When was the first watch invented?

Vaer Watches Updated by Vaer Watches

The history of mechanical watches dates back to the 14th century, but the first hand-wound watch as we know it today was invented in the 16th century.

In 1510, German locksmith and watchmaker Peter Henlein created a portable clock that could be worn on a chain around the neck, known as a "Nuremberg egg." This early timepiece was hand-wound, with a mainspring that was wound using a key.

Over time, watchmakers refined the design of the hand-wound watch, improving its accuracy and adding additional features such as minute hands, seconds hands, and complications like calendars and moon phases. By the 19th century, hand-wound watches had become popular luxury items, with many watchmakers competing to produce the most accurate and ornate designs.

Today, hand-wound watches remain popular among watch enthusiasts who appreciate their mechanical complexity and traditional design. While automatic watches have largely replaced hand-wound watches in the mainstream market, hand-wound watches continue to be sought after for their historical appeal.

Here at Vaer, we've released two hand-wound models over the course of our business - the 2021 versions of the A12 Dirty Dozen, and the A12 Ceremony. While these models are no longer in-stock, we hope to bring back more hand-wound models in the future.

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