When writing chapter 33 of “Love Never Fails”, I debated with myself whether Albert should use a wristwatch or a pocket watch. Those of you who have read the chapter know that I have decided to let him use a wristwatch.
For some reason, whenever I think of pocket watches, I will have pictures of middle-aged or even older men with oval, gold-rimmed glasses perched on the tip of their noses, dressed in impeccable black tuxedoes popped up in my mind. This is such a big contrast to the image of Albert shown in the manga.
So what’s wrong with wristwatches? Nothing is wrong of course. In fact, it’s probably the most common way to tell time nowadays. However, do you know that wristwatches, used to be called wristlets, were looked down by gentlemen in the high society?
Wristlets were designed (reserved) for women, and considered more as fashion than a serious timepiece. As a matter of fact, many gentlemen back then were actually quoted to say they “would sooner wear a skirt as wear a wristwatch”.
According to http://www.qualitytyme.net/pages/rolex_articles/history_of_wristwatch.html,
“This all started to change in the nineteenth century, when soldiers discovered their usefulness during wartime situations. Pocket watches were clumsy to carry and thus difficult to operate while in combat… In 1906, the evolution of wristlets took an even bigger step with the invention of the expandable flexible bracelet… This aided their adaptation for military use and thus marked a turning point in the development of wristwatches for men.”
Hence, companies were scrambling to keep up with the demand. One company that enjoyed huge success during this time was Wilsdorf & Davis, Ltd. (founded in 1905). Later in 1915, the company changed its name to The Rolex Watch Company, Ltd..
Not so surprisingly, from the same article, it said that “Rolex received the very first wristwatch Chronometer awards from the School of Horology in Bienne (1910), and the Class “A” Certificate of Precision from the Kew Observatory in England (1914). To this day, Rolex watches consistently receive more Chronometer Certificates from the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), than every other watch company in the world, combined.”
After World War I, many soldiers returned home with wristwatches, which were no longer deemed as feminine. Wristwatches subsequently got more and more popular such that Rolex introduced the first truly waterproof wristwatch, the Oyster, in 1926.
Now back to my story, I believe wristwatches were considerably costly back then, and it’s highly likely that only rich people could afford them (unless they were soldiers I suppose). Therefore, do you think Albert might have a Rolex watch?
Anyway, if any of you have noticed, I intentionally didn’t draw a watch (see my previous post). I hope you don’t mind.