Meeting Recap: Intertwining Roots - Watchmaking, Artisanship & Technology

Michael Friedman - Historian for Audemars Piguet
December 12, 2016

Video recordings of meetings are available to HSNY members.

At the December meeting of the Horological Society of New York, Michael Friedman, noted historian from Audemars Piguet, spoke about the origin, development and significance of watches through the ages. Friedman discussed the inventions by Huygens, Harrison, Breguet and others, which were fundamental to future developments in the field of horology. He pointed out that these fascinating objects of time were also considered works of art and highly prized by their wealthy owners who are often depicted in early portraits wearing them.

Friedman explained how the wristwatch became popular in the early 20th century, ultimately dominating the market after WWI. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the mechanical watch was threatened by electronic technology, but survived and now thrives. Today the most complicated watches, created with the help of modern technology, combine mechanical precision (based on traditional principles) with designs that rival early masterpieces. They integrate science and art. It seems that man's fascination with time and timepieces is timeless!

Our thanks to Mr. Friedman for this informative presentation.

Submitted by Walter Pangretitsch, Recording Secretary, HSNY