History: The Travel Watch

May 4th, 2012 | 2 Comments

Believe it or not there was a time not too long ago when a wristwatch was not a popular accessory. Back in the 1920’s and 30’s a popular timepiece was the travel watch, a precursor to the wristwatch. Travel watches are pocket-sized clocks that are usually encased in steel, gold or silver with two dials. Travel watches are carried, not worn and to read the watch you had to flip open or unclip the case to view the dial. They are also referred to as “purse watches,” due to their small portable size. In the roaring 20’s and 30’s the travel watch was a trendy alternative to the pocket watch.

Watchmakers such as Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Zenith, Girard-Perregaux, and Rolex were all making travel watches during this time. Many models were designed more as art pieces than timepieces, boasting ornate and elaborate enamel cases. Despite its unique style the travel watch market was relatively small even in its heyday. The fleeting popularity of the travel watch was eventually superseded by the success of the wristwatch. Understanding the evolution of the wristwatch can teach us a lot about contemporary style and design, and the travel watch is no exception. To learn more about travel watches check out this informational  website or read about the largest collection of travel watches here.

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  1. 2 Comments | Tell us what you think!

  2. By Debra Shepard on Feb 5, 2012

    love to try your watches. address 595 Twin Bridge rd, Derby Line, vermont, 05830

  3. By George Maynard on May 14, 2012

    The watches on this site are all beautiful. i also enjoy reading about the history of watches. very informative.

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