Thursday 23 August 2012

Jeeves is going to Paris ... A Bientôt ... I will be back in a week .

 This is Paris

The first in the series of This is books, This is Paris is a delightful tour of 1950s Paris from a child's eye view.

A three-week vacation in Paris gave Sasek the idea for writing travel books for children, and originally he only intended to produce three books in the series: This is Paris, This is London and This is Rome.

What the critics said about This is Paris
Marchons! Lovers of Paris, Marchons! Straight to this big flat picture book with dozens of fine well-placed pictures of beloved Parisian landmarks... Gaily modern are the half-caricatured people and the design, but the beautiful watercolors of buildings have an almost architectural accuracy. We love it. We hope many a teacher will use this book to awaken interest in la civilization francaise in boys, girls and their elders.
Text from First books and a 'Young traveler' offer views of far lands," in New York Herald Tribune Book Review, May 10, 1959, p.30.

[This is Paris is a] handsome and evocative picture book...presenting a potpourri of Parisian landmarks and life... Humor and sophistication mark the simple text, which is nonetheless direct and childlike in appeal. Even the child who has but a vague notion of what and where Paris is should have fun poring over the details of the distinctive illustrations and marvelling over the surprising glimpses of another way of life.
Gertrude B. Herman, Junior Books Appraised: 'This is Paris' in Library Journal, Vol. 84, No. 13, July, 1959, p.2224
This is Paris is a delightful, amusing travel guide for children....[Sasek] has used the techniques of [Claude] Monet and [Georges] Seurat to express the reflections of the "City of Light" as tiny dots of color shimmer below the Eiffel Tower. The people's faces are reminiscent of [Amedeo] Modigliani, for example, the lady carrying the long bread stick. Famous landmarks, such as Notre Dame, Pont de Neuf, and the Louvre, as well as everyday bus stops, book stalls, and letter boxes are pictured with enough space for comfort. Wisely, he included the Monkey's Paradise at the zoo, French poodles, and a cemetery for dogs. Adults who have been in Paris may enjoy this book even more than children.
Charlotte S. Huck and Doris A. Young, Children seek information about people and places, Children's literature in the elementary school Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961, pp.153-92

Wednesday 22 August 2012

George Hurrell: The Kobal Collection

George Hurrell (June 1, 1904 – May 17, 1992) was a photographer who made a significant contribution to the image of glamour presented by Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s
In the late 1920s, Hurrell was introduced to the actor Ramon Novarro, by Pancho Barnes, and agreed to take a series of photographs of him.  Novarro was impressed with the results and showed them to the actress Norma Shearer, who was attempting to mould her wholesome image into something more glamorous and sophisticated in an attempt to land the title role in the movie The Divorcee. She asked Hurrell to photograph her in poses more provocative than her fans had seen before. After she showed these photographs to her husband, MGM production chief Irving Thalberg, Thalberg was so impressed that he signed Hurrell to a contract with MGM Studios, making him head of the portrait photography department. But in 1932, Hurrell left MGM after differences with their publicity head, and from then on until 1938 ran his own studio at 8706 Sunset Boulevard.
Throughout the decade, Hurrell photographed every star contracted to MGM, and his striking black-and-white images were used extensively in the marketing of these stars. Among the performers regularly photographed by him during these years were silent screen star Dorothy Jordan, as well as Myrna Loy, Robert Montgomery, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell, Carole Lombard and Norma Shearer, who was said to have refused to allow herself to be photographed by anyone else. He also photographed Greta Garbo at a session to produce promotional material for the movie Romance. The session didn't go well and she never used him again.
In the early 1940s Hurrell moved to Warner Brothers Studios photographing, among others Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Alexis Smith, Maxine Fife, Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney. Later in the decade he moved to Columbia Pictures where his photographs were used to help the studio build the career of Rita Hayworth.
Postwar: He left Hollywood briefly to make training films for the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces. When he returned to Hollywood in the mid 1950s his old style of glamour had fallen from favour. Where he had worked hard to create an idealised image of his subjects, the new style of glamour was more earthy and gritty, and for the first time in his career Hurrell was not seen as an innovator. He moved to New York where he worked for fashion magazines and photographed for advertisements before returning to Hollywood in the 1960s.
An exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965 caused a revival of interest, and he continued to work sporadically. By the 1970s he was photographing such celebrities as Raquel Welch, Cher, Farrah Fawcett and John Travolta. He officially retired in 1976 but would still take photographs if he was particularly interested in the subject. Sharon Stone and Brooke Shields were two stars he felt conveyed the type of glamour he enjoyed photographing, and they posed for him several times during the 1980s . In 1984 when Joan Collins was asked to pose for Playboy at the age of 50 she insisted that the only photographer she would accept was Hurrell, he photographed Collins in a nude 12 page layout and the issue became a bestseller. Among his last works were production stills featuring Warren Beatty and Annette Bening for the film Bugsy and the cover artwork for the Natalie Cole album Unforgettable... with Love. In 1992, during the making of a documentary about his career, he took a series of photographs of actors Sherilyn Fenn, Sharon Stone, Julian Sands, Raquel Welch, Eric Roberts and Sean Penn. In these portraits he recreated his style of the 1930s, with these actors posing in costumes, hairstyle and makeup of the period.

