Q:

Who invented the first wristwatch?

A:

The first wristwatch was invented by Patek Philippe, a Swiss watch manufacturer, in 1868. It was made for the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary as a decorative jewelry item, although it was also the first timekeeping device that had been designed for the wrist.

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Some state that before 1868, pocket watches were being used as wrist bracelets, yet there is no concrete evidence to support this theory. Philippe's design was the first true wristwatch. Men, however, were slow to come around to the new idea, since it was considered more masculine to have the larger pocket watch timepiece. Men started to convert to the wristwatch because it was more practical.

The practicality of the wristwatch started with those in the military, since they could easily glance at the watch to see the time without needing to pull out a pocket watch. It allowed them to keep moving and keep fighting while monitoring their weaponry and operating heavy machinery. The wristwatch also was able to be operated on one hand instead of two hands. In the 1880s, Girard-Perregaux, who was a Swiss watchmaker, would go on to manufacture large numbers of wristwatches for the German military. From here, wristwatches entered popular opinion and started to show up in everyday households.

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