Such a simple looking piece of machinery, the wristwatch. They are so common that nearly everyone has owned at least one or two in their lifetime. In an era where many people look to their cell phones or smart watches to keep time, some may not stop to consider the long and intricate history of the ordinary wristwatch or the innovative people and companies that have made watches what they are today.
The first wristwatch was created by a Swiss watchmaker named Patek Philippe in 1868. He created this wristwatch for a Hungarian Countess, causing wristwatches to become quite the fashion accessory for women of that time. This useful accessory did not gain popularity with men until closer to World War I. Although, there was some earlier use in the German Imperial Navy when it was discovered that executed timely military action was much easier when one did not have to dig around for and open a pocket watch. Though not the first design, the earliest well-known wristwatch was the Tank, created in 1917 by Louis Cartier. The classic square design of the Tank was inspired by the Renault tanks that Cartier saw during his time as a soldier.
Since the creation of the iconic Tank, wristwatches have come in many different forms and designs. From the almost strictly utilitarian to the ornate and fashionable, there is a design to fit every lifestyle. Early forms usually had bands that were made of leather or gold, depending on the functionality of the timepiece, but in 1976 an Italian watchmaker named Carlo Crocco decided to create a somewhat different type of watch. Leaving his family business to strike out on his own, Crocco spent 3 years testing and designing what would be the first natural rubber watch band. Crocco’s original business idea was to combine the design of Italian watchmaking with the solid craftsmanship of Swiss watchmaking, creating an artistic fusion to which he added his own twist of the black rubber watch band. He eventually established Hublot, a luxury watch manufacturer now owned by LVMH.
Hublot is known for sleek, unique designs that still maintain solid Swiss workmanship. They have sponsored many organizations, such as Manchester United, FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro, and Formula One, to name a few. They are even the Official Timekeepers for Farrari. For many of these sponsorships, Hublot has created new designs to commemorate the occasion, such as the Hublot F1 King Power Austin, created to commemorate the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas in 2012. Hublot has also collaborated with contemporary artists to keep their designs new and interesting, such as their recent collaboration with North Carolina based artist Shepard Fairey. Hublot is consistently proving that mechanical wristwatches are not a thing of the past, but an artistic accessory that will continue to evolve. Some of the beautiful Hublot designs can be found on https://www.watchshopping.com/hublot/.
The humble wristwatch may seem somewhat archaic; with the advent of the multifunctional smartwatch, some may think that a watch that only tells the time is not worth taking notice of, but they would be wrong. Wristwatches have evolved a lot over the last century and yet they still retain much of their classic purpose and design. No matter which manufacturer one chooses, from Cartier to Hublot, owning one of these wrist-sized works of art is much more than owning a timepiece, it is a statement. A statement of fashion and of class. A statement of enjoying the finer things in life. There is no reason one should have to choose functionality over fashion and, thanks to companies like Hublot, no one has to.