World War I coincided with the breakthrough of the replica wristwatch. New and trailblazing designs followed in each subsequent decade. From the WatchTime archives, here are our highlights, from the beginning of the 20th Century to the present day.
Many soldiers in World War I preferred a quickly readable watch on the wrist to a timepiece safely tucked away in a pocket of their uniform jacket. One consequence of this was that after the Great War ended, the copy wristwatch became popular among men, many of whom had formerly belittled it as a feminine accessory. Wristwatches worn by soldiers on the front lines were typically equipped with protective grids to cover their crystals, which were not yet shatterproof.
With the outbreak of World War II, the military again strongly influenced design in the ’40s. Pilots’ watches like the brown leather strap replica IWC Big Pilot’s Watch, which IWC first produced for the German Air Force in 1940, were easy to read thanks to their big cases and black dials. They also had easily graspable crowns that pilots could operate while wearing gloves and their often extra-long straps enabled airmen to buckle these watches around their thighs.
Scarcely any new design in the ’00s could rival the success of Hublot’s Big Bang. Its theme was the combination of widely diverse materials. This mix was made possible by the structure of the case, which combined more than 50 individual parts. The large number of black rubber strap copy Hublot replica limited editions also contributed toward making Hublot synonymous with bold color, diversity and joie de vivre.