Evolution of Watch Technology

Evolution of Watch Technology

The story of horology is one of ingenuity and innovation. From the invention of the clock watch necklace to the widespread adoption of the quartz movement, every step has been the result of ambitious minds at work. Horological advancement continues today, both in regard to aesthetics and technology. The future of the field is bright and full of wonders. Still, an appreciation for the history of horological development allows for a greater appreciation of modern day timepieces. Learn the evolution of watch technology with Aucoin Hart.

Clock Watches

These timepieces were first devised in the early 16th century, largely attributed to German inventor Peter Henlein. Clock watches are brass spheres exhibiting clocks that turn from iron gears, springs, and wheels inside. They are typically worn like pendants. Unlike modern watches, clock watches weren’t designed to be practical. Seeing as how they were inaccurate by hours and didn’t have a minute hand, they simply could not be used as an everyday time-telling device. Still, their intricate inner workings and unique design made them a favorite of the nobility.

Pocket Watches

The noble pocket watch became popular alongside the raincoat in the 17th century. As their name suggests, these timepieces are meant to be worn in the pocket. Originally, pocket watches weren’t incredibly accurate. It wasn’t until 1657 that pocket watches became essential. The invention of the balance spring allowed pocket watches to better account for gravity, making them precise within minutes. Finally, people could have a portable clock that would ensure their timeliness.


Wristwatches are so ubiquitous today that most people just call them watches. The date of their invention is disputed. Abraham-Louis Breguet of the eponymous brand is said to have presented the first one to the Queen of Naples in 1810. However, there are reports that an “arm watch” was created in 1571. It is also possible that some owners of pocket watches fastened them to their sleeves, sparking this development. Regardless, wristwatches first became a mainstay during the late 19th century amidst Britain’s various colonial wars.

Quartz Movement

The next great advancement in watchmaking was the quartz movement. These battery-powered pieces are more precise, longer-lasting, and less expensive than their mechanical counterparts. Quartz movement was invented by the Japanese brand Seiko in the mid-20th century. The first watches available to the public were released in 1964 to celebrate the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Today, quartz movement is by far the most common, but some still appreciate the artistry of its mechanical cohort.

Find the Newest Watches at Aucoin Hart Jewelers

Aucoin Hart is Metairie’s premier source for timepieces. Be it a quartz-powered modern watch or a vintage-style accessory, there are plenty of options available in our Metairie jewelry store. To better serve our customers, we also offer professional watch repair services including part replacement, refitting, maintenance, and more. We guarantee that our service and selection are among the best in Louisiana. Have questions? Text or call us at (504) 834-9999 for the answers.

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