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The column on the right must have been some sort of creative writing project for one of the many bored World War I Doughboys, however it spells out how the necessities of modern war demanded that the wrist watch no longer be thought of as a piece of jewelry adorned only by fops and fems and evolved into a useful tool for soldiers. The article makes it quite clear that prior to the Great War, a good many wrist watch enthusiasts would have had their noses broken if they had worn the 'gimmick' into certain neighborhoods.

Similar to the trench coat, cargo pockets, aviator sunglasses and a few other fashion elements enjoyed by men these days, the wrist watch was not deemed acceptable until it had been tested in the furnace of war - it earned its keep along the front lines when it proved useful among officers and NCOs to commence their synchronized attacks - a pocket watch would simply have proved too cumbersome to wield in addition to the whistle and their weapon. With wrist watch, these men were then able to observe the second hand and hold the whistle with their left hand while clasping their weapons with their right (long after the war it has been the tradition to wear the watch only on the left wrist).

Click here to read about the fashion legacy of W.W. I...

To read about one of the fashion legacies of W.W. II, click here...

Click here to read about the origins of the T-shirt.

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Read an article about necktie histoire...

     


Tested in War: the Wrist Watch Becomes Fashionable  (The Stars and Stripes, 1918)

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