In this post about watches of the 1920's I mentioned that I had stumbled across some research that cast doubt on the traditional narrative concerning the causes of the adoption of the wristwatch as the standard timepiece for men.
Here it is. Aaron Wilson wrote it for a class that he was taking at the University of Pennsylvania. Most of what we read, especially in the online watch media, is extremely thinly sourced. You find inaccuracies magnified through repetition. (For example: try to sort out the actual relationship between Longines and Wittnauer. It is not as simple as often portrayed.) This article is the opposite of what most watch media produces. (Of course, @celinesimon 's pieces are well researched, that is a given.)
Wilson's argument is that there was a glut in the high end pocket watch market so the two most important watch manufacturers in America, Elgin and Waltham, created the wristwatch market to improve sales. I don't know how this argument would translate in a worldwide context. I have read that European demand for wristwatches outpaced American demand in the 1920's. I have also read the opposite. Only further research would reveal the answer.
What do you think? This has been on the internet since about 2014. Has a rebuttal been published?
Restitutor Orbis. Aristocrat of beauty. Autocrat of time.