It’s hard to imagine a world where wristwatches don’t exist. They’ve been an important fashion accessory for centuries, and they are still popular with consumers today. The advancements of timepieces over the last 100 years has seen the introduction of wristwatches that can be used underwater and in space. Now our watches are becoming digital, as new technology brings forth a new age of watchmaking.
However, classic wristwatches will always be desired, as they have been since their introduction in the early 19th century. So, when exactly were wristwatches first invented, and what caused them to become something that we still wear over 200 years later?
The First Wristwatch
By the early 1800s, the technology of clocks had improved greatly, and watchmakers were benefiting from the developments that were being made. In 1810, the horologist Abraham Louis-Breguet made the first self-winding wristwatch for the Queen of Naples, Caroline Murat. Murat’s fame brought the timepiece mass public attention, and soon after this, the watch became a must-have accessory for women everywhere.
When Did Men Start Wearing Wristwatches?
Wristwatches were worn exclusively by women for almost 100 years, with men continuing to wear pocket watches until the First World War. US and British soldiers adopted wristwatches at this point, as they were easier to handle during battle.
Soon after the war ended, the market for men’s watches exploded. Suddenly, watches were for everyone, and this led to a revolution within the watch industry. Watchmakers saw an opportunity to market watches as a necessary male item, one that embodied the spirit of strength. Companies mass-produced watches and through clever advertising, managed to convert the image of a military item into a necessary timepiece that civilians should own as well.
The Advancements of The Wristwatch
In the latter half of the 20th century, wristwatches went through a series of developments, many of which have affected the watches we use today. The Japanese watchmaker Seiko invented the first quartz movement which saw a battery used in place of a spring. This revolutionized the watch industry, and watchmakers around the world began to experiment with new technology and designs.
In 1961, the first watch was worn in Space, by a Russian Astronaut. This led to many companies racing to create the next watch that would be worn in Space. Today, we have watches that can withstand the deepest depths of the ocean in order for people to go diving with a timepiece, and some wristwatches can go into space and still work perfectly.
The most radical developments of the wristwatch have definitely occurred in the last decade or so. Now, many brands are creating smartwatches, that can be charged like a phone. These new wristwatches can do so much more than just tell the time, and give an insight into what the future of timepieces will be like.
It’s clear that over the past couple of centuries, wristwatches have transformed in many ways. But, one thing has remained the same and that is the incomparable global popularity of the wristwatch.
Our closets are full of items that we wear again and again, and so require regular washing in order to stay in good and wearable condition. But there is one accessory that we wear all the time that we can’t simply throw in the washing machine when it needs a clean; our watch.
Watches are integral parts of our daily outfits, yet often they are neglected in terms of maintenance. Think about your own watch for a moment. Maybe you’ve wiped it a couple of times with the bottom of your shirt, or given it a little clean with a tissue. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that watches collect vast amounts of dust and dirt, and need to be cleaned more than just once in a while.
Like any other piece of jewelry, watches should be kept in pristine condition to look their best. We all want our watches to be admired by others and not looked at in shock due to the level of dirt they have acquired.
Luckily, all watches are relatively easy to clean if you know what you’re doing, and Nordgreen timepieces are no different. In fact, our watches are designed in a way that enables cleaning of your watch to be an easy process. Read our cleaning guide in order to keep your watch in the best and cleanest condition.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Dial and Mesh Straps
Watch straps are where most dirt and dust gather on your watch. Depending on the design, and whether there are open crevices between the links of your watch strap, it can be hard to remove a build-up of grime. Stainless steel watches are most affected by dirt, as this can make their appearance look dull.
To properly clean a stainless-steel watch, you can’t simply dunk your watch in a bowl of water. Too much water and sweat can cause the steel substance on your straps to rust, which is definitely something you want to avoid. To effectively clean your Nordgreen mesh straps, follow these steps:
- First, remove the straps from the dial. This will protect the dial from getting any water damage during the cleaning process.
- Next, gently wipe down your watch with a dry lint-free cloth to remove any dust. Using a lint-free cloth is preferable otherwise small fabric particles may get caught in the small crevices of the mesh material.
