T oday's wristwatches have undergone a lengthy journey since their distant origins in the 16th century. From portable clocks to pocket watches, their evolution into the wrist-worn watches of today has been touched by hundreds of years of world events.
Not least among these was the First World War, which, because of the impracticalities of digging through pockets in the trenches, made wrist-worn watches mainstream (soldiers had already been strapping pocket watches to wrists during the Boer war in 1899). It also opened up their use to a male market, as previously these bracelet-style watches had been primarily worn by women.
Here are three outstanding watches from the upcoming Midas Touch Online sale:
1. Audemars Piguet 18k yellow gold lady’s watch with bracelet case. Estimate £2,000–3,000
Some of the most innovative and beautiful wristwatches ever made have been created specifically for women. Audemars PIguet in particular have always pushed boundaries with their designs for haute jewellery pieces for ladies watches, continuing today to create form watches that blur the boundaries between watches and jewellery pieces.
2. Patek Philippe yellow gold automatic wristwatch with date and bracelet. Estimate £7,000–9,000
The Patek Philippe Calatrava range was first introduced to the market in 1932. These watches are considered the flagship model of Patek Philippe and remain one of the most elegant and understated classics amongst their designs.
3. Rolex 18k yellow gold automatic wristwatch with date, 16618 Submariner, 2006. Estimate £20,000–30,000
The Rolex Submariner’s robust and functional design swiftly became synonymous with Rolex after its launch in 1953. Whilst the design of the watches remain fairly true to its beginnings, Rolex were still able to be playful with their designs, perhaps adding a splash of colour to the bezels or dials, sometimes adding precious stones or textures to capture the spirit of the wearer.