Wristwatches continue to be popular among many of today's prominent Englishmen, with political leaders and actors frequently wearing wristwatches in public. Below is a look at the origin of wristwatches and the features of some of today's most popular watches.


How did wristwatches originate?


The first wristwatch was created in 1904 by Louis Cartier following a conversation with his friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont. At the time, Santos-Dumont was an aviator who would regularly fly over Paris. Cartier designed the first wristwatch after Santos-Dumont remarked that pocket watches were not user-friendly during flights:


"Alberto Santos-Dumont was the person for whom the first wristwatch was created by Louis Cartier, at the beginning of the last century. He didn't know how he could control his beautiful aeroplane, this crazy machine, the Demoiselle. So one day he asked his friend Louis Cartier to make something different because in those days there were only pocket watches. That's how Louis Cartier created the first wristwatch, which was named the Santos-Dumont watch in his honour."

- Arnaud Bamberger, Executive Chairman of Cartier UK


Why is a wristwatch considered to be such a strong indicator of a man's style?


Wristwatches have been popular among men for over 100 years. But in recent years, wristwatches have become symbolic of a man's style. Real Men Real Style lists a great looking watch among the top three status symbols for men. They equate a man's wristwatch to a woman's jewellery, noting the following: "Some women have their jewellery to show off - equally some men have their watches. So you don't want just any watch to tell you the time. You want something classy and luxurious..."  


Who are some well-known Englishmen who are never without their wristwatches?


The growing popularity of men's wristwatches can be seen on the big screen in addition to real life social gatherings. As fictional characters such as Bruce Wayne and James Bond flash their watches in movies, real-life political figures and other celebrities are displaying their allegiance to the wristwatch. Here are three well-known Englishmen who are regularly seen wearing their watches during social gatherings and public events:


Prince William


For more than ten years, Prince William has worn the Omega Seamaster 300 wristwatch. The watch carries great sentimental value, as it was a gift to him from his mother, Diana. Notably, the watch is the same model that James Bond wore in the movie Goldeneye.


Tom Hardy


British actor Tom Hardy is known for wearing Bremont watches in several of his Marvel films. He is particularly well-known for wearing the Bremont U2/51-Jet, which features water resistance to 100 metres and a black metal dial with SuperLumiNova coated indexes. The U2 also bears an anti-reflective, scratch resistant sapphire crystal.


"Apparently Hardy requested to wear the watch himself which, given that he's a pretty big collector himself isn't all too surprising. If any watch is going to survive the inevitable battle zone of Venom it's the U2. It was originally designed for elite military squadrons, hence it's dark, stealthy look."

- Oracle Time


Eddie Redmayne


Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne is known for being the face of the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra. Redmayne was actively involved in the launch of the new version of the Aqua Terra, describing Venice as the ideal place to launch the new watch. Redmayne also notes that his love of wearing wristwatches stems from childhood when he would occasionally borrow his father's Omega De Ville folt wristwatch.  


What are some of the most popular types of wristwatches?


The Art of Manliness outlines five basic types of wristwatches: dress, diver, field, aviator, and racing. Each style varies according to size, band, and face. For example, dress watches are typically thinner and often bear a classic leather band. Dive watches are larger in size, featuring a bold face and a metal band that is constructed to fit around dive equipment. A growing number of men are choosing to invest in multiple watch styles to ensure that they are never without a stylish timepiece.


What are some examples of today's most eye-catching wristwatches?


In addition to the watches described above, today's stylish wristwatches contain the latest combination of colourful dials, water resistant construction, and special features such as helium escape valves. Here are three of today's most captivating men's wristwatches:


Tag Heuer's 43mm Formula One Watch


Known for a brilliant blue and orange dial, Tag Heuer Formula One 43mm Quartz Watch is symbolic of the greatest moments of motor racing. This watch also features water resistance to 200 meters and an aluminium blue tachymetre with fixed bezel.


