Wrist watches are a scientific device sequestered by women to be used as a fashion accessory. First worn round the neck on gold chains in 15th century Italy and worn round the wrist in the 16th century France as an innovation of women who attached the “wristlet” watches tied unto the wrist with ribbons to match daily fashion.
Wrist watches history become dominated by men over 400 years after women had been wearing wrist watches. This occurs because of World War I when men were forced to give up their grandfather’s pocket watches for military coordination of battle plans by wearing a watch on the wrist. No more fumbling about to find out when to “move out” in unison.
The “great war” changed society’s opinion that a watch was feminine and the wrist watch became masculine symbol of “honor” and “status” for returning veterans of the war. So great was society’s fascination the new watch symbolism that one man, who had not served in the war, who had put on a wrist watch, was charged and brought before a Judge in New York City for his fraud.
As a result, after over 400 years of being a feminine fashion accessory- not worn by men, the wrist watch became an important symbol of masculinity and an object of art to be worn by men daily.
This new social status symbol of masculinity for wrist watches was so strong in Great Britain that the wrist watch would become the “best man’s gift” and women who could afford to would purchase a good watch to give as an “engagement gift” to their fiancé. This is the beginning of the “engagement watch tradition” of giving a watch after women received the engagement ring, as example, Kate’s engagement watch gift to Prince William.
To see a collection of historic “wristlet” watches of the 16th and 17th century visit the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford) online… to read more about the history of watches as a fashion accessory in the 16th and 17th century visit “History of Watches” at www.Dual-Time-Watches.com” online.