Why We Love Traditional Watches In The Digital Age

Watches have come a long way since they evolved from spring-driven clocks in the 16th century to the classic and technologically advanced timepieces we know today. We have had the pocket watch, the wristwatch and the smartwatch and with the advent of the latter many thought the traditional watch would go out of fashion, but that is not the case, read on to find out why.

The history of the watch

Thought to be invented by German watchmaker Peter Henlein in Nuremberg in 1505, the first watch was a portable pomander watch designed to be worn on the body with a chain as a necklace. Henlein started a trend and pomander watches, which kept time with only an hour hand, and were made of drum-shaped cylindrical brass boxes became popular.

These portable watches were made possible by the invention of the mainspring, and kept time with the rotating balance wheel. 

Styles changed and in the 17th century, the pocket watch became popular. This made the watches flatter in style and smaller so they could fit in a pocket, and glass was used on the watch face so the time could be read easily. A watch fob attached the watch to the pocket by use of a chain or ribbon. Up to this day, pocket watches are still being made by makers such as Dalvey.

The first wristwatch is thought to be designed by Robert Dudley for Elizabeth 1 of England in 1571 and wristwatches were worn almost exclusively by women when men used pocket watches.  Most watchmakers produced a range of wristwatches by the mid 19th century but it wasn't until the end of the 19th century that military men wore wristwatches to help with synchronising manoeuvres. 

The watch continued to evolve with a notable point being the invention of the quartz watch in the 1960s, which ran on electricity and kept time with a vibrating quartz crystal. During the 1980s quartz watches took over the market from mechanical watches.

Today many of us have smartwatches that have the power on a small computer on our wrist, able to connect to social media, track our exercise, play music and more but there are plenty of us who still covet a traditional wristwatch.

Why we love traditional watches

Of course, a simple traditional wristwatch is a classic item that can do one thing well - tell the time at a glance and many people like that simplicity, but it is also a style statement. Fashion watches with different colour faces and straps can be matched to our clothes, the weather and even the seasons. 

When we get to more expensive luxury Swiss made watches they have many fans for a variety of reasons. We love the tradition, the craftsmanship, the heritage, the status and the nostalgia. In a world where everything evolves these traditionally made watches stand the test of time! 

The crafting of a luxury watch like a Breitling is a skill that has been learnt throughout years of training, and years of hands-on experience and watchmakers are true artisans. Handmade automatic and mechanical movements last decades. These very best watches have durability and longevity that you don't get these days with many things.  We love the nostalgia of them, how they are made by craftsmen and how precise they are. 

There is a certain status observed with a luxury traditionally made watch, and many people aspire to own a luxury watch such as a Breitling, a Rolex or an Omega. These are watches for big life events, a 21st, a 40th, retirement. These watches are also precious items, handed down over generations to pass on to their children. They are a way to stay connected to our loved ones even after our death. 

Another part of the appeal is the association with sport and a glamorous lifestyle. You only have to look at watches being marketed with film stars and sports stars as ambassadors.  Although men do wear jewellery a watch can be seen as a more acceptable item of adornment to wear as well. Men love the nerdy features of watches too and the more complicated it looks the better for most men, and you don't have to be a pilot to wear a pilot's watch.

A collection of luxury watches or a collection of any type of watch is coveted and enjoyed by many people. Men, in particular, appreciate watches as an accessory and love collecting luxury watches. taking care of them, protecting them in watch cases by The Case Farm, and servicing them regularly. The pleasure of looking after a traditional watch like this cannot be ignored.

As you can see we love traditional watches as much as ever. Let me know, do you have a traditional watch? Do you covert a luxury watch?

*Collaborative post


  1. I haven't worn a watch in years but I had one as a teenager and I loved it right up until the battery ran out! x

    1. Batteries are relatively cheap, try a watch again, you may relive your youth :)

  2. I must admit, I wouldn't turn down a Breitling if it was offered to me, I think they're functional as well as beautiful to look at!

  3. I haven't worn a watch since I was about 15, but I do love the look of them. My daughter wears a watch all the time which I find really refreshing x

  4. My other half loves a good watch - he has such a thing for things like pocket watches, he has some really beautiful ones as well in his collection.

  5. I've only just started wearing a watch but I absolutely love it. I can't believe I never bothered with them before!!

    Louise x

  6. I haven't worn a watch for about 15 years but I love the engineering of classic watches. Breitling and Omega are my favourites and I would love a handmade vintage watch that would go totally with my style,

    1. I love Omega watches too. They are so well made and beautiful to look at.

  7. I haven't worn a watch for over 20 years, but I do still admire the craftsmanship of a luxury watch

  8. I have a traditional watch, I love the design and beauty of it. I would love a smart watch but sometimes the appeal just doesn't seem right for me personally x