Designer Watches

Written by Beth Hrusch
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Designer watches are accessories that truly add an air of distinction to any look. They are the finishing touch to both casual and formal attire. With hundreds of styles to choose from, the wearer can either draw attention or simply dress up his or her outfit in an understated way. These luxury watches have evolved from humble origins, becoming more refined as fashions in general have done so. Today, they are the ultimate wearable expression of style and success.

Designer Watches Make A Fashion Statement

Once thought of as a complement to clothing, watches have become fashionable in their own right. Thus, one can choose a watch that will stand on its own no matter what is being worn. Luxury watches are designed to have a timeless style that goes well with jeans as well as a three-piece suit or tuxedo. Today's more casual lifestyles require this flexibility, and watch makers have responded with a dazzling array of luxury watches that will make men and women look good in any situation.

One of the most attractive features of today's designer watches is the attention to detail and function that define them. With no sacrifice of style, one can have a watch with options for sporting such as waterproof housings and stopwatch capabilities. Magnifying glass covers and chronograph movement make them easier to read and ensure accurate timekeeping. Dress watches with a perpetual motion calendar will automatically adjust for days in the month and never need reset.

The Evolution of the Watch

And just how did the watch become such an important and advanced piece of technology? Today's designer watches are the pinnacles of watch evolution, which began thousands of years ago with man's fascination with time. And while modern luxury watches go above and beyond their function as timepieces, their predecessors were simple mechanisms meant strictly for time calculation.

Many historians believe that the first timepieces were sundials, ingenious non-mechanical devices that tracked the sun's progress through the sky. A fairly accurate measure of time could be attained with it, though it would be a long time before man could tell time to the minute. It was not until the 16th century that portable time keeping was made possible with the advent of the first watches, probably invented in Italy. Still, these were primitive designs, limited in their accuracy by the fact that they were driven by weights, and needed to be wound twice a day.

In the 17th century, the invention of the spiral balance spring and the addition of the second hand improved accuracy from fractions of an hour to fractions of a minute. Watches driven by springs instead of weights made portability more practical, and pocket watches became the accessory of the day. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, better steel production meant higher quality springs and gears, translating into more accurate timepieces. Precious jewels were used to make the internal bearings more precise.

Designer Watches as Status Symbols

Possibly the first designer watches were developed in the 17th century, when ornamentation in general was popular. Since the pocket or pendant watch was an item that was constantly in need of winding, the wearer was obliged to frequently have his watch out in public. What a perfect opportunity for the socially conscious to show off his or her good taste! Watches became jewelry pieces, accompanied by gilt or precious metal cases. Colored enamel adorned many cases and delicate scrollwork made these early designer watches beautiful to look at.

Time has advanced the technology of watches, but one thing remains the same throughout history--the fascination that humans have always had with the calculation and expression of time. For hundreds of years, the importance of time has had its fullest expression in the designer watches that mark it with style and beauty. More than just timepieces, they are adornments that speak to the refined style of the wearer, and investments that reflect good taste.


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