CIGA Watchers

A Brief History of Horology

What is Horology?

Well, it is basically the study and the measurement of time. Even during the time of the ancient Egyptians, they have used something that can at least help them tell the time, even though their methods back then are largely inaccurate.

Most of the time, they’ve used sundials and even water clocks to help them know what time it is and right off the bat, you can tell that these things have pretty bad limitations.

What if there is no sun or water? I know, but they are vastly limited by the technology of their time.

Today, we have smartwatches that are perfect watches for men and women. They have digital displays that can help you do a lot of things such as tell the time, the ability to read messages, among other things.

The study of time is actually quite a broad one but in this article, I will give you a brief history so that you will know how the technology of timekeeping has evolved through the years.

13 th to 16 th Centuries

In the early 1300s, the major timepieces were built in Italy and they were three major clocks; each having their own unique function. The first was as an astronomical clock, the second one sends out an hourly chime, and the third one allows people to know the date. Throughout this century, blacksmiths have found a way to build clocks that are fitted with larger bells that help resonate and tell the time for most of the townsfolk.

Fast forward to the 16 th century and you are looking at the birth of the Swiss Watch Industry. Because John Calvin has banned any poor person from wearing jewelry, the jewelers had looked for ways to make use of their precious metals, thus watchmaking was born.

The Creation of the Pendulum and the Emergence of Pocket Watches

The Pendulum was studied in 1602 by Galileo but the person that is responsible for its refinement is Christian Huygens back in 1656. At that time, it is actually the most accurate timepiece in existence.


But, aside from telling the time, it helped Isaac Newton to accurately predict the shape of the earth thanks to the pendulum’s natural movement. You could say that it was not only something that helped people tell the time but it has also helped researchers know more about nature and the world around us.

As for pocket watches, they’ve actually been created in the late 16 th century but the problem was it only told the hours. It was only until 1680 that watchmakers have added the minute and the second hand movements.

Because such timepieces will be put inside pockets, it is made in a way that removes the sharp edges so as to make sure that it doesn’t slice the fabric.

The Wristwatch

Through the years, timepieces had become smaller and smaller to the point that wristwatches were made. They were mostly worn by women as the first wristwatches were not made to withstand the rigors that men were thrust into back in the day.

In 1880, Constant Girard mass produced two thousand wristwatches for the German Naval Officers. By the 1930s, the Breitling Watch Company has patented the Stopwatch feature in wristwatches. Then in 1950s, the chronograph was born.

Quartz watches were introduced in 1969 because of the proliferation of electric-powered watches. It is so much more accurate than mechanical watches and it has paved the way for the construction of digital watches in the 20 th century.

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