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Evolution of Watch Technology

Evolution of Watch Technology

Modern watches may now be a marvel of beauty and functionality, but this has not always been the case. It is only through the tireless efforts of ingenious inventors that timepieces have become the essential accessory they are today. Discover the beauty of horology through the history of watches as presented by the experts in our Gerald Peters showroom. Every moment in this exhilarating tale is one of passion and intrigue.

Clock Watches

The first timepieces were not truly meant for telling time at all. Rather, they were novelty necklaces. Invented in the early 16th century by Peter Helein, clock watches had rudimentary machinery reminiscent of today’s timepieces. In appearance, they were brass sphere pendants with clock dials, which were ticking with mostly the use of iron machinery. They were not accurate enough to be useful, as they were wrong by hours.

Pocket Watches

The next development in portable timepiece technology, pocket watches became popular in the 17th century. Their popularity primarily corresponded with the waistcoat, which became iconic in London styles. Pocket watches weren’t useful until the second half of the century. The invention of the balance spring in 1657 made watches much more accurate. Finally, a portable timepiece could actually be used to tell time.


Wristwatches were first invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1810 and presented by the eponymous brand’s founder to the Queen of Naples. Most people still used pocket watches until Great Britain’s various colonial wars in the 1880s. Wristwatches helped soldiers coordinate their efforts while looking stylish. After the soldiers came home, they took wristwatches with them. They became popular amongst men, who valued them for their practical timekeeping. It took some time for them to become adopted by women, who still wore watches as necklaces.

Quartz Movement

In 1964, Seiko shocked the world with the introduction of the quartz movement. Released to correspond with the Tokyo Summer Olympics, quartz-powered watches are superior to mechanical watches in many ways. First, they are more reliable than their mechanical counterparts, as quartz has fewer moving parts. Second, quartz movement is more accurate as gravity doesn’t affect their power mechanism. Lastly, they are much more affordable. Expertly trained watchmakers are needed far less with quartz pieces, which rely upon batteries instead of tiny moving metal pieces. Still, many prefer the artistry and beauty of mechanical watches.

Discover Watches at Gerald Peters

Gerald Peters is Staten Island’s ultimate source of high-quality, luxurious accessories. Our selection is carefully chosen to appeal to the unique and discerning tastes of our Staten Island community. We offer many of today’s most beloved watch brands. Our mission is to keep this incredible city fashionable, which is why we do everything we can to give the best service to our customers. Want to know more about everything we offer? Give us a call at (718) 477-4000 to speak with our staff, or visit our New York jewelry store for an incredible experience.

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