Wrist watches were not always the essential fashion accessory that we associate with them now, we can thank the developments in men's watch technology over the centuries that has brought us the stylish yet robust men's watches that are worn on the wrist by men today.
From the 17th century, when the first Men's Watches were developed, to the point that men were able to wear a watch on a wrist was over 200 years. The gentleman's wrist however waited patiently to be adorned by a Men's watch that was a combination of beauty and technology and after the initial period when Men's Watches were pocket-based or were hanging from a fob there came an amazing burst of invention in the art of miniaturisation. It was this that led to the development of the first men's watches enabled to be worn on the wrist. From this, it was a short hop from having an accurate timepiece on one's wrist to having a special piece of wrist adornment on one's wrist and one that could very accurately tell the time.
But it didn't stop there. The finest men's watch-makers around, such as Tag Heuer watches, Omega watches, Breitling watches and Rolex watches were quick to craft timepieces for men that excelled in accuracy and artistry. It wasn't just a matter of a nice strap and an attractive face; it was much more complicated than that. Men's Watches were designed so as to be truly exceptional pieces of technology and this in turn led to manufacturers coming out with wonderfully diverse and fantastic ranges of men's watches. Everything was built to the highest specifications and every component of the men's watch was put together to lend itself the greatest accuracy and aesthetic qualities to create finely crafted men's watches. This in turn led to the watch-makers creating truly exceptional models that have stayed in the minds of true Men's Watches aficionados.
Classic Men's Watches such as the Omega speedmaster 'Moonwatch' (or Omega Speedmaster, to give its proper name) favoured by NASA in the 60s and later worn by Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969, or the Tag Monaco Chronograph worn by Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans are examples of such supreme men's watch-making traditions. Both men's watches acquired their own legend and urban cool thanks to their association's public associations and vast media coverage. Men wanted to wear them because they wanted to be just like Aldrin or McQueen. Men's watches became a must have fashion accessory and status symbol of power, wealth, style and class as well as being excellent pieces of technology.
Quality Men's watches also increased in popularity and glamour with the post-war increase in leisure time. This led to some men's watch manufacturers producing specialist timepieces such as the Panerai watches Luminor men's watch ranges, which, with their large faces and quality of craftsmanship were taken up by serious divers everywhere, and subsequently the commercial men's watch market was not far behind. It wasn't long before men realised the worth of having such a fine piece of kit on their wrists. Indeed, Luminor was introduced to a wider audience when film star and all action hero Sylvester Stallone was won over by the unique design of the Luminor.
Whilst the rise on men's watch technology has also meant an increase in the popularity of digital Men's Watches, it is still the classic automatic movement chronometer models that have held sway in the style stakes. There is something innately classy and classical in the more traditional, yet sophisticated men's watch, the Men's Watch market that ensures a healthy future for those men who know when they have not just a watch on their wrist, but a thing of beauty as well.