Improvements in manufacturing such as the tooth-cutting machine devised by Robert Hooke allowed some increase in the volume of watch production, although finishing and assembling was still done by hand until well into the 19th century.
The Garstin Company of London patented a "Watch Wristlet" design in 1893, but they were probably producing similar designs from the 1880s.
Officers in the British Army began using wristwatches during colonial military campaigns in the 1880s, such as during the Anglo-Burma War of 1885.
During the First Boer War, the importance of coordinating troop movements and synchronizing attacks against the highly mobile Boer insurgents became paramount, and the use of wristwatches subsequently became widespread among the officer class.
The company Mappin & Webb began production of their successful "campaign watch" for soldiers during the campaign at the Sudan in 1898 and accelerated production for the Second Boer War a few years later.
Time-related features such as timers, chronographs and alarm functions are common.