Hurrell died shortly after completing the documentary from complications from his long standing problem with bladder cancer. When his doctors delivered the message to him that he had perhaps only a day left to live, he replied, "Well, the party is over. Time to go home." He died on May 17, 1992.
Since his death, his works have appreciated in value and are highly sought after as fine art by collectors.

‘A Hurrell portrait is to the ordinary publicity still about what a Rolls-Royce is to a roller-skate.’ Esquire, 1936.

Hurrell: The Kobal Collection
in / August 16, 2012
Reel Art Press’s collection of George Hurrell’s studio portraiture, a snapshot of decadence from Hollywood’s Golden Age

Few photographers truly manage to capture a zeitgeist  — fewer still create one. With his extensive portfolio of portraiture, George Hurrell engineered the image of Hollywood glamour, photographing the likes of Buster Keaton, Clark Gable and iconic screen sirens such as Jean Harlow and Joan Crawford throughout American cinema’s Golden Age.

Reel Art Press’s new coffee table book Hurrell: The Kobal Collection takes an extensive look at some of Hurrell’s most iconic portraits (and stars) in this rich 285-page collection, showcasing why Hurrell is considered to be the best photographer of his type and generation. Revolutionising Hollywood portraiture through his use of negative retouching (a skill commonly lumped in with the rise of the digital medium and the tabloids but extensively used by Hurrell through the 1930s and 40s) and soft lighting, Hurrell’s education as a painter at Chicago’s Art Institute provided him with the building blocks that would come to typify his portraiture: shadow, light, texture and contrast.

For more than twenty years, Hurrell was the go-to photographer for studios and actors alike, and during his career (which spanned talkie to technicolour) Hurrel developed techniques that have made his photographs some of the most sought after in the world. In 1936, Esquire stated “A Hurrell is to the ordinary publicity still what a Rolls-Royce is to a roller-skate”.

Hurrell himself explained the alchemy of his work, in which he worked “with shadows to design the face instead of flooding it with light”, a technique which emphasised cheekbones and jaw lines, creating natural contrast and drama which came to typify glamour photography. Using these techniques, Hurrell reinvented starlets such as Norma Shearer (who was considered too “girl next door” to star in more risqué roles until her Hurrell make-over, which won her the lead role in The Divorcee and a subsequent Academy Award), silent film star Ramón Novarro and Veronica Lake, whose peek-a-boo hair style and femme fatale looks was composed by Hurrell.

The Kobal Collection is testimony to Hollywood’s most glamorous (and luxurious period), with John Kobal being its foremost historian. As the curtain descended on Hollywood’s Golden Era, it was Kobal who set about creating an archive of photography, posters and stills from the industry, recognizing the importance of documenting these items long before the studios took measures to do so. As a result, Kobal’s collection is the most extensive of its kind, and Hurrell: The Kobal Collection features previously unprinted photographs from the archive, and offers a fascinating visual commentary on Hollywood at its peak.

Hurell: The Kobal Collection edited by Tony Nourmand and Phil Moad published by Reel Art Press, price £45. More info at

George Hurrell: Hollywood's icon maker

MATILDA BATTERSBY    TUESDAY 21 AUGUST 2012 in The Independent
George Hurrell gave the Golden Age of Hollywood its glossy sheen and soft-focus seductiveness. He was the foremost publicity stills photographer of the day - a man responsible for creating icons.

Hurrell’s portfolio reads like an A-list who’s who: Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Lawrence Olivier, Rita Hayworth, to name a few. Many stars refused to sit for anyone else.

