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Before the invention of the watch around 1524 in Italy, the only means to track time was through sundials, first found in Mesopotamia and Egypt. These first timekeepers used weights to power their tracking of time and as a result required winding twice daily. Even with such attention, they were often highly inaccurate
In the 1600s, the first portable watch became possible with the invention of a spiral balance spring. This new device required the watch to be wound only once a day. New technologies continued to evolve that made a portable timekeeper more accurate and accessible. The production of steel allowed for gears and springs that kept a truer time. Even more accuracy came as jewels were used to make watch bearings.
The next technological leap for timekeeping came in the early 20th century as people moved from using pocket watches to wearing wrist watches. Production of pocket watches seriously declined after World War II.
In 1952 the first battery watches came on the market. Twenty years later, electronic watches became popular with the general public. Despite these technological advancements, during the 1990s people became nostalgic for mechanical watches. Often these modern mechanical timekeepers were geared toward a higher-end market, and today account for 30 percent of the Swiss watches manufactured.
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