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The concept of the wristwatch goes back to the production of the very earliest watches in the 16th century.
Elizabeth I of England received a wristwatch from Robert Dudley in 1571, described as an armed watch. The oldest surviving wristwatch (then described as a bracelet watch) is one made in 1806 and given to Joséphine de Beauharnais.
From the beginning, wristwatches were almost exclusively worn by women, while men used pocket watches up until the early 20th century.