- After this, create a cleaning mixture. Use lukewarm water and a cleaning agent like dish soap. It’s important to ensure the water is not too hot, as hot water can damage the metal substance.
- Once you’ve prepared the cleaning agent, dip a toothbrush in the mixture and lightly scrub the watch with this.
- Clean off any remaining soapy substance and dry your straps with a hairdryer on low heat.
Cleaning a stainless-steel watch face and dial cover is similar to the process above. The dials are made from stainless steel and the watch faces are made from sapphire crystal glass. This is the strongest substance for a watch face, and although it is hard to break, this doesn’t stop it from getting dirty if it isn’t looked after. It’s therefore important to properly clean this glass on a regular basis.
Due to the mechanisms contained in this part of the watch, it is very important to not soak your dial in hot water, as high temperatures can affect the movement and stop it from working. Here’s how you can safely clean your watch’s face:
- Create a lukewarm soapy mixture, the same as the one used for your mesh straps.
- Again, take a lint-free, soft cloth and dampen it slightly with the mixture.
- Gently wipe the clock face, and pat it down with a dry, lint-free cloth.
It’s important to use a cloth that doesn’t contain anything that could scratch your watch’s face as marks on glass can be tricky to remove.
Cleaning Leather Straps
Cleaning leather is a little more difficult than cleaning steel. When leather is around moisture, it can react badly and this is when it begins to crack. Sweat can be problematic for leather straps and too much of it can discolor the strap. For this reason, it’s important to regularly clean your leather strap to keep it in a good condition.
With your Nordgreen leather straps, you should wipe them down with a dry cloth every evening, preferably before going to sleep. This will remove all of the built-up moisture and dirt from the day. For a deeper clean that you can do once every couple of weeks, follow these steps:
- First, remove your leather straps from the dial.
- Then, wipe the straps down with a dry, soft cloth.
- Finally, put a small amount of leather cleaning solution on a dry cloth. Lightly rub the cloth over the leather straps, before wiping off with a clean cloth.
It’s important to purchase a good cleaner for your Nordgreen straps, as they are made from the highest-quality leather. Ensure that you shop around for the best cleaner as cheap solutions can cause discoloration of the strap.
A Professional Clean
Although Nordgreen watches are very easy to clean at home due to their interchangeable straps, it can sometimes be difficult or worrying to try and clean our own watches. We don’t want to cause any damage to these beautifully crafted timepieces. So, if you are unsure of your cleaning abilities and don’t want to run the risk of ruining your watch, take it to a professional watch cleaner. They will know exactly what to do with your watch in order to leave it looking brand new.
Above all, make sure to give your Nordgreen watch a deep clean at least once a month. The watches are designed to look elegant and a clean exterior will allow the beautiful color tones of your watch to stand out and shine.
The title of ‘greatest watchmakers’ is one that is often assigned to the Swiss. They are considered to be the epitome of timepiece engineers and are held in high regard when it comes to designing superior watch movements. However, the Japanese watchmaking industry has been a pioneering and unmatchable force in the advancement of watch calibers, particularly in the last fifty years or so.
Japan has produced some of the finest innovations in watch movement engineering. Seiko invented the quartz movement in 1969, a caliber that has been revolutionary to the watch industry and has paved the way for advancements in movement mechanisms.
Another notable company that has consistently introduced new engineering in its movements is Miyota. They have been an integral part of the watchmaking business since the late 1950s, steadily providing reliable and new timepiece movements to watchmaking companies. Their movements can be used in both lower and higher-priced watches which makes them one of the biggest movement creators and suppliers.
What Does ‘A Movement’ Mean?
The word ‘movement’ can cause a bit of confusion to those who aren’t experienced watch fanatics. Essentially a movement, or caliber as it is also known, is the mechanism of the watch which is made up of several parts. It ensures that the watch works and moves the hands on the clock. A good way to understand the function of a movement is to liken it to the heart in the human body. Just as the heart keeps our bodies operational, the movement is the necessary part that keeps a watch in working order. A watch cannot function without a movement.
There are various types of movement in the watchmaking industry, with different companies employing varied techniques to create the most sought-after calibers for watchmakers.
What does a Miyota movement refer to?
