When did the wristwatch become popular?
Bracelets and pendants containing mechanical clocks were worn as jewellery by the wealthy as early as the 16th century - Elizabeth I reportedly received one as a gift from Robert Dudley. As late as 1916, however, the ‘bracelet watch’ was thought not only a feminine trinket but a “silly-ass fad” by the New York
Times. However, by the 1880s, the British military had recognised its practical uses in favour of the unwieldy pocket watch and it became an essential strategic tool during World War I. By peacetime, the ‘wristlet watch’ was a common component of male attire. EB