From The Jewellery Editor: World War I and the Wristwatch

Maria Doulton of The Jewellery Editor is one of the most knowledgeable minds on the web when it comes to fine jewelry and timepieces. We asked her to pick a few of her favorite pieces, and give the readers of The Study a preview of what you can find on her site. Read on for a fascinating history lesson!


The centenary of World War I is a fitting time to look at how the rigors of combat forever changed the physiognomy of watches—and brought about a change in men’s tastes.

In their battle to improve the precision and robustness of their watches, companies like Rolex, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, A. Lange & Söhne, IWC and Longines beefed up their watches with protective gear to withstand the reality of trench warfare—namely, rain, mud and flying shrapnel. Resilience, legibility, luminosity and accuracy were necessary on the front, and many models of this period were protected with metal grilles. To make the cases more robust, screwed-down case-backs or totally sealed cases did their best to protect the movement.

Read more on The Jewellery Editor to find out how Trench watches made their way onto the wrists of males around the world.

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