So, what is a Miyota movement? In actual fact, a Miyota movement is best described as an ‘umbrella term’. This is because Miyota manufactures many different calibers, with each possessing unique properties that make it slightly different from other movements. Miyota movements are considered to be some of the best in the industry and for this reason, they are used in the watches of countless brands.
Miyota’s production line contains mechanical and quartz analog movements, all of which are produced to the highest of standards. Through the use of first-class materials and manufacturing, they are able to produce billions of units of affordable yet reliable calibers every year.
Miyota Mechanical Calibers
To understand the true excellence of a Miyota movement, it’s important to look at each independently. The mechanical Miyota movement is highly revered and uses an automatic caliber that essentially makes it self-winding. Whereas a classic mechanical movement would require the wearer to manually wind the spring by hand, the Miyota movement uses state-of-the-art technology to allow the wearer to use the watch without needing to do any manual turning.
One of the most famous Miyota movements is the Caliber 8200 series. This exquisitely fabricated movement uses a balance wheel that moves fixedly in order to offer precision in the timepiece. Like other Miyota movements, this series famously uses the finest metal materials for the most important mechanical parts. This allows for a gorgeously intricate design. Although it’s unlikely you’ll take your watch apart and look at the inner workings of it, Miyota movements are known to be things of beauty in the watch-making world, and the balance wheel is particularly pleasing to the eye. Fans of mechanical calibers enjoy watching this wheel in action, as it reflects the first-rate design and construction that goes into making this outstanding movement.
However, even within mechanical movements, there are slight variations. For example, around ten years ago, Miyota introduced the Caliber 2009 series, which supplemented the popular 8200 series and introduced some slight variations.
Miyota Quartz Analog Movement
When compared to their mechanical movement, Miyota’s quartz analog movement differs vastly. Like other quartz calibers, it employs a battery and quartz crystal to power the hand progression on the clock. However, like the mechanical movement, Miyota’s quartz caliber is unique from others. All parts of the movement are manufactured to increase the longevity of the timepiece, and this is reflected in the parts that Miyota has developed.
Among the highly functioning mechanisms that have been developed, there is a Powercell Saving Reset Mechanism which enables battery savings. As well as this there is an Overload Compensation Device which reduces the battery’s usage. These fantastic instruments make Miyota’s quartz analog movement highly desirable, as they ensure that the battery won’t need to be replaced as soon as perhaps in other quartz movement watches.
Not only is it highly functional but the Miyota quartz analog movement is often slimmer than others, due to the choice of materials in the caliber. Miyota uses the finest metals, which can be manipulated into smaller pieces. These are then placed together in intricate designs that create sleeker calibers for slim watches.
The Popularity of Miyota Movements
Miyota movements longstanding popularity is down to the quality that it provides consumers. This high-quality begins at the point of production, with many considering Miyota to have one of the greatest assembly procedures in the world. Due to the fact that the movements are created by advanced and fast-working machines, this ensures that high and consistent standards are constantly met. There is a reduced possibility of human error during production, and all movements are manually checked afterward. This guarantees that each caliber functions properly before placed in a timepiece.
There is a variety of movements available, yet are all reliable and liked in the industry. When purchasing a watch, it’s important to know which movement it employs. However, if you buy one possessing a Miyota movement, it’s likely to be durable and high-functioning.
When we purchase something, it often doesn’t remain in perfect condition for long. The daily routines of life can cause our possessions to get broken and suffer damage, despite our best intentions.
Watches and jewelry are particularly prone to receiving the odd scrape. A slight knock of our watch against a rough surface can be detrimental to its appearance and leave it covered in unsightly scratches.
Although wristwatches are used for telling the time, for some people they are so much more than that. They are carefully designed accessories that garner attention and are made to look stylish and impressive on your arm. So, when a watch incurs an injury, it can be devastating for the owner.
Luckily for those of us who own stainless steel watches, there is an easy way to remove scratches at home. If you’re unfortunate enough to damage your timepiece, make sure to follow these steps below to get your watch looking brand new again.
Removing Scratches on Straps
Stainless steel is very strong, which makes it the perfect material choice for watches. It can withhold lots of potential bashes, and still function. However, if you’re not careful, your stainless-steel watch could begin to look tired and damaged.