It was Hurrell who suggested Veronica Lake should flick a sumptuous curl over one cheek and peer through it in what became known as her peekaboo look. In another stroke of genius, he snapped a sultry (and bra-less) Jane Russell in a haystack. His black and white portraits show a creativity of composition and painterly flare that modern photographers have since plundered.

Click here or on "View Gallery" for more Hurrell pictures

"A Hurrell portrait is to the ordinary publicity still about what a Rolls-Royce is to a roller-skate," wrote Esquire in 1936.

He developed his own spotlighting and soft focus techniques, such as fitting a boom microphone with a light so that he could move it around his studio. He was skilled at retouching the negatives, decades before Photoshop made such airbrushing commonplace, and preferred his subjects to wear little make-up in the days when drawn on eyebrows and overtly painted mouths were ubiquitous.

It took a while for the artistry of Hurrell’s portraits to gain more attention than their high profile subjects. But collectors began showing interest in his work and in in 1981 one of his portraits of Ramon Novarro sold at Christie’s for $9,000 – the first time a still had ever sold for such a price. The piece is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.

Hurrell, who died 20 years ago, outlived many of the stars he photographed and is now recognised as one of America’s greatest portrait photographers.

George Hurrell: the master of the Hollywood still
George Hurrell didn't just photograph Hollywood's greats: as a new collection of his work reveals, he also imbued them with their mysterious allure
By Lucy Davies 14 Aug 2012 in The Telegraph
At 16, George Hurrell couldn’t decide whether to become a priest or an artist. A Chicago resident, he applied to both the Quigley Seminary and the Art Institute, hoping the decision would be made for him, but was accepted at both. If I reveal that before he turned 40 he had divorced his first, beauty contestant wife to marry into the Disney family; that his friends included Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth and a Pasadena aviatrix heiress, you can guess which path he took. And lucky for us he did. As the foremost portrait photographer in Hollywood, he gave its stars their sheen of grace and mystery. “A Hurrell portrait is to the ordinary publicity still,” said Esquire magazine, in 1936, “what a Rolls-Royce is to a roller-skate.”
Until recently, though, Hurrell’s photographs were valued for their famous subjects rather than his skill; few troubled to read the author-stamp on their yellowing backs. Now, thanks to the late John Kobal, a film buff who began collecting Hurrell’s work in the Seventies, they have been amassed, catalogued and restored. Highly prized, they rarely appear on the market, but when they do, command thousands.
What makes a Hurrell portrait so alluring? “The most essential thing about my style was working with shadows to design the face instead of flooding it with light,” he said. He fitted a boom microphone with a light so he could move it around his studio and sculpt with precision. Jawlines and cheekbones were brought into sharp relief, imbuing their owners with a magnetism they hardly possessed in real life. He was a master of retouching, preferring his subjects make-up free so he could work on the negative afterwards.
Such expertise came at a time when glamour was in high demand. His appointment at MGM came a few months after America had plunged into the Depression. Even as people queued for bread, they found a nickel for the cinema, desperate for the escape its gods and goddesses offered.
Hurrell came to California as a landscape painter, but began taking photographs of locals to boost his income. He struck gold with aviatrix Florence “Pancho” Barnes, rendering her masculine, portly appearance as radiant and handsome. The silent film star Ramón Novarro saw the image and engaged Hurrell to take his. Next came Norma Shearer, wearing nothing but a gold, fur-trimmed dressing gown. Hurrell had soon photographed every star on the lot, from Clark Gable to Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart and Errol Flynn. His zenith came in the early forties, when he styled Veronica Lake’s hair into its famous peek-a-boo style and stood a gun-toting Jane Russell on a haystack. Not only did the portraits establish both actresses, they became pin-up sensations – hardly a soldier departing for the front didn’t have one or the other in his pack.
But when Hurrell returned from war service he found glamour photography out of fashion. By the time he was rediscovered in the Seventies, Ramón Novarro had been murdered, Veronica Lake had died of alcoholism and both Norma Shearer and Greta Garbo were recluses. Joan Crawford lived to see her friend’s work rediscovered but only just — she died a year later, in 1977.
Hurrell’s fortunes revived in the Eighties, with the return of glamour. One of his clients was Sharon Stone, then a virtual unknown. She later said: “I’ve done photo sessions with maybe a thousand different photographers. They take hundreds and hundreds of pictures. George takes three frames and every one is good.”