Longines Conquest  Wristwatch


Favourite among younger or class inclined gents, the Longines Conquest harks back to a golden age of watchmaking, its vintage feel both classy and timeless. This clear aesthetic appeals to young and old alike.

Bremont Supermarine 500


The Supermarine 500 is known for its patented anti-shock case mount and water resistance to 500 metres. With its colourful sapphire bezel, the Bremont Supermarine 500 provides superb luminosity in dark conditions. Diving enthusiasts enjoy the Superamarine's automatic helium escape valve.   


What are some accessories to buy with your wristwatch?


Carefully selected accessories can extend the life of your watch by helping to keep it in pristine condition. From stylish storage cases to sophisticated watch winders, wristwatch accessories are a welcome addition to any wristwatch purchase. Below are some useful accessories that will help keep your wristwatch looking great and functioning well at all times.


WOLF Windsor Watch Box


Safe storage is essential for helping to keep your watch in pristine condition for years. At Jacobs, we offer a generous collection of storage options for watches. The WOLF Windsor Watch Box is an excellent option for men who are looking to expand their collection of wristwatches. The WOLF Windsor Watch Box features a spacious drawer and safe storage for 10 watches. Overall dimensions measure 32cm w x 25cm d x 14cm h, and the box includes a locking glass cover. Men who love accessories will appreciate the spacious design of this box, and its ability to comfortably store 8 rings, 17 cuff links, and up to 10 watches.


WOLF Watch Winder


Few accessories offer a better combination of utility and sophistication than a WOLF Watch Winder. With its superb engineering, the WOLF Watch Winder features intermittent rotation with programmable pause and sleep phases. Wristwatch aficionados will appreciate this watch winder's 900 TPD (Turns Per Day) capacity and bi-directional watch cuff. Here are a few more enticing benefits offered by the WOLF single watch winder:

  • Operates on AC power or AA batteries
  • Glass dust cover lid
  • A universal power adapter
  • Brown grosgrain face plate
  • Able to accommodate larger, heavier watches
  • Dimensions: 13.5cm w x 11.5cm d x 14.5cm h
  • Chrome finished hardware


WOLF Blake Watch Roll


Protecting your watch while travelling is something that many men may not consider. With the WOLF Blake Watch Roll, international businessmen and travel enthusiasts can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their watch is protected when they are on the road. Available in black pebble leather, the Blake watch roll measures 10cm w x 7.6cm d x 7.6cm h, making it easy to store in a carry-on bag or briefcase. Travellers who are planning for multiple occasions will enjoy the WOLF Blake triple watch roll, which is designed to securely house three wristwatches during travel.


What is the best thing to do if you would like an authentic wristwatch?


The single best step to take if you need an authentic wristwatch is to seek the expertise of a trusted jewellery shop. Unlike many grey market unapproved watch sellers, an established jewellery shop with formal agency status will have wristwatch specialists who are trained to recommend a model that reflects your personality, profession, and individual style. Additionally, you can rest assured knowing that you are purchasing a premium quality wristwatch that will stand the test of time.


Find a Suitable Wristwatch in Reading


Every day, men across the Berkshire discover why Jacobs the Jewellers is Europe's trusted source for premium quality wristwatches that will stand the test of time. Our highly skilled jewellers have the training and expertise to provide the guidance you need to choose the perfect wristwatch to suit your needs. Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should consider Jacobs for all of your wristwatch needs:

  • Over 70 years of experience in helping customers
  • An impressive team of wristwatch experts who are eager to assist you with your questions and needs
  • An extensive selection of premium quality wristwatches manufactured by Longines, Tag Heuer, and Bremont
  • Award-winning service and community recognition


Whether you need a watch for a special occasion or are simply looking for a durable everyday wristwatch, Jacobs Independent Jewellers is here to help you find a stylish and dependable watch. We invite you to contact us to discover why we are the world's most trusted provider of high-quality authentic wristwatches.