Wrist watches were invented as early as the Elizabethan period; history tells us that Queen Elizabeth received a wrist watch from “Her Special Subject” Robert Dudley in 1571. It took a long time for them to catch-on, however, and it was mostly women who wore them—and few at that. Men continued to wear pocket watches which required a handsome and sturdy chain with which to attach the precious timepiece—such as the sterling silver example shown above. It was made in Victorian England and is hallmarked Birmingham, 1894. Interestingly, each link in the chain is individually hallmarked.
In time, men began to wear wristwatches. First it was strictly in the military—in the late 19th Century and through World War I—where precision and synchronization were critical. It was only after World War I that civilian men began to wear wristwatches with regularity. Alas, today, we are told that (young) men are no longer wearing watches. Instead, they are checking the time on their smart phones—which are in their pockets.
To learn more about the Victorian silver watch chain, please click on the photo above.
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