Fun facts about watches: Did you know?

watches fun facts

Why are watches worn on the left hand?

The tradition of wearing watches on the left hand dates back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when pocket watches were the norm. Most people were right-handed, and pocket watches were typically designed to be worn in the left pocket of a jacket or waistcoat. To check the time, the wearer would need to take the watch out of their pocket with their right hand, which was often a bit awkward.

To solve this problem, people began to wear their watches on their left wrist, which allowed them to check the time more easily with their right hand. Over time, wearing watches on the left wrist became the norm, and it has remained that way even with the advent of wristwatches.

It’s worth noting that some people do prefer to wear their watch on their right wrist, particularly left-handed individuals or people who find it more comfortable that way.

Why are watches called watches?

The word “watch” comes from the Old English word “woecce,” which means “watchman” or “guard.” In the Middle Ages, the word “watch” was used to refer to the period of time during which a group of guards would stand watch over a city or other important location.

Later on, mechanical clocks were developed, which were typically large and housed in towers or other public places. People would gather around these clocks to check the time, and the act of doing so became known as “watching the clock.”

As portable timepieces became more common, the term “watch” began to be used to refer to these devices as well. In fact, the first portable timepieces were known as “pocket watches” because they were designed to be carried in a pocket.

So, in short, watches are called watches because the act of checking the time was originally called “watching the clock,” and the term was later applied to portable timepieces as well.

Do watches work in space?

Yes, watches can work in space, but they may have some differences in how they operate compared to watches on Earth.

Watches typically rely on a quartz crystal to keep time. This crystal vibrates at a precise frequency when an electric current is applied, which is used to regulate the movement of the watch’s hands. In space, where there is no gravity, the crystal can vibrate more freely and may actually oscillate at a slightly different frequency. However, modern watches are designed to compensate for this and can still keep accurate time in space.

Another potential issue is the lack of air pressure in space. Most watches are designed to be water-resistant, but they may not be designed to withstand the extreme pressure changes that can occur in a vacuum. However, this is not typically a concern for watches worn by astronauts, as they are usually worn inside the spacecraft or spacesuit.

Overall, watches can work in space, but they may require some specialized design considerations to function properly. Many watches worn by astronauts are specifically designed and tested for use in space, like the Omega Speedmaster for example.

Do watches count as jewellery?

Watches can be considered as jewelry. While their primary function is to tell time, watches are often worn as a fashion accessory and can be made from a variety of materials, including precious metals and gemstones.

In fact, many luxury watch brands are considered to be high-end jewelry brands as well, due to the intricate designs and high-quality materials used in their watches. For some people, a watch can be a statement piece of jewelry that complements their outfit or reflects their personal style.

However, not all watches are considered jewelry. Some are designed purely for practical purposes and may not have any aesthetic or decorative elements. Additionally, some people may not consider a watch to be a piece of jewelry if it is primarily worn for its functional purpose of telling time.

Can watches freeze?

Yes, watches can freeze if they are exposed to extremely low temperatures. Most watches are designed to function properly in normal temperatures, but extreme cold can cause problems with the movement and other components of the watch.

The lubricating oils and greases used in watches can become thick and viscous at low temperatures, which can cause the movement to slow down or stop altogether. In addition, the expansion and contraction of materials used in the watch can cause damage to the movement and other components.

If a watch is exposed to freezing temperatures, it’s important to allow it to warm up gradually before attempting to use it. Rapid temperature changes can cause condensation to form inside the watch, which can damage the movement and other components. It’s also a good idea to have a watch serviced by a professional if it has been exposed to extreme cold, as they can inspect the movement and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.

Do watches know what month it is?

Most watches are equipped with a calendar function that can display the current month, in addition to the time and date. The way that a watch displays the month can vary depending on the watch model and brand.

Some watches have a small window on the dial that displays the current month in numerical format, while others may display the month using abbreviations or full names. Some watches may also display the day of the week, as well as the current date and year.

The calendar function on watches typically relies on a mechanical or electronic mechanism to keep track of the month. Mechanical watches often use a complex system of gears and springs to keep track of time, while electronic watches use a small computer chip that can keep track of time and date with great accuracy.

However, it’s worth noting that not all watches have a calendar function or may have limited calendar features. In general, higher-end watches are more likely to have advanced calendar functions, while basic watches may only display the time and date.

Do watches run faster when fully wound?

It is a common misconception that watches run faster when fully wound, but this is not actually true. When a mechanical watch is fully wound, it simply means that the mainspring has been fully coiled, storing the maximum amount of energy that it can hold. This energy is released gradually over time, powering the movement of the watch’s hands.

The rate at which a watch keeps time is determined by the balance wheel, which is regulated by a hairspring. The balance wheel oscillates back and forth at a consistent rate, and this rate is what determines the watch’s accuracy. The mainspring simply provides the energy needed to power the balance wheel, but it does not affect the rate at which it oscillates.

In fact, overwinding a mechanical watch can actually be harmful to its accuracy, as it can put extra strain on the mainspring and other components of the movement. It is generally recommended to wind a mechanical watch until the mainspring is fully coiled, but not to continue winding it past that point.

Electronic watches, such as quartz watches, do not have mainsprings and are powered by batteries or other sources of electricity. These watches do not require winding and their accuracy is determined by the frequency at which the quartz crystal vibrates, which is not affected by the amount of charge in the battery.

Why are watches so important?

Watches are important for a variety of reasons:

  1. Keeping track of time: This is the most obvious reason why watches are important. Watches allow us to keep track of time and plan our activities accordingly. In today’s fast-paced world, time is a valuable commodity, and having a reliable timepiece is essential for staying on schedule.
  2. Style and fashion: Watches are also an important fashion accessory. They come in a wide range of styles, from sporty to elegant, and can be worn to complement a wide range of outfits. For many people, a watch is an essential part of their personal style.
  3. Functionality: Many watches are designed with additional functions, such as a stopwatch, a timer, or a calendar. These features can be useful for a variety of activities, from sports to business meetings.
  4. Historical significance: Watches have a long and interesting history, dating back hundreds of years. They have played an important role in the development of technology and the measurement of time. Many watches are also considered valuable collectibles, with a rich history and unique designs.
  5. Sentimental value: Watches are often given as gifts or passed down through generations, making them important family heirlooms. They can hold a lot of sentimental value, reminding us of special moments or loved ones.

Overall, watches are important for a variety of practical and personal reasons. They provide us with a reliable way to keep track of time, add style and functionality to our outfits, and can hold both historical and sentimental value.


If you like my fun facts, consider to also check out my list of funny watches.

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