Stainless steel watches are by far the most popular watch category today. Few people realize that this is the outcome of a long process that has lasted more than half a century. Even fewer people realize that in many cases stainless steel wristbands have played a key role in the fact that certain models are regarded today as classics of the watch industry.
Until the late 1960s, stainless steel watches were treated as rarities, because this extremely hard material was almost impossible to process with the production methods of that time. Stainless steel wristbands were unthinkable — too complicated and too expensive. Because they were so bulky, the first models were meant primarily for divers, pilots, and members of the military. Back then they were called “tool watches” and were not regarded as suitable for social occasions. They were taken off as soon as work was over, and for leisure wear one usually selected a more elegant watch made of gold.