In the 15th century, the spring became a favored mechanism employed by clockmakers but it was not until 1675 that spiral balance, or hairspring, was invented to keep the speed steady and the timepiece accurate. It was in the 1500s that pocket watches and clock-watches worn as decorative necklaces became popular among the elite. The dials of these early clocks usually did not have minute or second hands, only the hour hand.

In 1680-1700, craftsmen began including the minute hand. Soon after this, jewel bearings, iconic to watch movements now, were patented in England and became widely used as they provided greater accuracy. In 1868, Patek Philippe is thought to have created the first watch as decorative jewelry for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.

The need for men's wrist watches and their increased accuracy became evident for military purpose in the late 19th century. Until then, watches were mainly for women and men mostly used pocket watches. By the end of World War I, almost all service men wore watches thus establishing them as a core male accessory. The watch pieces used in this item are from the early to mid 20th century mostly from women's watches.