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The first wristwatch


About era 1914-1918

Before 1900 men wore a pocket watch, for the ladies there were smaller variations that could be worn around the wrist. These so-called ‘wristlets’ were still thick and clumsy and therefore were worn primarily as jewelry. Yet, it was these ladies watches that have formed the fundaments for the modern wristwatch.

From our collection

The great war meant that pocket watches were taken out of the pocket and put onto the wrist of soldiers. A gentleman’s tool for timekeeping had become part of a soldiers equipment and this meant the beginning of what we know today as wrist watches. However, we still have an original and beautiful Omega pocket watch from before the war.

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Roaring Twenties


About era 1921-1931

Apart from cultural and political change, wristwatches were developing as well. One development which might’ve had the most impact on the worldwide watch industry is one of the self-winding movement for wristwatches. In 1923, a watch repairer from Bolton by the name of John Harwood developed a wristwatch winding up its own spring through the kinetic energy produced by the movement of the wrist.

From our collection

Reutter Clock from 1931: The fundaments of perpetual movements. The new automatic wristwatches got their power from the kinetic force by the movement of the wrist, this clock, however, got its power by changes in the atmosphere. Jean-Leon Reutter created a movement with so little resistance, powered by the change in temperature so it could run infinitely without even being moved or touched.

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Aviation and sports


About era 1935-1940

Sports and the Olympics were things that gave a whole country some joy and pride in these difficult times. The 1930s were also perhaps the most important years in the development of aviation. Aviation and sports have always been two activities which are inseparable with time and the measurement of time. This led to the development of sports watches by many brands in the 1930s.

From our collection

Rolex ref. 2917: In a time when chronograph wristwatches were upcoming Rolex decided to partake in this development, only slightly different than the rest… A chronograph watch with an Art-Deco design; a stainless steel case with stepped lugs and oval pushers. Rumour has it that less than 30 pieces were produced.

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World War II


About era 1940-1945

The great depression had only just ended when the world took a leap back in time with the start of the Second World War in 1939. Where sport and development dominated the watch industry in the 1930s, the focus shifted completely to producing military watches between 1940 and 1945.

From our collection

Cyma ‘Dirty Dozen’: During world war II there was no desire for sports watches since most men were in conscription and national economies transformed to war economies. National armies did have a desire for wristwatches though; they had to be easily legible, stainless steel, waterproof and precise. 12 brands jointly.

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The tool watch


About era  ca. 1950

The 1950s were times of exploring the world. This mindset of people pushing all boundaries was an inspiration for the watch manufacturers. Utility and looks became more and more important in the 50s since the competition among watch manufacturers became more fierce. These years meant the beginning of ‘Tool-watches’.

From our collection

An old Omega pocket watch in 18k yellow gold from 1914.

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The formal dress code


About era  ca. 1955

Hope and hard work for a better world were paying off. 1955 and the era after meant the return of iconic designer brands and tailoring houses in fashion. Economies were doing well again and men were dressing up for their jobs. The formal dress code meant tailored suits, shoes such as oxfords or loafers and an outfit finished with a stylish dress watch.

From our collection

This beautiful ‘Albino’ watch from Omega on original metal strap dates from the late fifties. This was also the period that the chip was invented but in this case, we keep it mechanical.

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The Space Age


About era 1960-1969

In the 1950s the development of atomic weapons was the primary goal for both countries and when they knew they had both developed bombs they would never want to use, the focus of the cold war shifted towards space. The outer space was still unknown territory and at that time, successfully performing manned space missions was the biggest challenge imaginable, and so the ‘Space Race’ started.

From our collection

In this world with a huge variety of Omega Speedmasters, this is definitely one of the most valued ones out there. This watch has gotten a nickname because this watch was the very first watch in space. NASA planned a manned space-mission in 1965, one of the astronauts on that space shuttle was a man named Ed White.

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The Seventies Quartz


About era  ca. 1970

The seventies had something new in store for the world, quartz watches…The development of quartz watches began already in the 1960s in Switzerland but really took off a decade later. In the early seventies, some Swiss watch brands had their first models with quartz movements on the market and their accuracy was unrivaled since these type of watches are not mechanical. The competition among watch manufacturers became more fierce

From our collection

The Heuer Autavia with reference 1163 was produced from 1969 to 1972. The competition among watch brands in the 1970s became more fierce, many brands developed broader collections with new models, funky colors and sporty looks. The price for sports watches became more important as well when quartz watches became available.

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