If you own a stainless-steel watch, then you’ll likely have scratched the strap once or twice. It’s an inevitable fate as a watch owner, but there is something you can do about this. Light scratches on the watch bracelet are easy to remove at home, providing you have the right materials. Here’s a step by step breakdown of what to do:
- Make sure you have the right materials. You’ll need a cloth, a specially formulated watch polish, and stainless-steel powder.
- First, wipe the watch straps down with the cloth. It’s important you use a lint-free one, as a hard cloth could damage the metal even further.
- Mix the stainless steel powder with water, and apply it to a dry lint-free cloth. In circular motions, gently rub the formula onto the light scratches of the strap.
- Once this is done, remove any excess formula.
- With a clean cloth, place a tiny amount of polish onto it. Lightly polish the strap, until the scratches aren’t visible. It’s important to not over-polish, as this can be detrimental and make the metal look dull.
- After you’ve finished, remove the polish, and buff the bracelet by giving it a soft rub with the dry cloth.
If you follow this method, then the scratches on your watch should disappear, leaving your timepiece looking brand new again.
Removing Scratches on Glass
A watch owner’s worst nightmare is glancing at their watch to discover deep scratches etched onto the face of their timepiece. Watch faces can be made from a variety of different glass, with each one offering varying degrees of strength. Nordgreen watches are made from sapphire crystal glass, surrounded by a stainless-steel case. The use of crystal glass makes the watch face very strong and means that it is unlikely to shatter. Due to its strength, it can withhold most scratches if it comes into contact with a rough surface.
Scratches and scrapes on crystal can occur, and if this happens, they need to be dealt with in a different way to how stainless-steel strap scratches are repaired. If you scratch your crystal glass face, you can remove the marks at home. However, it is very important that you are careful in doing so, as a faulty removal could create an uneven appearance that ruins the glass surface. Here is a breakdown of how to remove a scratch from your watch’s face:
- Clean the surface of your watch’s face before starting, to ensure that the glass is clean and dry.
- Then, take a diamond paste and put a small amount of this on a clean cloth. Make sure that you buy a high-quality diamond paste, as these are effective in smoothing out scratches on hard surfaces. When buying a paste, make sure that you purchase one with the right micrometer amount. This factor can drastically affect the results, and if you buy a paste that is too harsh, it won’t work well.
- With the cloth, lightly clean the glass.
- Once finished, wipe away the paste and clean again with a damp cloth to make sure no excess substance is left on the watch.
Deep Scratches on Stainless Steel
Despite our best efforts, as watch owners, our timepieces can get deep scratches that no amount of DIY cleaning at home can fix. If you get a deep scratch on any part of your stainless-steel watch, then it is important to take it to a professional watchmaker. They can advise on whether they can repair it, or if a replacement of materials is in order.
How Can I Avoid Getting Scratches on My Watch?
Removing scratches can be tricky, so the best way to avoid them appearing on your timepiece is to be careful and aware of what you’re doing when wearing it. Make sure that you don’t wear your timepiece during exercise, especially during a contact sport or whilst using heavy gym equipment, as this will heighten the risk of knocking it on something. Equally, make sure you remove your wristwatch if you are doing anything very physical at home, such as repairing broken furniture or moving heavy items.
If you have more than one watch, you could alternate between wearing one or the other, deciding which one to wear based on the activities you do that day. If you have an expensive watch that is particularly important to you, it’s best to avoiding adorning this one if you plan to do something that could result in your wristwatch getting knocked.
Scratches are inevitable, and if they appear, they are likely to be small and removable. As long as you check your watch often, and try to be careful when possible, you can wear your watch without constantly having to worry about scratching it.
The quartz watch first appeared in 1969 when it was created by Japanese manufacturer, Seiko. It was a revolutionary piece at the time, due to its use of quartz crystal and a battery which created electrically powered vibrations. The quartz model was originally an expensive accessory but through the years it has become more affordable. It’s highly popular amongst consumers due to its unique movement which offers accurate timekeeping and requires little maintenance on the part of the owner. Although the quartz watch may not be considered as highly crafted as a mechanical watch, it has always been an appealing model in the eyes of customers.