pocket watch

From pocket to wrist

The first wristwatches for men, to be produced in large quantities were manufactured specifically for the German military in the 1880s by Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux.

In Britain, military men wore wrist watches during WW1, rather than the popular pocket watches. They were purposely made for their time in the trenches, when timing was essential for battle. Pocket watches proved themselves inconvenient within the cramped conditions and the wristwatch soon became a vital item in an officers kit.

First watch advert

Although wristwatches had been donned prior to the war, by those setting out to expeditions, whilst ballooning, sailing or cycling, at all other times a man was expected to carry a pocketwatch. Until this time, the wristlet had been seen as an effeminate item. With the return of the veterans and their trench watches, the new fashion of the male wristwatch swept the nation.