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Pocket Watches As Gifts

Updated on March 17, 2017
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Why Pocket Watches Make Great Gifts

Pocket watches make fantastic gifts for men and now for women with the feminine designs. Giving a pocket watch as a gift often happened at important stages in a persons life, such as a marked birthday (18, 21 etc), graduation, promotion or even through an inheritance.

Pocket watches are also a mark of distinction but as they have decreased in price they are now more available to the masses and are available in a variety of styles relevant to modern culture and also the traditional classic options. Below you'll find the history of the pocket watch and how they came to be.

Wearing a pocket watch is normally in done in formal attire with a full suit for gentlemen and evening wear for ladies. With ladies' pocket watches you may find that they are attached to a necklace for easy access or kept in a purse. For gentlemen they are kept in the front pocket of the waistcoat - see the video below for proper use. You will often find medical practitioners, especially nurses, sporting pocket watches as they provide a hygienic method for time-keeping. You'll also usually find that the pocket watches that tend toward modern culture are worn on a more day-to-day basis as they are often designed with certain outfits or preferences in mind.

From Mechanical To Digital

The pocket watch has been through a complete modernization as our technology has improved over the centuries.

Mechanical Pocket Watch

Courtesy of Couleur
Courtesy of Couleur | Source

Antique Pocket Watch

ESS Mens Black Stainless Steel Case White Dial Antique Pocket Watch with Chain WP055
ESS Mens Black Stainless Steel Case White Dial Antique Pocket Watch with Chain WP055

This stainless steel black pocket watch comes with a black gift box and 30 cm chain with a clip ending. The mechanism is a precision Japanese quartz movement that runs on a standard watch battery (included plus spare). This stylish pocket watch works great with a waist coat or any steam punk attire. The external cover of the pocket watch is designed in a user friendly manner as you can quickly see what the time is without having to remove the case, this aspect makes the watch incredible easy to use.

 

History of the Pocket Watch

The pocket watch came about in the 16th century during the transition from clocks to watches. The first "clock-watches" were cylindrical brass boxes that were several inches across in diameter and often worn about the neck or with a thick chain.

As technology improved the pocket watches became smaller, more intricate and often sported highly engraved delicate designs. This change in style was introduced around 1675 when Charles II of England introduced waistcoats. The pocket watches naturally became smaller and lighter so that they could fit in the pockets of the waistcoats.

Up until the second half of the 18th century pocket watches were considered luxury items and ones wealth was often perceived by the design of the pocket watch. However, by the end of the century pocket watches were becoming more and more common and special, cheap pocket watches were designed for sailors with maritime scenes on the dials.

By 1865 the Waltham Watch Company could turn out over 50,000 pocket watches a year. This sudden increase in production occurred because the Japy family of Schaffhausen, Switzerland designed the Waltham Model 57 watch which was the first pocket watch to use standardized parts. The standardization method and new machinery dramatically cut the cost of repairs because it made such reliable watches. This therefore made pocket watches available to most people which made the market boom.

How To Wear A Pocket Watch

Pop Culture

Pop culture, mostly from the Western society, has had a large influence on the alternative styles for pocket watches.

Deadpool Pocket Watch

TD Men Boys Vintage Retro Deadpool Black Quartz Pocket Watch Pendant Necklace Sweater Chain + Gift BOX
TD Men Boys Vintage Retro Deadpool Black Quartz Pocket Watch Pendant Necklace Sweater Chain + Gift BOX

This Deadpool inspired watch has taken a leaf out of Marvel's book and implemented Deadpool's mask onto the exterior cover. The bright color-work on the front exterior of the watch is a wonderful contrast to the interior which has a sleek classic look which is elegantly displayed on a chain. Anyone who is a fan of marvel would love this as a gift, or even for everyday wear.

 

Alternative Designs

As with any garment or accessory you'll find that pop culture, or any trending culture in general, has a way of influencing the design of these products. Many of the modern designers have incorporated aspects of today's culture and created a whole area of the market dedicated to representing steam-punk trends to super-heroes, among others, in many of their watches.

I'm sure that if you were looking for a specific design on your pocket watch then you would be able to find it, or even have it custom made. Have custom made items can actually be reasonably affordable but I would recommend first going to your local jeweler or watch-maker for getting a quote first as these are specialists who can get your requirements right the first time.

Preferred Pocket Watch Makers

Who is your preferred manufacturer of pocket watches?

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Steampunk Skeleton Pocket Watch

ALPS Pocket Watch Steampunk Skeleton Mechanical Automatic Hand Wind Pocket Watch (Rose Gold)
ALPS Pocket Watch Steampunk Skeleton Mechanical Automatic Hand Wind Pocket Watch (Rose Gold)

The world of Steam Punk offers so much inspiration for designing pocket watches. I love this particular watch mainly due to the unusual Rose Gold color, and the fact that it must be wound by hand (most modern watches are automatic) brings back the classic appeal. The overall design is amazing and I love that you can see the mechanical gears at work when you open up the front cover.

The jump ring that holds the chain and stem or "crown" is very sturdy so should you choose to wear this on a daily basis you can be confident your watch won't go missing.

 

What's the difference between a lady's pocket watch and a gentleman's pocket watch?

Simply put smaller size and softer designs for ladies and a more robust function and heavier feel for gentlemen.

Women's Vintage Pocket Watch

81stgeneration Women's Brass Vintage Style Rose Pocket Watch Chain Pendant Necklace, 78 cm
81stgeneration Women's Brass Vintage Style Rose Pocket Watch Chain Pendant Necklace, 78 cm

This beautiful timepiece comes with a delicate (yet sturdy) chain so that you can sport it just like a pendant or locket. The long chain allows the wearer to pair it with any outfit for any occasion and the embossed rose and detail surrounding the external cover of the pocket watch is expertly set in a vintage style that doesn't intrude on the wearers overall appearance. The internal design has a fairly small clock face so it may not be suitable for everyday wear if you believe yourself to be needing a watch frequently, however if you have good eye-sight then a small clock-face shouldn't be a problem at all.

The large jump ring (the ring which hold the chain and watch together) is nice and sturdy. The solid feel of it brings confidence that should you choose to wear it on a daily basis you're not going to be lose the watch because the ring snapped.

 

Ladies And Gentleman

For modern designs there is very little difference aside the fact that ladies often were their watches as pendants and there is often space for a small photo or two on the inside of the case. Ladies watches are generally lighter and slightly smaller so as not to draw too much attention away from her beauty.

Gentleman's pocket watches can be slighter larger and quite often more robust. The engravings on the casing will often have markings for particular clubs and societies that they belong to. The pocket watch is often suspended by a chain or piece of leather known as a fob rather than a necklace or pendant.

Pocket Watch Accessories

After you have purchased your pocket watch you may also want to consider some accessories to compliment your style:

  • Watch Chain: length of gold or sterling silver plated chains are between 9.25 inches - 16 inches
  • Belt Bar Chains With Attachments
  • Watch Stand
  • Soft Leather Casing: either for daily use or storage

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Wrist Watch Preference

You may find that pocket watches aren't quite your style so why not check out these great wrist watches instead:

© 2012 Bobby

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    • profile image

      Kerry43 4 years ago

      I love this, and who would have thought to put the video up with it? I'm going to get one of these for hubby at Christmas. He can't wear a regular watch at work. Thank for the prompt.

      Well done!

      My regards,

      Kez:)

    • Bobski606 profile image
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      Bobby 4 years ago from U.K

      Hi Kez, thanks for stopping by. I'll have to agree that men look great with a pocket watch.

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