10 Ways Watches Have Evolved


Calling Dick Tracy

Visitors try out the SW2 smartwatch at the Sony stand at the IFA 2013 consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Visitors try out the SW2 smartwatch at the Sony stand at the IFA 2013 consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

For decades, in movies and comic books from pulp to sci-fi, characters have lifted their wrists to their mouths and talked to someone. It's a human dream, like flight or delivery pizza, and it too has finally been achieved. Sony's Android-based SmartWatch can handle email, text and social media updates, which are all 21st century equivalents of actually speaking to someone, which we no longer do. Except that it turns out the dream may be a lie. Now that we have the possibility of communicating via wristwatch, it seems few people actually want to. Not because we don't want to talk to our fellow humans -- goodness no. It's that our phones do everything those watches do and more. Lots of people ditched their watches for their time-telling pocket computers long ago. Wristwatches now seem old-fashioned, no matter what technical feats they may be able to accomplish.

Author's Note: 10 Ways Watches Have Evolved

I do love watches, though I'm a writer, so the likes of Breguet, Girard-Perregaux, Cartier, and all the rest of Jay-Z's wearable friends are beyond my bank account. I've got two watches right now. The one I wear most often is digital, with a lot of plastic buttons on the side. It's white and blocky and looks like it was made for Stormtroopers from "Star Wars." It's also solar-powered, and it automatically syncs with the atomic clock in Colorado, so it's always right. The other is a pseudo diver's watch; it can get wet, but I wouldn't count on it to keep me from getting the bends. I got it as a present for my thirteenth birthday, and I am far beyond thirteen. Its battery dies every so often, and I try replacing it with another watch, but I keep coming back to this oversized metal monster of a watch. A new battery brings it back to life every time.

Related Articles


  • Brockman, Ari. "Hamilton Announces World's First Electric Wristwatch." SmartWatch. Jan. 3, 2014. (Aug. 13, 2014) http://www.smartwatchnews.org/hamilton-first-electric-wristwatch/
  • Brozek, John E. "The History and Evolution of the Wristwatch." International Watch Magazine. January 2004. Republished on QualityTyme.net. (Aug. 6, 2014) http://www.qualitytyme.net/pages/rolex_articles/history_of_wristwatch.html
  • Collectors Weekly. "Vintage Mickey Mouse Watches." CollectorsWeekly.com. (Aug. 13, 2014) http://www.menswearstyle.co.uk/2013/07/26/history-of-the-wristwatch/660
  • Costa, Alan. "The History of Watches." ClocksOnly.com. (Aug. 6, 2014) http://clocksonly.com/watch_history.html
  • Edwards, Benj. "The Digital Watch: A Brief History." PCMag.com, April 15, 2012. (Aug. 6, 2014) http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/296609/the-digital-watch-a-brief-history
  • Menswear Style. "The History of the Wristwatch." Menswear Style. July 26, 2013. (Aug. 6, 2014) http://www.menswearstyle.co.uk/2013/07/26/history-of-the-wristwatch/660
  • Swatch. "The amazing adventures of 'The Second Watch.'" Swatch.com. (Aug. 13, 2014) http://www.swatch.com/zz_en/about/history.html
  • The Time Piece Store. "The History of Wrist Watches." TimePieceStore.com. Dec. 17, 2008. (Aug. 6, 2014) http://www.timepiecestore.com/blog/?p=3
  • The Watch Guy. "Hamilton Electric." TheWatchGuy.Homestead.com. (Aug. 13, 2014) http://thewatchguy.homestead.com/pages/HAMILTONELECT.html
  • Tourneau. "History of Timekeeping." Tourneau.com. (Aug. 6, 2014) http://www.tourneau.com/catalog/editorial_onecolumn.jsp?pageName=HistoryOfTimeKeepingTimeline


How does the Puls Wearable differ from a smart watch?

How does the Puls Wearable differ from a smart watch?

The Puls Wearable is a smart watch-smartphone combination that looks like a chunky bracelet. Learn more about the Puls Wearable.