When the mainspring was developed around 1500 this quickly led
to the invention of the first watch. These small portable
clocks were worn on a cord around the neck and were the predecessor
to the antique pocket watch.. The casings were generally of
very luxurious and fine style with the main function of these
watches being decorative -- they were very inaccurate.
gold, or gilded watches were engraved and from 1630 onwards
were also decorated with polychrome enamel. These watches were
not very reliable until the development in 1670 of the balance
wheel. After this date the watch's function became more
important in design. Minute hands were added and dials with
the hours marked in figures became more prominent.
French watchmakers fitted wholly enameled dials from 1720 on
and within a few decades the rest of Europe followed his
and twentieth century pocket watches were generally devoid of
expensive enamel decoration and their metal cases were plain
metal that was sometimes embossed or engraved. Enamel's place
was sometimes taken by cheaper painted horn.
invention in 1755 of the anchor escapement was very important
to the development of the watch and made them much more
accurate. Although this invention was ignored for almost 80
years, it replaced virtually every other type of movement in
the period 1830 to 1850 and has been used in virtually every
mechanical watch mechanism since.