Discovering Different Kinds of Watches

by : rhusain

Pocket watch was first made in 1520. Then it keeps on improving with time and we have a lot of choices. They come in all shape and sizes and different designs and decorated with different types of ornaments. One of the most important thing in a watch is it movements accuracy and the materials and their durability.

The making of pocket-watches may be said to have begun with small ones of spherical shape about 1520. These resembled pomanders and were worn similarly; from a chain round the neck, or at the girdle. The round flat watch Came later, and was enclosed in a plain inner case, usually of silver, and an outer case with elaborate ornamentation. The movements are found to be most carefully made, and the cock, or cover of the balance wheel, usually pierced and engraved in a complicated pattern.

The maximum decoration was given to watches by the French and Swiss: cases of gold were enameled or set with precious stones, and intricate movements with small automata that struck the hours were made. The watches of Abraham Louis Breguet, born in Switzerland and working in France, are among the very finest ever made. He died in 1823 and it has been said by an expert that 'all his watches show perfect workmanship, originality in design and beauty in form'. Like the early eighteenth-century work of Thomas Tompion, that of Breguet has been faked, and the fame of both makers was so great in their lifetimes that many of the forgeries were contemporary with them.

Musical boxes
Musical boxes are nearly as old as clocks. They operate by a barrel with protruding pegs striking the teeth of a steel comb or operating bells.

The most familiar ones are those of small size frequently in the form of snuffboxes, many of which are adapted to play more than one tune. They are supposed to have been invented by a Swiss, Louis Favre of Geneva, and most of the good movements were made in that country.

Some are incredibly small and were fitted into fob seals, sealing-wax holders, penknives and other articles where they might surprise a listener. A refinement was the fitting of a tiny bellows to work a whistle, which led to the making of boxes containing a small hidden bird. This would pop up and sing, to disappear when the song was ended and stay hidden until the operating button was pressed again.

Late in the eighteenth century clocks were fitted sometimes with a musical box in the base, which played when the hour had struck. Grandfather clocks were made to play a short tune on bells at the hour, and on some it was possible to choose one of several melodies.

In the nineteenth century many large musical boxes were made, some playing a number of tunes and fitted with interchangeable barrels. Others played principally on a steel comb, but had bells as well and incorporated small drums played by colored butterflies. The gramophone replaced them finally.

Clocks: Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World, by G. H. Baillie* (1947), lists about 35,000 names of clock and watchmakers up to 1825. Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers, by F. W. Britten, is the standard work. Some Outstanding Clocks Over Seven Hundred Years 1250-1950, by H. Alan Lloyd, is a magnificently illustrated work on the subject; Arco Publishing Co., New York, distributes it. Many books on the subject are published every year.

Watches, by G. H. Baillie (1929) and The Story of Watches, by T. P. Camerer Cuss. English Watches, by J. F. Hayward, V. & A. museum, 1956.*
Musical Boxes, and Automata: Les Automates, by A. Chapuis and Edmond Droz, published in Neuchatel in 1949 and Musical Boxes, by J. E. T. Clark.

Musical boxes in the late eighteenth century were sometimes fitted with clock, which would give music when the clock had struck an hour. With the improvements of clocks and watches there have been vast improvements in the kind of musical boxes and their sounds, etc.