At the start of the 2015 World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, where security was tight so that watches and pens were not allowed in the playing hall, GM Hikaru Nakamura of USA tweeted:
Hikaru Nakamura (@GMHikaru) September 10, 2015
I beg to differ. The proliferation of cheating in chess tournaments was brought about by the level of sophistication in our technology today, so that watches (or smartwatches for that matter) and even pens can be used to cheat in chess games. Thus, it is not cheating per se that forced players to part with their watches and pens during games. Instead, it is advancements in technology that made cheating more accessible, thus thrust tournament organizers to be stricter about their rules.