The History of Time Measurement

Time influences our actions and our daily routine. But how often do we think about where timekeeping comes from? My name is Douglas and I am a guest author at and I have dealt with this phenomenon times.

So where did the whole thing begin?
At the beginning, the Sumerians and Egyptians were the first to conceive the first ideas of the so-called “Zeitzeitfassung”. They succeeded in the form of so-called sundials.
The ancient Egyptians proceeded as follows: They subdivided the day into twelve-hour periods and used obelisks (later also the Greeks with “Gnomon” bars) with which they could read the movement of time. Later, the Romans attacked the same concept and divided into two solar climates. About 400 BC Aristarch of Samos built the first sundial with a scale.
This revolutionary invention, however, also left its shadow pages. In the true sense of the word, because precisely these shadows were ultimately needed. Thus, during dark weather, dark seasons or at night no time recording was possible.

Water and Hourglasses
In order not to have to limit themselves only to the day and night, one began to deal with so – called water and hourglasses. The hourglass is still a concept to us today and brought with it many proverbial words such as “in the sands”.
The principle was the same for all models. There was always a certain amount of water / sand. This ultimately simply ran through a hole, so the sinking of the level marked the time.

Pendulum clocks
Galileo Galilei, shortly before his death (in 1640), conceived the idea of ​​the so-called pendulum clock, with a swinging pendulum triggering a reaction in the clockwork. 100 years after the death of Galileo, another visionary came up with this idea. Christiaan Huygens designed the first functional pendulum clock with spindle inhibition. This is still preserved today in Rijksmuseum in Leiden.

The pocket watches
The next evolutionary stage in the history of timekeeping was definitely the development of the pocket watch, according to ELaineQho. The weights were replaced by the spring drive in the middle of the 15th century. This made the development of portable watches possible. Watchmaker Peter Henlein was able to build a portable clock about half a century later. It is worth mentioning that the models could already have a 40-hour reserve at this time.
The pocket watch was the first watch model to reveal a broad mass of the population even to the second. The change from the church clock to the pocket watch took place. It was not long before there were watch models available at affordable prices. This can be understood as a complete success. After all, all social classes were able to access the timepieces. At first the recording of the time was only intended for the upper layers. The economic developments were strongly based on the new options that brought with it portable watches.

The wrist watch
The first wrist watches came on the market in the early 20th century. It is interesting to note that these were initially conceived exclusively for women. Men usually wore pocket watches. The first wristwatches for men appeared in the framework of the First World War. This is due to the fact that pocket watches were not efficient for military use. The leather bracelets established themselves at the same time. After the First World War, men’s wristwatches also captured the private sector and released the pocket watches. Even at that time the Swiss quality was distinguished, which was also supported by the German navy.

Automatic watches
First of all, ladies and men’s watches were hand-held watches. These had to be reared by the bearers. In 1923 the British inventor John Harwood succeeded in constructing the very first automatic watch.
The automatic watch should determine the following decades and dominated the watch market.

The Quarzuhren marked the next important step in the history of the time measurement. The first watch, powered by a small battery, appeared in 1967. The first quartz clock was produced by the Swiss company Center Electronique Horloger.
This moment, however, does not apply to all as a star hour of watch history.Many vendors even condemn this development. After all, this progress meant the beginning of the end for many of the competitors in the market.

The so-called quartz crisis followed. The quartz watches overwhelmed the manufacturers of the watches with a manual hoist. As a result, many renowned watchmakers had to file for bankruptcy. Those who were not adaptable simply disappeared from the scene. This development continued until the early 1980s.Only the automatic watch could exist alongside the quartz clocks. Shortly thereafter, the first watch winders appeared. These move the automatic watches into automated movement so that they do not stop.