Luxury watches have been around for nearly two centuries. The concept of keeping time on one’s wrist was something revolutionary during the 1800s. Before the wrist-watch, the most common time-keeping instrument was a pocket watch. Pocket watches eventually became obsolete as the wrist watch was far more convenient and harder to misplace.
Some of the first luxury watch brands to emerge during the 1800s include TAG Heuer, Omega and Audemars Piguet. The term luxury watch refers to the quality with which the timepiece is hand crafted and the rare materials that are used in the manufacturing phase. By these standards, all watches during the 19th century were “luxury” time pieces.
With the lack of mass production and industrialization there were no cheap knock off watches to purchase. All time-keeping instruments were made by skilled watch makers, who made a life out of crafting small pieces of metal into time-keeping art. Today, the facility with which lower grade quartz watches can be mass produced has given a greater sense of distinction to watches that are made in the traditional manner.
All watches were originally mechanical. The employment of battery and quartz watches did not occur until the 20th century. Mechanical watches function by winding the crown of the watch, which in turn makes the movement unwind and keep time. The development of automatic watches was a great advancement. Automatic watches function brilliantly by having a pendulum inside the movement. The pendulum moves as your wrist does. When it moves it constantly winds itself, a feature that provides self-efficiency. Watches that are made in this manner are more practical, of better quality, more precise and much classier.
Luxury watches today are made the same way they were originally hand crafted more than 200 years ago. Switzerland is the country of origin for most high-end watch manufacturers. The art of watch making finds its roots in this country as well.
Most mass produced wrist-watches are such low-grade quality that they generally don’t last more than a year. Besides being low in quality, they do not keep time with precision. They will most likely lose 1-2 minutes a month, or up to 5 minutes if the watch is exceptionally defective. Besides all these inconveniences, batteries for cheap watches have to be changed at least once a year. Given all these characteristics, it is far more intelligent to purchase a quality time-piece that will last longer, yield a return if purchased as an investment and look like a piece of art on your hand.