Pocket watches are the ultimate symbol of traditional watchmaking brilliance. Despite being somewhat unnecessary for modern living, pocket watches are still a great way to make a statement. When buying a pocket watch, there are many things to consider. These accessories need to be cater to the wearer’s own unique tastes and requirements. Therefore, each collector must asses their own needs before choosing their perfect pocket watch. Pocket watches remain a staple item in any watch collection, even hundreds of years after they were first created. If you are in the market for a pocket watch, keep reading for our list of 10 things to consider when browsing for one.
1. It is always recommended to buy pocket watches from a reputable manufacturer or brand.
As with many investment items, watches from a reputable manufacturer tend to be longer lasting and higher quality. It is always recommended that collectors purchase pocket watches from a brand they trust to ensure that it can be returned for maintenance and repairs if necessary. Known brand names tend to use the best movements and materials to give the watches longevity and reliability. These traits are very important in pocket watches to help their wearer to be punctual.
Rotary is a very well-known brand within the horological industry. The brand has been making pocket watches since it was founded, providing plenty of experience in the craft. This model is a double hunter pocket watch. This means that is has a hinged cover on each side of the watch. The dial features a cut-out at its centre which allows the wearer to be able to observe the movement within. The case of this model is made from gold PVD plated stainless steel for a decadent finish.
2. It is important to choose the right kind of movement.
Traditionally, pocket watches are powered by hand-wound mechanical movements. This is because these were the movements that were used in the very first pocket watches. Nowadays, hand-wound movements are used to give the wearer a sense of tradition. They allow them to feel as though they are handling a piece of watchmaking history. However, with the invention of automatic and quartz movements, collectors have much more choice. Different kinds of movements are suited to different lifestyles, so it is important that a wearer assess their own needs.
This watch exhibits a relatively simple design for a clean finish. This model is an open face pocket watch, meaning that it does not feature a cover over the dial. The white dial exhibits black Arabic numerals with simple black hour, minute and second hands. The stainless steel case houses a hand-wound mechanical movement. Hand-wound movements require almost daily winding, but many collectors take great pleasure and pride in this process.
3. Some pocket watches are very decorative, whereas others are much more simple.
The amount of decoration on a pocket watch is entirely up to the personal tastes of the wearer. Some collectors like for their pocket watches to be incredibly decorative items that can be proudly shown off when they are removed from the pocket to check the time. Other collectors prefer a more simple finish with a touch of subtlety. There are no standard recommendations for this point, as the collector must choose is line with their own style and preferences when buying a pocket watch.
This open face pocket watch from Woodford has a very luxurious finish. The case is made from gold plated stainless steel for a touch of luxury. The skeleton dial exposes the entirely gold-toned movement within. The beauty of the movement is not simply in its colour, but in its complexity. The movement is hand-wound, allowing the joy of winding the watch. The dial exhibits bold blue hands to ensure that they stand out from the gold background. This watch also has the additional complication of a small seconds sub dial.
4. A collector must consider what material is best for their pocket watch.
Similarly to decorative elements, it is important for a collector to consider what material would be best for their own lifestyle when buying a pocket watch. Materials such as stainless steel are hardwearing. However, some may prefer a luxurious gold case. The downside of this beautiful metal is that it is slightly soft, so can sometimes be scratched easily. The most suitable material for a pocket watch is entirely dependent on how the wearer intends to use their timepiece.
This double hunter Woodford pocket watch is made from stainless steel. This robust material will ensure that the watch is resilient and long lasting. These are important traits in pocket watches, as often these timepieces are passed down though the generations. The full hunter cover will protect the dial from knocks and scratches, making it even more resilient. The front cover of the watch opens to reveal a skeleton dial. This allows the wearer to be able to enjoy the workings of the hand-wound movement within. The crown is positioned at 12 o’clock on the watch for a classic appearance.
5. It is important to choose which kind of pocket watch is best suited to the collector.
There are four key kinds of pocket watch: open face, full hunter, half hunter and double hunter. The open face does not have any cover, whereas the half hunter features a cover with a window. The full hunter has a hinged cover that protects the dial from bumps and scratches. The double hunter has a hinged cover on both sides and allows the movement to be viewed from all angles. The different kinds of pocket watches will appeal to different people, so the choice is entirely dependent on personal preference.
This rose gold model is a half hunter pocket watch. This means that the watch has a hinged cover that protects the dial. The cover features a small transparent window that allows the wearer to check the time without needing to open the cover. The dial features a white outer edge with a skeleton centre. The white portion exhibits simple black Roman numerals. The case is made from rose gold plated stainless steel and houses a hand-wound mechanical movement.
