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In 1857 the American Watch Company in Waltham, Massachusetts introduced the Waltham Model 57, the first to use interchangeable parts. Most Model 57 pocket watches were in a coin silver ("one nine fine"), a 90% pure silver alloy commonly used in dollar coinage, slightly less pure than the British (92.5%) sterling silver, both of which avoided the higher purity of other types of silver to make circulating coins and other utilitarian silver objects last longer with heavy use.
Watch manufacture was becoming streamlined; the Japy family of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, led the way in this, and soon afterwards the newborn American watch industry developed much new machinery, so that by 1865 the American Watch Company (afterwards known as Waltham) could turn out more than 50,000 reliable watches each year.
Ostensibly practical gadgets such as a watch winding key, vesta case, or a cigar cutter also appeared on watch chains, although usually in an overly decorated style.
Pocket watches generally have an attached chain to allow them to be secured to a waistcoat, lapel, or belt loop, and to prevent them from being dropped.
Watches were also mounted on a short leather strap or fob, when a long chain would have been cumbersome or likely to catch on things.
Styles changed in the 17th century and men began to wear watches in pockets instead of as pendants (the woman's watch remained a pendant into the 20th century).
To fit in pockets, their shape evolved into the typical pocket watch shape, rounded and flattened with no sharp edges.
Thereafter, pocket watch manufacture spread throughout the rest of Europe as the 16th century progressed.