There is a piece of history that always accompanies us – the watch! What is on your wrist (if you have one) is the result of thousands of years of research and development - Sumer and Egyptians are among the first to have developed and used watches. Since then every single culture or population in any geography started developing systems and deviced to measure the passage of time. The first watches were leveraging the movement of the sun, water or sand and even the consumption of candles. Modern watches have nothing to do with the initial developments but they are the direct consequences of that work and the many stories and anecdotes that came with it. You might expect that only scientist and “technical” people influenced the watch development but you might discover that even movies had an impact. We could write an encyclopedia with those many stories but we wanted to bring to you only our top 25 interesting facts – from historical facts to curiosities, anecdotes and even simple technical information.
3. Stanley Kubrick approached the American brand Hamilton in 1966 to ask them to make unique timepieces for his new, futuristic film “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The Hamilton design team provided him with a wristwatch and a desk clock. Hamilton at that time had already introduced the first electric watch (1957, VENTURA) and in 1970 it leveraged the association with the movie by producing a functional wristwatch, the Odyssee 2001 and then the Pulsar with an LED display.
4. The pocket watch started to be known in 15th century but really became popular during Tudor times in the 16th century (as seen also in a portrait of King Henry VIII). The first pocket watches had one single hand showing the hours – minute hand started being used only in 17th century. Since then watchmakers competed to produce smaller and smaller watches that could be easily carried and in 1518, François I spent a fortune on two watches set in daggers.
5. Mechanical watches are generally less accurate than those with quartz movements (introduced in 1969). In fact despite their beauty and complexity, the mechanical parts of those watches tend to gain or lose a few seconds over a period of time. This is because they are impacted by many forces (e.g. gravity) and some complications (e.g. tourbillon about 1930) might help mitigating this impact but cannot remove completely all the different factors. Notably also the quartz watches are not 100% accurate and might be impacted by other factors like temperatures and battery life.