6. Pocket watches can be worn in a variety of ways.
Historically, pocket watches have been by both men and women. People have styled these timepieces in a variety of ways for ease and style. Men traditionally wear these kinds of watches on a chain to keep them securely in a pocket. However, it was once fashionable for women to thread pocket watches onto a chain which could be hung around the neck. The way a pocket watch is worn can be played with and manipulated to reflect personal style. However, it is important to consider whether a pocket watch has a chain or an attachment when buying a pocket watch, to ensure it can accommodate the desired style.
J&T Windmills have been creating pocket watches since the brand was founded in the 1600s. This means that they were one of the first brands in the mainstream horological industry. It is a great feat that the brand has survived the centuries and is still producing great quality pocket watches to this day. This model is finished with a stainless steel Albert chain so that it can be securely attached to the clothing it is worn with. Some ingenuity may allow a different kind of chain to be attached to the watch so that it could be worn around the neck. The traditional looking dial is framed by a sterling silver case that is detailed with a beautiful floral design.
7. Some collectors may desire precious metals in their pocket watch.
Precious metals always give luxury items a truly special feel. These metals are reserved for the most important and unique watches and pieces of jewellery to make the item feel really important to the wearer. Pocket watches frequently use precious metals to highlight the exclusivity of such an item. The precious metals also ensure that the watches are long lasting to be passed down through generations. Pocket watch cases are sometimes plated with yellow or rose gold, or made entirely from silver.
This double hunter pocket watch is made from rose gold plated stainless steel. Rose gold has become incredibly popular in recent years, making it a very contemporary and chic metal. This contrast of the old style of the pocket watch and the new, stylish metal makes a pleasant sight. The watch is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement which can be viewed through the skeleton dial.
8. Some pocket watches feature complications or additional features.
Complications are frequently found on wristwatches, but are far less common on pocket watches. Some collectors prefer their timepieces to have something extra, so will go out of their way to find a more unique pocket watch. Although the complications that are featured on pocket watches are far from complex, they add some beautiful detail to the dial. However, some collectors believe that the simplicity of pocket watch dials is what makes them beautiful. These people would opt for a more simple dial. The choice is entirely dependent on personal taste. Complications are certainly something to consider when buying a pocket watch.
Tissot are one of the most well-known and highly respected watch brands in the industry. The white dial of this watch features a beautifully patterned centre. It is surrounded by black Roman numeral indices. The dial exhibits a small seconds sub dial above the 6 o’clock point. The dial is protected by mineral crystal and is framed by a palladium-plated brass case. The case measures 51mm and houses a hand-wound mechanical movement with a power reserve of up to 46 hours.
9. A collector ought to consider if they would like a skeleton dial in their pocket watch.
Skeleton dials have become a very popular addition to the style in recent years. Collectors tend to enjoy being able to observe the beautiful and powerful movements that keep their watches ticking. However, some people would prefer their pocket watch to have a simple dial without any distractions from the elegant simplicity of the design. As is the case with wristwatches, the choice to have a skeleton dial is personal. Pocket watches are a great reflection of personal style.
This pocket watch does not feature a skeleton dial and relies on its simplicity and elegance. The centre of the dial exhibits a silver fan effect with black hour, minute and second hands mounted at its centre. Silver Arabic numerals feature around the outer edge of the dial and a date aperture is placed above 6 o’clock. A stainless steel case frames the dial and houses a reliable quartz movement. The simplicity of the watch ensures that it is timeless.
10. The choice between a vintage or modern style is entirely dependent on personal taste.
Some watch collectors favour vintage style timepieces for their timeless and classic sense of style. However, others prefer something more sleek and modern. Both of these styles have benefits, but no one is better than the other. This decision relies entirely on personal preference. Buying a pocket watch can be overwhelming, so it is always best for a collector to choose which is best for them.
This pocket watch from Mondaine is rather unlike the pocket watches that collectors are used to seeing. It exhibits a modern design with bold black hour indices. The dial features the brand’s iconic black hour and minute hands with a red second hand. The watch is powered by a reliable quartz movement. This pocket watch is finished with a sturdy chain that can be used to attach the watch to a belt or any other type of clothing.
What did you think of our 10 things to consider when buying a pocket watch? Would you consider adding a pocket watch to your collection? Let us know in the comments below!