Philmology - Hurrell's Hollywood

Hollywood Glamour Photographer George Hurrells Last Assistant, Richard S...

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Anna Piaggi, dies at 81.

“She dresses the way one plays a role,” Mr. Lagerfeld once said. “She’s a great performer, but she is also the author of the play.”

Anna Piaggi, Fashion Editor With a Keen Eye for Trends, Dies at 81
By ERIC WILSON in The New York Times
Published: August 7, 2012

ANNA PIAGGI, an oracular Italian fashion editor known for an endless array of eye-popping, wildly colorful outfits of the most peculiar combinations, ranging from vintage Patou to thermal mountain rescue coats to a uniform vest from late-period McDonald’s, died Tuesday at her home in Milan. She was 81.

Her death was confirmed by Italian Vogue, where Ms. Piaggi had created some of her most visually arresting and influential work.
 Owing to her vast knowledge of fashion history, as well as a personal wardrobe that included clothes spanning more than 200 years, Ms. Piaggi was often described as “the walking museum.” Manolo Blahnik, who designed many of her shoes, once described her as “the only authority on frocks left in the world.”

She was an eccentric editor in the mode of Diana Vreeland. (“My pets are my hats,” she would say.) But she was more often compared to the Marchesa Luisa Casati for her unbridled, theatrical awe-inspiring sense of dress. During a career that spanned more than five decades, Ms. Piaggi became as much a symbol of the embrace of high-fashion exuberance as the young and wild designers that she championed. She was a muse to many of them, most famously to Karl Lagerfeld during a particularly glamorous period of his success in Paris, in the 1960s and 1970s.

As captured in Alicia Drake’s book “The Beautiful Fall,” Ms. Piaggi “was outstanding in her devotion to creating style.” Traveling with Mr. Lagerfeld and his entourage, she would bring several trunks of clothing for a weekend: “vintage haute couture, antique jodhpurs from Chelsea Market, Edwardian bloomers that she had dyed jet black and a canvas cape that had begun life as a costume in Les Ballets Russes’s first production of Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird.’ ”

Editors and photographers routinely waited for Ms. Piaggi to make an entrance at fashion shows, where she could be relied upon to create a spectacle, unless she was wearing an especially large hat. Then, she would watch the show from backstage, so as not to obstruct anyone else’s view.

Nevertheless, her appearance was unmistakable: the white-powdered face highlighted by a dollop of bright rouge painted on each cheek, eyes ringed in blue or black shadow, lips painted with an exaggerated cupid’s bow and, often, a miniature clown’s hat (usually by Stephen Jones) perched askew on her wave of blue hair. Ms. Piaggi claimed that she had not left home without a hat since the early 1980s.

“I feel better if I have a good hat on,” she said.

A 2006 exhibition dedicated to her style, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, drew 4,000 visitors a week. The show opened with an accounting of her wardrobe: 265 pairs of shoes, 29 fans, 932 hats, 2,865 dresses, 24 aprons and 31 feather boas.

Ms. Piaggi was born in 1931 in Milan, according to Italian Vogue. In a 2004 profile in The Observer in London, she said that her father, who was a manager and buyer for the department store la Rinascente, died when she was 7. Her upbringing, she said, was a bit conventional, “but it didn’t last very long.”

While working as an interpreter at a press agency in the 1950s, she met the photographer Alfa Castaldi, who was a major contributor to Italian Vogue and who introduced her to the profession of fashion magazines. They were married in 1962 and worked together until Mr. Castaldi’s death in 1995.

Scouting stores in London, Ms. Piaggi became acquainted with Vern Lambert, a fashion historian and a major dealer of vintage clothes, whom she credited with sparking her interest in collecting. When she met Mr. Lagerfeld, who was designing for Chloé, at his home in Paris, she happened to be wearing an important dress by Ossie Clark, which Mr. Lagerfeld immediately recognized. He began sketching her outfits over many years, and published a book of them.

From 1981 to 1983, Ms. Piaggi was the editor in chief of Vanity, a magazine that developed a cultlike following. Many covers were illustrated by Antonio Lopez.

When Franca Sozzani became the editor of Italian Vogue in 1988, she said she wanted to create a magazine that was very quick at spotting trends, and hired Ms. Piaggi as a creative consultant. There she created free-form collages that often connected the unseen dots between fashion and cultural trends. The regular feature, called Doppie Pagine (or “double pages,” or just “D.P.”), established a template for modern trend reporting by juxtaposing images of classical references with the current season’s runway designs.

