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Wristwatches - the ordinary that awes

Thursday, 08 January 2009

wristwatchesWristwatches have been one of modern man's handiest gadgets. Though watches came off as time-telling tools, with time they evolved to serve up man with versatile bits - they served as calendar, compass, time-recorder and the state-of-the-art ones have brought a whole microcomputer within themselves. Apart from its diverse and sometimes extraordinary functionalities, wristwatches have always been an archetype of fashion and style.

From the last century and onwards there is almost a separate genre of wristwatches devoted to embellish and underscore one's fashion statement. These luxury wristwatches have been held as an emphatic fashion accessory and some of these manufacturers produce exclusive ranges of watches that are marvels both in terms of efficacy as well as elegance. En bloc, wristwatches are today's one of the very few possessions that are indispensable by their own right and, at the same time, define and set trends in the world of fashion & style.

The form in which we experience wristwatches came about in a series of steps. The earliest form of portable chronometers was the miniature sundials. By the 15th century came timepieces that were small (or «big»?) enough to be worn round the waist. The source of energy of the mechanical watches with analogue dials was a coil called the Mainspring invented by Peter Henlein. Watches came to be smaller in size with the invention of Balance Spring by the later part of the 17th century and it was this invention that helped transfer the watch from the waist to pocket. The pocket-watch era lasted for about the whole of 18th century. 20th century's growing affinity towards miniaturization was the major impetus behind the birth of wristwatches. With more accuracy and ease, timepieces moved from the pockets to the wrists and a new trend evolved that subsists till date. Changes came in the efficacy as well as durability with time - wristwatches were made waterproof, self-winding, antimagnetic and shock-resistant. In the 1960s came the electronic watches. Electronic watches were powered by the piezoelectric oscillation of a quartz crystal to mark time and its dials were driven by an electronic circuit.

Digital wristwatches were the latest of the innovations that came in the 1970s getting rid of all the moving parts. These were timepieces with liquid crystal display of digits to denote time and other information such as date, alarm, stopwatch and so on. But, the latest additions have metamorphosized the digital wristwatches into an overwhelmingly prodigious appliance. Today, they come with the twin capacity of a mobile phone and an internet-enabled PC. The Bluetooth embedded hands free wristwatches alone can hook you up with the rest of world via the wireless technology. You can store mass of information, check your mails, browse as well as download your favorite music and even can talk over them. Some of these digital watches can dock SIM cards and with the most advanced cellular standard, GSM, these tech masterpieces are full-fledged hubs of all the high-tech services that the IT has to offer. Nevertheless, none of them discard their classic role - they do show time and date!

Wristwatches are great fashion accessories in vogue. Rather than mere timekeeping, luxurious wristwatches are adored much like precious gems and jewels today and some timepieces with exquisite artistic design and posh ingredients command even more value than pricy jewelry items. Fashionable wristwatches these days are something to go crazy about and worth spending bulk of bucks. Alongside the elegance and sophistication some of the high-end wristwatches come with a range of ingenious capacities. They can monitor your pulse, screen time events to hundredths of a second and can pinpoint your GPS co-ordinates.

There are some other wristwatches having their own elite genre with some superb sonata of alarms. The exterior of some the delicately beautiful timepieces are made of glass, costly stones, manmade sapphire etc and these are some masterworks never failing to enamor you. The diversity and range of these masterpieces are becoming greater day by day and both men and women are having greater scope to choose the piece that fits his/her needs, style and personality best. Moreover, some wristwatches embody the spirit of an era or mark some milestones of the manufacturer and these watches are revered as classic. Classic wristwatches keep hold of their esteem alone by the spirit they symbolize and people look up to them as antiques to be treasured rather as timekeepers to be used casually. Some of the big brands some of whose models have gained classic status are Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Omega, Movado, IWC, Hamilton, Elgin, Longines and so on.

From mere time-telling gizmos wristwatches have evolved into an outstanding fusion of fashion and technology. Perhaps, wristwatches are the most ordinary and yet potentially the most extraordinary device that would last till the dusk of civilization.

Tamjeed

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