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Fun Facts About Luxury Watches

The very first wristwatch was made in 1868 for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary, by Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe. Although it was intended as a piece of jewellery, the creation of the wristwatch quickly became a popular accessory for both its ornamental and functional purposes. 

Today, it is still one of the most commonly collectable luxury items across the world. Keep reading for some interesting facts about luxury watches.

Happy Hour Watches

You may have noticed that watches are almost always set at a specific time. This is because ten minutes after ten resembles a smiling face, also known as 'happy time'. Moreover, marketing experts believe that people are more likely to buy a watch when it’s projecting positive connotations.

When being photographed, Timex watches are always set to 10:09:36, while Rolex watches are set to 10:10:31 on Monday the 28th. 

Rolex Watches Has Been to the Bottom of the Ocean

In 1926, Rolex released the world’s first truly waterproof and dustproof wristwatch, called the Oyster. This famous Oyster timepiece became so popular that jewellers displayed them in shop windows completely submerged in fish bowls.

However, Rolex took things further with their Deep Sea Special watch. The watch was taken nearly 11,000 meters down to the bottom of Mariana Trench and impressively kept perfect time throughout the 7-hour underwater journey.

Also see: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rolex Watches

Wristwatches Were Originally Designed For Women

Although, watches are most popular amongst men in this time and age. Wristwatches were first designed to be a women's fashionable device. In fact, one of the first women to wear a wristwatch was Elizabeth I. It was gifted to her by Robert Dudley, a suspected lover.

At the time, it was customary for men to wear pocket watches instead. It wasn't until the first world war where military men started wearing wristwatches for the sake of convenience.

The Queen of Jewels

For her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II wore a gorgeous Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 101 timepiece. At the time, this watch was known for having the smallest mechanical movement in the world.

Rolex Was Founded in England

Although Rolex's headquarters is now based in Switzerland, it is not a Swiss brand. It was originally founded in 1905 in London, England. It was originally dubbed as ‘Wilsdorf and Davis’, the moniker of German watch distributor Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis. However, it was changed in 1908 to ‘Rolex Watch Co. Ltd’. The founding fathers wanted a name that was short, easy to pronounce in any language, and looked good on watch movements and dials. 

Thereafter, Rolex later moved to Geneva, Switzerland in 1919 due to wartime taxes levied on luxury imports.

Also see: Where to Find Rolex in South Africa

The First Watch In Space

Both the USA and the Soviet Union have achieved countless horological achievements, both on earth and in outer space. However, the very first watch to leave the earth's atmosphere was the Sturmanskie, worn by Yuri Gagarin. The astronaut ventured into space on 12 April 1961 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (now known as Kazakhstan). This Soviet brand was gifted to Gagarin and his fellow pilots after graduating from the Chkalov Air Force Pilot School in Orenberg. 

The Moonwatch

While the Soviet Union was the first to reach space, the USA beat them to the moon. The Omega Speedmaster launched in 1957, but its official space legacy started in 1965 when NASA qualified it for use on its piloted missions. Since then, it has been worn on all six lunar landings and earned the nickname ‘the Moonwatch’.

The Quartz Crisis

Between the late 1970's and early 1980's, quartz watches were trendy and much more affordable than mechanical watches. However, this almost ended the mechanical Swiss watch industry altogether. Thus, often referred to as the 'Quartz Crisis' by passionate watch aficionados.

The Most Complicated Mechanical Watch in The World

The Vacheron Constantin released its Reference 57260 watch in 2015 to mark the brand’s 260th anniversary. The model, with 57 complications, 2,826 parts, and 31 hands also took a total of 8 years to assemble.

Where To Buy and Sell Luxury Watches in South Africa

If you’re looking to purchase or consign a quality luxury timepiece, choose Luxity. We’re still known as one of Africa’s largest and most trusted sites for authentic designer accessories and watches. Take a look at our carefully selected list of luxury timepieces, including your favourite brands such as Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Breitling, and more.