Big faced watches are a fashion accessory innovation created by Queen Joanna of Naples in 1476 when she took a small gold portable table cock and had it mounted on a gold chain to be worn round the neck as a fashion accessory.
Joanna created a royal fashion style and within 60 years of her innovation the “big face” watches were worn by royalty like Queen Mary of Scotland which are seen in a royal portrait painted in 1547. In fact Queen Mary wore two gold chain watches and a cuff bracelet silver watch that was covered in the portrait by a lace sleeve.
Big faced watch dials for women would fall from fashion as the 16th century French watchmakers fashioned ladies decorative “wrist” watches with fancy enameled dials and created gold and silver jewelry watches in the shape of flowers, birds, monkey’s, lions, and even human skulls as mourning commemorative jewelry like that worn by Queen Mary of Scots in honor of her first husband the King of France.
Big face watch styles would not become an important fashion style in modern history until digital watches were created during the “space age” of the 1960-1970’s when Paco Rabanne and other modernists designers created provocative fashion styles. While today designer Michael Kors is the global #1 favorite “Big Face” watch designer leading the market by introducing rose gold watches and creating a new trend in women’s watch styles.