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A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attached by a watch strap or other type of bracelet.A pocket watch is designed for a person to carry in a pocket.Early models were essentially standard pocket-watches fitted to a leather strap but, by the early 20th century, manufacturers began producing purpose-built wristwatches.The Swiss company Dimier Frères & Cie patented a wristwatch design with the now standard wire lugs in 1903.Watches progressed in the 17th century from spring-powered clocks, which appeared as early as the 14th century.
The company Mappin & Webb began production of their successful "campaign watch" for soldiers during the campaign at the Sudan in 1898 and accelerated production for the Second Boer War a few years later.The Garstin Company of London patented a "Watch Wristlet" design in 1893, but they were probably producing similar designs from the 1880s.Officers in the British Army began using wristwatches during colonial military campaigns in the 1880s, such as during the Anglo-Burma War of 1885.This innovation increased watches' accuracy enormously, reducing error from perhaps several hours per day resulting in the addition of the minute hand to the face from around 1680 in Britain and 1700 in France.
The increased accuracy of the balance wheel focused attention on errors caused by other parts of the movement, igniting a two-century wave of watchmaking innovation. The verge escapement was replaced in quality watches by the cylinder escapement, invented by Thomas Tompion in 1695 and further developed by George Graham in the 1720s.One account says that the word "watch" came from the Old English word woecce which meant "watchman", because it was used by town watchmen to keep track of their shifts at work.