In an age where mobile phones and digital pagers display tiny quartz clocks, the mechanical wristwatch has changed from an object that tells the time to more a piece of modern culture. The simple wristwatch has morphed into a timepiece that is worn as a status symbol and many women wear large, detailed pieces on their wrists that sparkle with bling to suit almost any occasion. We take a step back in time to see how wristwatches evolved from just a watch into a timepiece.


Seemingly less than 100 years ago, you wouldn’t find a self-respecting gentleman wearing a wristwatch. Men used to carry pocket watches with a gold half-hunter as the favoured status and women would wear a ‘wristlet’, which is now called wristwatch. Wristwatches were considered a passing fashion trend rather than a serious timepiece.

Wristwatch Today

Wristwatches have become popular amongst women and men, they are bigger than they have ever been before and most are detailed with lots of bling. Ariel Adams, an online writer from A Blog To Watch says: “There is no specific size at which a watch becomes big, large or small; however, people began commenting on large watch sizes when timepieces measuring 44mm wide from companies and others started to become popular in the early 2000s and to a degree, the late 1990s.”

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By Hlulani Masingi