Swiss luxury watches manufacturer Breguet was the first to create a custom-made wrist watch for the Queen of Naples at the time, Caroline Murat. The Queen, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, commissioned Breguet to make the first-ever watch to fit around her wrist on the 8th of June, 1810. The piece was delivered in 1812.
Quite some time later, as technology improved and public interest in timepieces grew, Rolex came up with the first waterproof watch called Oyster in 1926. Breitling followed the trend by releasing its stopwatch in 1930, to respond to design and production methods advancements.
Wristwatches became increasingly popular and people started to imagine new possibilities for them beyond indicating time. The Star Trek serie and James Bond movies were already showing intelligent watches with innovative capabilities such as voice recording and wireless communication. In 1970, the first digital watch was introduced by Hamilton. In the 80’s, as internet and mobile phones became part of everyday life, Casio and Seiko produced watches with built-in blood pressure sensors, database, touch screen and even gesture control. This is when the first “smart” watches made their apparition.
Later, a more polished version of the watch came out with Samsung’s launch of a product that offeredBluetooth, fingerprint reader and accelerometer in 1999. Many other smart watches were being researched and developed, however no groundbreaking technology had been unveiled so far. However, as years went by, amazing advances in the mobile phone industry uncovered new opportunities for developers, as hardware components became smaller and smaller and data network allowed near-to-instant global communication.
Pebble Smart Watch, firstly seen on Kickstarter.com, was at the origin of smart watches’ general public acceptance and commercialization. In 2012, its crowdfunding raised more than $10 million and allowed the prototype to be finalized. It was made available to the public in a bit more than a month and over 300,000 Pebbles were sold since.
As of today, there are more than 30 smart watches on the market. Wearable devices are now designed to improve health, safety,lifestyle, communication, and increase self-knowledge about physiological data such assleep/rest cycles, blood pressure and calories intake. Watches have come a long way since 1812, and it seems the only limit in their capabilities is set by humans’ imagination