Gear Clock History

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The very first wrist watches were used as accessories by women for recreational activities such as cycling and archery. They were small movements held on the wrist by leather straps to make them more practical for everyday use, when originally they were “designed to be worn on a neck chain or lapel pin”. (Dennis & Stephens, 2001). Wearing a timekeeper on the wrist proved to be more practical for those who’s lifestyles were more active. In WWI the servicemen wore their pocket watches in straps on their wrists instead of on a chain attached to their person. One type of these watches are popularly known as the “Trench” and they sported a pierced grilled that protected the face of the watch and prevented the glass from shattering. Although wrist …show more content…
However to create a portable timekeeper the gear train in clocks at the time needed to be miniaturized so that their overall size could be scaled down. The heavy weights and large pendulums that were used to drive the movement in clocks were replaced by spring movements. These earlier watches used the recoil movement in a coil spring to drive the gear train. The gear train would cause “a balance wheel to swing back and forth, usually at a rate of five times per second” (Dennis & Stephens, 2001) and another train of gears would reduce the number of swings to rotate the hands of the watch. However, these springs were sensitive to temperature and magnetism and would affect the accuracy of the watch. These mechanical watches needed to be wound by hand until the invention of automatic movements which featured a “self-winding” mechanism that wound up the spring using the wearer’s movements and a …show more content…
In the 1950’s Swiss manufacturers dominated at least fifty percent of the world’s commercial market. In the 1960’s Japan, the United States and Switzerland competed to invent and create electronic watches. The Bulova Accutron was one of the first to use an electromechanical movement. Its movement used a tuning fork that “vibrated 360 times a second” (Dennis & Stephens, 2001) which proved to be more accurate than previously manufactured mechanical watches. In October 1960 when “Bulova had announced the Accutron to the world” it was advertised as the watch that “doesn’t tick. It hums.”(Dennis & Stephens, 2001). Nine years later the first electronic quartz movement watch hit the shelves on Chrismas Day 1969—the Astron SQ (Dennis & Stephens, 2001). It was sold in limited quantities and developed by Seiko, a Japanese watchmaking company. It sported a battery and a vibrating quartz crystal. Quartz movements use the reverse piezoelectric effect of crystals to keep constant time. These quartz movement watches started being mass produced by Swatch, a Swiss company, in the 1970’s after production of their mechanical movement watches were replaced. Quartz movement watches remain the standard of the day due to its accuracy and cost

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