Mechanical watches down the ages have been used as a status symbol. In the 1750s, pocket watches were something only royalty could afford. Men would purchase a watch to mark an achievement in their careers. A watch would be gifted to the groom to mark his change in marital status.
Pocket watches were for a long time considered a status watch. The chain hanging from the pocket of the bearer of the watch was a symbol of their high status in society. Although naval captains and many famous explorers wore watches as a symbol of status too, they often relied on their watches for navigation.
Before the introduction of GPS, explorers depended on various instruments for navigation. The watch was one such item. Many explorers relied on dead reckoning for navigation. This method of positioning oneself relied on the use of direction, speed and time.
Many explorers relied on a pocket watch, just like those you can find on sites like DailySale, to find their way. Some even loved their time pieces to the grave.
In 1911, Roald Amundsen became the first man to set foot on the South Pole. He managed to get there using only three tools for navigation: his two pocket watches and a sextant. His watches had been made by the German watch company, J. Assmann. They were certified for accuracy by the German Naval Institute. Amundsen had one watch set at home time and the other set to read local time.
Amundsen later became the first man to sail the Northwest Passage. In 1927, he was the first man to set foot on the North Pole and therefore became the first man to reach both the North and South Pole. Both of his pocket watches are now in the Fram Museum in Norway.
Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark
These US Army volunteers are famous for exploring the western part of the US. In 1804, they led the Corps of Discovery Expedition through the western part of the US that took them from Missouri to the Pacific Coast passing through Mississippi.
These explorers had to traverse uncharted territory. They carried with them various tools for navigation including a scientific pocket watch. This was known as a Gold Chronometer. It cost $250, which was a very large sum of money at the time. Their watch and the other tools they carried allowed them to chart the course of the Missouri River.
David Livingstone is famous for traversing the uncharted territory of South and Central Africa. He is famed for his detailed maps and in-depth knowledge of the indigenous people. He heavily relied on two tools for navigation; his watch and his sextant.
Clearly, pocket watches were much more than status symbols. Wear your pocket watch with pride, gentlemen.