As Ms. Piaggi described them in “Anna Piaggi’s Fashion Algebra,” a collection of her columns published in 1998, her double pages “have been for me like a dress taking shape.” For her style, Ms. Piaggi was named to the International Best Dressed List numerous times and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2007.

“She dresses the way one plays a role,” Mr. Lagerfeld once said. “She’s a great performer, but she is also the author of the play.”

Monday 20 August 2012

Toile de Jouy.

 Toile de Jouy, sometimes abbreviated to simply "toile", is a type of decorating pattern consisting of a usually white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as a couple having a picnic by a lake or an arrangement of flowers. The pattern portion consists of a single color, most often black, dark red, or blue. Greens, browns, and magenta toile patterns are less common, but not unheard of. Toile is most associated with fabrics (curtains and upholstery in particular, especially chintz), though toile wallpaper is also popular. Toile can also be used on teapots, beddings, clothing, etc. In upper-class (primarily American, but also northern European) society, toile is often seen on dresses or aprons used at such events as country-themed garden parties or tea parties.
Toiles were originally produced in Ireland in the mid-18th Century and quickly became popular in Britain and France. The term, Toile de Jouy, originated in France in the late 18th century. In the French language, the phrase literally means "cloth from Jouy-en-Josas", a town of north-central France.
Although it has been continuously produced since then, it experienced a marked upsurge in popularity around the year 2000. Previously only a decorating design, designers have been recently experimenting with toile-patterned apparel as well, although toile-patterned shirts were widely worn in the 1970s.
Toiles were very popular during the Colonial Era in the United States and are highly associated with preservationist towns and historical areas, such as Colonial Williamsburg. When Williamsburg saw a repopularization in the 1930s, so did toiles, as they did again in the 1970s in celebration of the United States Bicentennial.

The Musée de la Toile de Jouy at Jouy-en-Josas is an ideal destination for anyone taken with wonderful fabrics and eighteenth-century history. Just a few kilometers from the Château de Versailles (though far from its tourist throngs), the museum is located at the Château d’Eglantine. While this charming setting is alone worth a visit, the museum’s interiors offer lovely rooms full of toile-covered furniture. Not only do you find here a vast collection of Toile de Jouy, the displays explain the industrialization of toile-making, particularly the printing innovations of factory founder Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf, the German immigrant who introduced to Jouy-en-Josas, the use of engraved copper plates (1770) and then copper rollers (1797), replacing the older wood blocks.

Hélène Bremer.

Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf
Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf (11 June 1738 – 6 October 1815) was a French naturalized German industrialist. He became famous for founding the royal manufacture of printed cottons of Jouy-en-Josas where the toile de Jouy was manufactured.
Oberkampf was born in Wiesenbach, Germany, into a family of dyers. He traveled to educate himself and initially worked in Mulhouse as an engraver, then from October 1758 in Paris as a colourist.

In 1759, Oberkampf proposed a partnership with the Swiss for the creation of a manufacture of cottons printed with engraved wood boards in Jouy-in-Josas. The first fabrics were successfully printed in May 1760. In 1764, Oberkampf increased his factory to a vast area of 18,000 m². The number of employees grew quickly and reached 900 workmen in 1774.
In 1770, Oberkampf who had then lived in France for ten years, was made a naturalised French citizen, along with his brother. Around this period, an important technical evolution enabled his company to considerably increase its production: the wooden boards were replaced with copper plates, also engraved, but flexible and able to be fixed on cylindrical drums. The company entered the era of mechanisation.
In 1783, the factory received from king Louis XVI of France the title of "royal manufacturer" and in 1787, Oberkampf received from the king the title of squire as well as the right to use arms and his device "Recte et vigilanter (uprightness and vigilance)".
In 1785 Oberkampf invented the first machine for printing wallpaper, and shortly afterwards, Nicolas-Louis Robert designed a process for manufacturing endless rolls of wall-paper.
On February 7, 1790, the reforms of the French Revolution led him to be appointed mayor of Jouy-en-Josas. In 1794 his daughter Émilie was born. Influenced by the British Infant Schools, she would become the pioneer of the nursery school.
The factory continued to flourish during the Revolution and became the second company of the kingdom after the mirror manufacture of Saint-Gobain. In 1799, sales declined and the manpower – which had reached 2,000 workers – was reduced.
In 1806, Oberkampf won a gold medal at the industrial fair of the Louvre for its eminent role in the manufacture of painted Toiles. On June 20, 1806, after visiting the workshops, Napoleon, awarded him the legion of honor.
Decrease in the demand and competition got more insistent. In 1815, manpower fell to 435, and the manufacture was closed during the invasion of the armies united against the Emperor.

