There’s a long and fascinating history of humans and telling time. We came from using sundials, water clocks and now smartwatches. This long line of innovation has led us to develop incredibly accurate timepieces as well as create watches that help us improve our wellbeing–like Philip Stein watches.
Join us as we explore the history of clocks and watches, and as we understand recent movements that are driving watch trends in 2017.
Clocks in the Ancient World
The first recorded use of a timekeeping device is 1500 BC in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians used obelisks and smaller sundials to divide the sunlit parts of the day into twelve equal parts. Eventually, sundial technology made its way to the Middle East where an Arab astronomer enhanced the device to make it almost as accurate as a modern-day timepiece.
Since sundials only work during daylight hours, other devices were developed to work without the sun. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all used some form of a water clock to tell time at all hours of the day, although these were highly inaccurate.
Watches for Her
As history progressed, people started developing mechanical technologies to help us tell time. The earliest precursor to the watch as we know it today was created by Medieval Christian monks who needed to keep more accurate time to know when to pray.
However, these timepieces were delicate and would quickly become uncalibrated with a slight bump or exposure to any elements. When watches first became available to the non-monk market they were most commonly worn by high-society women, due to their finicky nature. High-society women were less likely to be out in the elements and lead more docile lifestyles which were ideal for watch wearing.
When men’s fashion progressed toward the waistcoat, men suddenly had a reason to wear a timepiece. Waistcoats are what gave birth to the watch face on a chain that we imagine when we think of the Victorian era.
The past several years have given way to a new wave of mental and physical wellbeing apps, methods, and accessories, to include wearable tech to help you monitor these aspects of your life. In particular, fitness trackers that track your steps, burned calories, and sleep quality have really taken hold. Mintel estimated that 3 million new fitness trackers were sold in the UK alone in 2015 and the trend only continues upward.
The first wrist fitness trackers were clunky and not particularly soft on the eyes. Over just the last two years, manufacturer watchmaker, like Philip Stein, have taken consumer preferences into consideration and produced streamlined and sexy products for everyday wear with the same level of functionality.
Watch trends, while not as fast-moving as fashion trends, do have their fair share of changes. Watch manufacturers need to be at the top of their game to stay at the forefront of these trends like Philip Stein has.
One of the top trends for 2017 across the US and UK markets is a turn to black watch faces and black straps. The manufacturers must have finally caught up to the golden rule that black goes with everything.
Other changes you’ll notice in watch faces are the use of steel and the display of chronographs. Steel is both sleek and durable, adding to watches’ sophisticated appearance. Chronographs give a more technical appearance.
In an almost opposite trend, you’ll notice a trend for minimalist features in some watch faces. Along with many of these watch faces, you can swap out different straps, both leather, and fabric, to adjust the watch to your outfit. Philip Stein has been able to incorporate many of these trends across their watch lines.
There’s a sudden influx of lifestyle brands. As our focuses shift to caring more for our bodies and mental wellbeing, we need products that can help us understand our habits.
Fitness trackers help remind us to move and get our heart pumping while other accessories, like Philip Stein watches and sleep bracelets, can promote a better night’s sleep.
Millennials, in particular, are interested in taking care of their physical well-being and actively engage in self-care activities for their mental health. As the largest consumer group continues to demand new items, it’s unlikely we’ll see these lifestyle brands go away.