Company presents its Tellurium.
|– 1994||Lange and Söhne presents the Lange One.
Rolex presents its Yachtmaster for Ladies.
|– 1995||Breitling presents a multifunction wristwatch with a micro-transmitter broadcasting on a aircraft emergency frequency, called the Emergency.|
|– 1998||Breitling creates a versatile multifunction chronograph B-1.
Longines introduces the DolceVita.
|– 1999||Casio launches the first wristwatch with a Global Positioning System.
The Swatch Group incorporates the Breguet brand.
|– 2000||Longines is official timekeeper of the Olympics in Sydney.
Swiss manufacturer François-Paul Journe invents the first resonance watch.
|– 2001||Rolex presents its Laser Etched Crystal Hologram.|
|– 2003||Rolex presents its Green Submariner Date.|
|– 2004||Franck Muller launches his Tourbillon Révolution and Jaeger-LeCoultre presents its GyroTourbillon.
Greubel-Forsey creates the Double-Tourbillon and Thomas Prescher’s a triple tourbillon.
|– 2005||Seiko invents the first self-winding mechanical watch with an electromagnetic escapement, called the Spring Drive Kinetic.|
|– 2007||Audemars creates a limited edition of the Jumping Hour Minute Repeater.|