Since the creation of the nifty device known as a wristwatch people have literally been transfixed on the importance of time in their lives. The wristwatch is essentially a mobile timepiece that is worn on the wrist of a person and works for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days in a year. Giving you an all year round up-to-date awareness of time, so that you do not miss an important moment in your life.
Before the invention of the wristwatch, pocket watches were the trend of the time. However, that trend is long gone with the design of a wide range of wrist watches that do not only give you accurate time, but also perform other equally important functions.
Back To the Basics!
The original intentions of watch makers were to design a watch that will be light weight, therefore easy to carry around as an accessory and will give accurate time, stating the hour, minute and seconds to give the user precise information at the current time. This was the basic function of the wristwatch and the typical mechanical watches came with three arrow shaped hands on their dial. The hour hand is usually a flat metal pin that is shorter in length to the minute hand. The second hand may come in a slightly different colour and its length is longer than the minute hand. It is used to give the actual seconds in a minute, ticking away as it moves on the face of the dial.
What do Watches and Dates Have In Common?
With a need to keep people informed on not just the present time, but also the current date. Watch makers came up with a date window on the face of the dial of the wrist watches to keep users informed of the day of the month in a year. The year is usually represented by two digits indicating the last digits of the year. For example 2017, would be represented by "17". The month could be in a three letter format like January would be indicated as "JAN", while the day of the month would be represented as two digits, for example; 2 could be "02".
Annual Calendar Vs Perpetual Calendar Timepiece
With an annual calendar your mechanical timepiece has the date, month, day and hour displayed. The months will be adjusted automatically for the months with either 30 or 31 days. However, you would be required to make adjustments for the first day in March as February may come as 28 days normally or 29 days in a leap year. This type of watch is not as difficult to understand and operate as the perpetual calendar timepiece and it is also not as expensive.
For your perpetual calendar timepiece you will not require any adjustments for a very long time indeed. This timepiece is designed to be able to calculate the days in a week and for a future date. There will not be any need for an adjustment in the date until the year 2100. A year that can be divided by the number 4, but incidentally, will not be recognized as a leap year. As accurate as the perpetual calendar timepiece is, in stating the dates in a year. It will not be able to give the precise date for the festivities that are movable, such as Easter, which is dependent on the Lunar Cycle and other series of events in the Tropical year.
Measure Speed with Chronograph Timepieces
Since the invention of the chronograph by Louis Moinet in 1816, which was initially used to track astronomical objects. Modern era timepieces are used more as a stopwatch with a regular display watch available. With a simple chronograph your complication is less advanced, all you have is a completely independent hand that can be stopped in its track and returned to its starting position of zero at will by the user, just by the application of some pressure to its stem. As the chronograph has evolved over time, we now have chronograph timepieces with tachymeters which are bezels that are moveable and can be used to accurately calculate distance or speed.
Tourbillon Keeps Gravity at Bay!
The tourbillon was invented to help to counter the negative effects of gravity on a timepiece especially when it is turned in an awkward position, which could affect the accuracy of the watch. The balance wheel and escapement is mounted in a cage that rotates at a slow pace of one revolution in 60 seconds, with the aim of dispelling gravity. This invention was patented in 1801 by the French-Swiss watchmaker known as Abraham-Louis Breguet. These days tourbillon is more of a novelty item on top of the range Swiss Luxury watches and usually made visible on the dial of a wristwatch just for its aesthetic value.
Skeleton Watches X-rays Your Timepiece!
True to its name, the skeleton wristwatch is a watch that virtually shows off its moving parts to the user and indeed the rest of the world. This mechanical wristwatch has its moving bits clearly and fully seen either at the back of the watch or in its front. It may also come with a small window or cut out of the dial face that partially exposes the working parts of the watch. The idea behind the skeleton wristwatch is purely aesthetic and Swiss Luxury timepiece makers like Patek Philippe and Breguet have this type of wristwatch in their impressive collection.
It's Now 3 PM, Repeat 3 PM!
One mechanical watch that is quite interesting to note is the repeater watch. This watch gives out an audible chime of the current hour and minute of time when you press on a button on the watch. There are several types of repeater watches, you have a simple hourly repeater, which will just give an indication of the current number of hours using a chime or the minute repeater which will give you an indication of both the present hour and minute by giving off different tones for both the hour and minute.
Time Never Changes!
Regardless of the timepiece you use the one thing that remains constant is time. This never changes, a time of 2 PM on a repeater watch will still be 2 PM on a skeleton watch, except of course you are living in another time zone. It is however interesting to note how timepieces have evolved over time to become more than just a device for telling the time, but also a fashionable clothing accessory and a telling indicator of one's affluence and status in society.