During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, wealthy men and women were the only ones who could afford expensive ornament. Precious metals decorated with jewels were worn by members of royal families and by their close friends. There was little if any distinction between the sexes when it came to accessories-kings wore just as many jewels as queens. But fashions changed rather abruptly during the Industrial Revolution. What happened?
The middle class grew and jewelry prices fell. Costume jewelry came into vogue, and most of it was designed specifically for the fairer sex. Middle class men, on the other hand, did not see themselves as fainéant kings or princes. They worked hard and they had no need for unnecessary decorations. They did, however, allow themselves a single indulgence. The watch has been the most popular article of jewelry for men for centuries. Why is this?
In our humble opinion, modern men like jewelry, as long it is it not really jewelry. In other words, as long as has a practical application and is not purely decorative, men are okay with it. All other accessories are considered by most guys to be a bit too effeminate. Earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces don’t really do anything. But watches serve a purpose, they tell time.
Western man has been a huge watch fan for more than four centuries. Much like the jewelry that was worn by their wives, pocket watches were considered luxury items in 16th century Europe. They were so expensive that when they were lost or stolen, handsome rewards were offered for their safe return.
Though it had been around for decades, the wristwatch did not catch on until the First World War. Once again, it was considered by most men to be effeminate, but they thought differently when it was taken to the trenches. Pocket watches performed pitifully on the Western Front. They were either crushed in pockets or lost in the mud and the muck. Wristwatches, on the other hand, became a valuable tool that helped officers and soldiers coordinate attacks. By the 1930s, the wristwatch was outselling the pocket watch fifty to one!
Though they rarely refer to them as jewelry, watches could quite correctly be called popular fashion accessories for men. They are so popular, in fact, that many of the top watchmakers release seasonal models, much like fashion designers do with clothes. What makes a watch more wearable in winter than it is in the summer months? Not much. Classic watches can be worn at any time of year. In this article we will review two of our all-time favorite timepieces.
One of the most popular timepieces in the history of horology, the Museum watch was developed by noted American designer Nathan George Horwitt in 1947. It features a midnight black watch dial and a single gold dot at that the twelve o’clock position, which was meant to symbolize the sun. The gold-toned watch hands represent the movement of the earth around the galaxy’s brightest star. The elegantly beautiful watch has become a model of Modernism; it was the first wristwatch ever to be displayed in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, hence the name.
For the company, the watch was nothing short of a game-changer. Before it was introduced, Movado was little more than a little-known luxury watch company from Switzerland. After it came on the scene, they were a global brand. More than sixty years after it was introduced, it is still the company’s bestselling model. Not to mention the fact that most of their other models are designed around the inimitable Museum Watch dial.