Clocking Off: the Watch Blog

It is with a distinct pang of sadness that we reach our final watch blog! Over the last 2 months we’ve set out to educate those new to horology, while providing handy tidbits for the aficionados amongst you. We hope you’ve enjoyed our journey through time and give you this article as a summary of all that’s gone before.

Where Did it All Begin?

From our last blog, we know that wristwatches are but a flash-in-the-pan when compared to their forefathers. The first watches were really the portable clocks of the early 16th century, soon turning to pocket-watches with the introduction of the regulatory fusee at the head of the 17th century.

Our readers are often surprised that wristwatches didn’t come into play until the second half of the 19th century, and that was only for jewellery purposes or use in setting off cannons and other artillery in the German military. We’ve learned that the current trend for mechanical watches was spurned by a revolutionary new partnership between the formative aviation industry of the 1900s and Louis Cartier. It was his watch, created for a pioneering aviator and his ‘flying machine’, that made the transition between female adornment and symbol of macho masculinity.

Quartz Vs Mechanical

In our various musings we’ve found out exactly how timepieces been evolved over the years, from Abraham-Louis Breguet’s gravity-defying ‘tourbillion’ invention, to his advancement of the self-winding ‘perpétuelle’ watch.

However, it is the argument of ‘quartz vs mechanical’, following Seiko’s unveiling of the first ever battery powered commercial wristwatch in 1959, that provides the real talking point in horological advancement. We hope that we’ve shown, despite the undeniable improvements in accuracy this proved, that the true value of a watch lies with its history and provenance. Those watches that can be crafted without a battery, a symbol of technological progression over the last 500 years, will always stand the test of time due to heritage, artistry and craftsmanship.

The Value of Watches

As mechanical watches continue to develop even to this day, with new complications from rotating globes, to hydro-powered movements, they will always have the potential for value. With no pun intended, wristwatches really do provide us with a snapshot in time and, as such, will always be one of the key assets to be passed from generation to generation.

When finding the value of a watch, the main things you are looking for is a manufacturer’s heritage and quality of the movements and component parts used. We know that those watchmakers who are truly independent, creating everything in-house, are rare, which positively affects the value of their output. We’ve also learned that there really is a reason for the dominance of Swiss watches and for a new company to compete, innovation and complication is essential.

It is because of the incredible amount of competition that exists within the watch industry, that it can only continue to survive, prosper and further one of man’s greatest inventions. It is for this reason that watches are one of the wisest and most secure investments around.

borro and Watches

This blog has been brought to you by borro, an innovative loan company, and winner of numerous alternative lender awards. It was the aim of this series of articles to help uncover the true financial potential of watches and we hope you leave us considerably better informed than you were to begin with!

We believe that watches are special. A good watch will stay with you and your family for 100s of years. As such, their potential for value can be considerable, which is why we offer competitive loans against them, allowing you to unlock some of their monetary potential. To find out more, our skilled team, hand-picked from the UK’s leading auction-houses will be only too happy to value your precious asset – for free. You can contact us on 0808 163 9537.


Many thanks for joining us on our horological adventure. Although the watch blog has come to an end, we still have much more to give. We blog on Thursdays about cars, from vintage machines to sports icons and will continue that into next Wednesday’s article – we’d love you to join us!

Clocking off, Ed Hallinan and the borro team.

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