The History of Watches – Part 2

The History of Watches – Part 2

Welcome back to the La Jolla Gems blog! In our last blog post, we discussed the inception of the watch. As expert jewelry buyers, we appreciate the evolution of the time-pieces that brought us iconic brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and others. Time-keeping devices have been around for thousands of years taking such forms as a water clock. However, the watch as we know it today began its journey toward during the 1400s — an object only for mere decoration. As fashion evolved, so did these decorative timepieces, and by the late 1600s, the quintessential pocket watch was no longer just a thing of imagination.

And here is where we will pick up part 2 of our short blog series. If you have yet to, read part one. Also if you are looking to sell Rolex watches that you own or have inherited, stop by La Jolla Gems. At our beautiful coastal location in La Jolla — we have expert jewelry buyers who know vintage and luxury watch brands. Want to trade in your old watch for something new? We can do that, too! Visit the La Jolla Gems website to learn more about us, our buying process, and even view our inventory of luxury jewelry and timepieces online.

The Evolution of the Watch – Part 2

Advancements in Technology & Accuracy

Prior to the mid-1600s, pocket watches and their predecessors were extremely inaccurate. They were more for decoration and prestige than telling time. However, in 1657, the balance spring began to change all of that. It is still debated as to who is responsible for this gain in ingenuity — Robert Hooke and Christiaan Huygens are the disputed inventors. Nevertheless, the invention of the mainspring made the balance wheel of the watch a harmonic oscillator meaning it became less susceptible to outer force or disturbances. Essentially, the balance wheel had a natural, constant beat — this greatly increased the accuracy of the pocket watch. Other advancements that made a significant difference in the accuracy of the watch were the cylinder and duplex escapement and later the lever escapement and jewel bearings.

Mass Production

Mass production of the watch came to be due to the invention of machine tools that enabled the methodical replication of pocket watch parts. Georges-Auguste Leschot is credited with not only this advancement, but also the standardization of these elements. As Leschot was pioneering watchmaking in Vacheron Constantin, the British Watch Company was producing high-quality watches that were aimed to please the upper class. They attempted to standardize watchmaking practices. However, it was Aaron Lufkin Dennison and the Waltham Watch Company in Massachusetts that successful created interchangeable parts.

Unfortunately,  this is where we must end part 2. Stick around for part 3 to learn how the American railroad played a key role in the development of accuracy, the inception of the first wristwatch, and more. If you are searching to sell Rolex watches or any other luxury timepiece, visit The La Jolla Gems website to learn more about our buying process.  

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