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Women's Watches

The first watch of any kind, which evolved from portable spring driven clocks, appeared in 15th-century Europe. Nuremberg clockmaker Peter Henlein is often credited as the inventor of the watch and he was one of the first German craftsmen who made "clock-watches," ornamental timepieces worn as pendants.

The first chronicled wristwatch was in fact designed for a woman and it was then called a “wristlet.” It is credited to Abraham-Louis Breguet, who made the watch for Caroline Murat, the Queen of Naples in 1810. Although it was the first timekeeping device to be designed specifically for use on the wrist, it was intended primarily as a piece of decorative jewelry rather than for anything as practical as keeping the time.

For the next 100-120 years, wristwatches were perceived as women’s items; men would carry pocket watches in their waistcoat. It was not until the Boer War that the notion of wristwatch for men began to take hold. World War I soldiers also wore wristwatches, but the trend for men during was carrying pocket watches. Louis Cartier is credited for making the first men’s wristwatch in 1904 for his friend Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont, who was was one of the early aviation pioneers and needed a timepiece for his flights.

Women’s wristwatches prevailed through the late 1920s; wristwatches did not see widespread use for both sexes until the next decade. Rolex’s 1930 product line still featured 79 women’s wristwatches and only 37 for men. Rolex capitalized on its 1920s “Prince” model for men with a women’s model known as the “Princess.”

Recommended Items at Auction

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Ladies Cartier Santos Ronde Wristwatch
Aug 22, 1:15 AM EDT
Ladies Cartier Santos Ronde Wristwatch
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $700- $1,200
$3000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Women's Watches

Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists

Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists