The production of portable (personal) mechanical watches began in the 16th century. Initially, they were not adapted to be kept in pockets, but simply hung around the neck or tied to clothing. The clocks were cylindrical or spherical in shape, quite massive, had only one hour hand, and the dial was not covered with glass. These watches are then worn as jewelry, not to know the exact time. In addition, due to the mechanisms not yet developed, their accuracy was then poor enough. But it was an innovative and luxurious accessory decorated with ornaments and pictures. 17th c. in the second half, watches began to be worn in pockets: not only the changed style of clothing, but also the need to protect the watch from environmental influences influenced the design of time-counting devices. True, only men began to wear watches in their pockets, and women's watches remained hanging until the twentieth century. With the change in the way the watches are worn, their appearance has also changed - for the convenience of keeping them in your pocket, the watch cases have taken on a flat shape that has survived to this day. 18th c. the mechanisms have been improved - they have been specially adapted for small, portable watches. Manufacturers have also tried to meet the growing demand - in addition to luxury and expensive watches, simpler and cheaper ones have appeared in trade. 19th century Watches with replaceable parts began to be manufactured in the United States, and at the end of the same century, soldiers involved in battles began to tie pocket watches on their wrists for convenience and practicality. This is how wristwatches emerged, which became widespread in society after the First World War. Still, pocket watches have remained refined, stand out accessories.
Luxury pocket watches are masterpieces of applied art. Pocket watches come with a closed or open dial. There are also covers (one or two) on the back to cover the mechanism, but there are watches and a non-openable back. Chains are usually attached to their bodies, and the bodies, covers and dials are decorated with ornaments, drawings and symbols. Watches are often plated with precious metals (the most luxurious ones are made of them). The custom-designed pocket watches, made to order, were presented as awards or souvenirs.
In this virtual exhibition we present a part of the collection of pocket watches kept in the collections of the Trakai History Museum.
Objects of the exhibition
Virtuali paroda „Šventasis Jurgis – (ne)užmirštas Lietuvos globėjas“