Wristwatches developed to be more common only by the late 19th century. During the Boer War, soldiers began to wear wrist watches in order to better coordinate troop movements using time. Having a watch in a coat would potentially expose the soldier as they reached for their pockets. Although wristwatches were available as fashion items, often as part of bracelets for ladies, they now became more part of men fashion. By 1900, wristwatches became fashionable among men and began to compete with pocket watches. During the early days of aviation, wristwatches became critical as it was easier to tell time using one's wrist. Wilsdorf & Davis, a company in England, began to create specifically made wrist watches which had stronger frames and held better than other wristwatches, which were often not very different from pocket watches. The company would eventually become Rolex and they helped to popularize the idea of fashionable wristwatches among men. The widespread use of wristwatches in World War I also increased the market for wristwatches in the wider public.
The first digital clock was created by the Austrian Josef Pallweber in 1883, which used a rotating disk to display time. The Plato clocks similarly used small digital plates that would be displayed. These clocks were displayed in the St. Louis World Fair in 1904. It took a few more decades for the invention of the digital alarm clock, which appeared in 1956 after being invented by D. E. Protzmann. Digital clocks and wristwatches only become more common from around 1970, as new patents enabled better displays and LED technologies.