When Oberkampf died in 1815 in Jouy-en-Josas (today in Yvelines), his son Emile succeeded him as the head of the company. Taken over by Jacques-Juste Barbet de Jouy in 1822, it finally went bankrupt in 1843. Oberkampf was buried in the garden of his house, which today houses the Music Academy of Jouy-in-Josas.
Oberkampf's name was given to a Rue Oberkampf in XIth district of Paris, and to the Oberkampf subway station that serves it.

The Musée de la Toile de Jouy at Jouy-en-Josas

This group of photographs ( museum ineriors ), courtesy of

Recently there has been an explosion in the popular applications of toile de Jouy's monochromatic patterns. You can buy anything from a dog bed to a light switch cover embellished with this venerable fabric. Although it may seem faddish, toile de Jouy has been a classic decorating choice for almost 250 years never falling out of favor.
A recently published book, Toile de Jouy: Printed Textiles in the Classical French Style brings focuses on the interesting history of this enduring fabric decorating staple. Toile de Jouy includes hundreds of vibrant color photographs gathering together antique fabrics, pattern sketchbooks, block prints, period clothing, and period soft furnishings. The photographs capture the amazing monochromatic fabric designs that we are familiar with, historical tributes, literary themes, everyday scenes, and bucolic country life. There are also fabrics that we are not likely to associate with toile de Jouy; blazing or muted multicolored florals and geometrics. Toile de Jouy also educates the reader about historical textile production, design, and the history of France during difficult political times.

The Manufacture Royale de Jouy, which produced these fine fabrics, opened for business in 1760 with just three employees. During it's 83 years in business The Manufacture Royale de Jouy accomplished the Herculean task of creating and printing 30,000 patterns. Famous artists of the day were courted to produce patterns and they accepted because the work had high visibility and was well paid. So popular were the fabrics that the annual receipts made it the second largest factory in France.

Always a fine and expensive product, toile was personally selected by Marie Antoinette and Napoleon for interior decoration in their palaces and stately homes. To attest to the brilliance and timeless character of the original designs many are still available from contemporary suppliers such as Pierre Frey, Brunschweig and Fils, Maison Georges Le Manach, Casal-Amelie Prevot, Braquenie, and other manufacturers.
By Manon Kavesky in Amazon

Jouy en Josas : musée de la toile de Jouy

Saturday 18 August 2012

Weekend Intermezzo ... WWII ... Airforce Military watches ...Omega Navigator.

 The wide acceptance of wrist watches by military personnel started during the trench warfare battles of WW 1. The early “wristlets” were originally seen as items worn by women only, yet their usefulness was shown before they were fully accepted by the British Army Officers involved in general procurement. The issuing authorities still considered the pocket watch to be more robust in extreme conditions.
By 1917 the War Department took a bold step forward and obtained samples of wrist watches for field testing. Even by WW2 the humble pocket watch was still seen as a more useful and reliable item
During WW2 the British Army were issued with a type of watch called an ATP (Army Trade Pattern). It was manufactured by 17 different Swiss suppliers. They mostly conformed to a standard pattern of 15 jewel movements, mostly silver/white dials with luminous hands. To confirm military issue the letters ATP were placed on the caseback. These watches were then replaced with the WWW watches that began to reach Army service personnel by 1945. These being supplied by Buren, Vertex, Timor, Record, Omega, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Grana, Eterna, Cyma and Jaeger LeCoultre.

The use of wristwatches by RAF pilots became very widespread as accurate timings were required to assist in navigation. More often than not it was just the pilot and navigator that were issued a timepiece.
It was even harder for Naval personnel to be issued with a wristwatch, it was mostly limited to the small numbers of Fleet Air Arm Pilots & Navigators. Although the Navy did have a number of very expensive as well as accurate chronometer watches on board the fleet vessels.

WW2 RAF Pilot / Navigator Omega 6B/159 watch

German 30's Zenith Luftwaffe