As I wrote in my earlier post, wristwatches in the late 19th century were predominantly for ladies as jewellery, rather than functional objects. The first ever Cartier wristwatch dates to 1888 and it was a ladies' watch on a bracelet.
Santos Dumont's watch was the first made for a civilian user and the first was of course a special order for Santos Dumont. So strictly speaking the Santos Dumont was the first pilot's wristwatch.
Some notable points about the Santos Dumont and earlier wristwatches,
- The GP watches for the Kasierliche Marine was a government order to equip military personnel and the watches were not sold to officers;
- Early wristwatches were made for women, including Patek, Cartier etc;
- If the watches from Constant Girard were the first men's military wristwatches, then the Santos Dumont was the first civilian men's watch, or custom civilian men's watch to be precise, and;
- The Santos Dumont was square - it was the world's first form wristwatch.
Thanks to Christopher Kilaniotis at Cartier for his thoughts on this.
- SJXThis message has been edited by SJX on 2010-06-09 00:41:25