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If you look closely you can see the leather pocket watch wrist holder
And now, thanks to the high quality work of a Ukrainian leather working firm.....
From examining original examples of these holders and looking at period photographs, it appears that most wrist straps were small holding small pendent size watches. The larger sizes such as the above were more likely in use by early aviators and those who wanted a larger and thus more visible watch.
Thanks, Greg. That looks really nice.
By the way, the question of when was the "wrist watch" invented seems to have many answers depending on how one defines wrist watch and which source one reads. From what I have been able to find so far the earliest mention of a wrist watch dates to 1571 when Elizabeth I was given an "arm watch" by Robert Dudley. Then there is a mention of a wrist watch being given to the Queen of Naples in 1810 and various mentions of military men wearing wrist watches in the 1880s and 1890s. And a British patent being awarded to the London firm of Garstin for a "watch wristlet". Or here is an ad from 1915 from the British firm of Mappin advertising their wristwatches that they have been selling to British military since their conquest of Sudan war in 1898 and again in the Boer War from 1899-1902.
Robert Butler was researching this topic and posted some amazing images on our forum of some of the earliest known photographs of officers and men with wristwatches (wristlets). 1877-1880 in Afganistan.
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