Secularly, the watch has always been the most usual way to read the time.
Since the 1400s, small-size watches have been showing off in men’s fashion accessories. Worn in saltire or pendant these devices spread throughout Europe. Circa 1500, the pocket watch, exclusively for men, is fashionable. Fob watch, neck watch, soap or chronograph, with or without chain giletière, in gold, in silver, decorated with engravings, enamel or stones, these real jewels become luxury articles were all intended … to the men!
The measurement of time through the centuries is increasingly modulated with precision. Its development began with the arrival of the train. The invention of the train generates the invention of precision … But more and more accurate and reliable timepieces remain the privilege of men. It was not until the 1800s that a wristwatch was created and worn by a woman! Obviously this model is exceptional and prestigious because intended for the Queen of Naples. The first woman’s wristwatch is a sumptuous jewel, created in 1810 by the watchmaker Breguet.
It should be noted, however, that Queen Marie Antoinette, passionate about timepieces, already owned several of them and wore one around her neck with a gold chain. In addition, the famous master watchmaker Breguet was to create the watch n ° 160, called “Marie-Antoinette”, she will never see … since completed 44 years after his order.
More recently, in 2012 for her jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II received, from Jaeger-LeCoultre, a caliber jewelery watch 101 in tribute to the piece she wore when she was crowned in June 1953, 60 years ago. In 2013, as part of the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong, Jean-Pierre Lutgen offered a new model of the brand Ice-Watch, specially created for Mathidle, Queen of the Belgians.
If the first wristwatches were jewelry watches for women or a woman in particular, in the early 20th century they will democratize. But in this female market, the wristwatch is more of a fashion accessory than a reliable and punctual timepiece. The performance of these women’s models will be improved thanks to the needs expressed by the military, officers or pilots: protection against shocks, tightness, ultra-thin format, ultra precision, … It is to say if, for centuries, the formidable challenge Masters watchmakers are creating majestic or spectacular pieces but also exceptional pieces worn by all, on all occasions and adventures.
Nowadays, watchmaking excellence is for all budgets and all amateurs: classic watch, dress, aviator watch, diving watch, skeleton watch, regulator, digital, repeat, … A very eclectic world and if some models are still full of finesse or exclusively feminine, others are more sporty bill even for women.