Without a doubt, pocket watches are sophisticated, stylish and elegant. Most popular in the early 20th century, they are still more than just a timepiece and often seen as a conversation starter. You don’t have to be watch enthusiast to be intrigued by them.
However, there is a lot of jargon to get through when considering a pocket watch. So, not only have we bought you our recommendation of some of the best but we have broken down some of that terminology for you as well.
As the name suggests, these watches have completely open faces, so the time is visible immediately.
These pocket watches have a hinged cover on the front over the dial and are opened by a button at the top of the watch to view the time.
This style pocket watch also has a hinged cover on the front dial; however, there is a small window in the middle, making the time visible.
The double hunter pocket watch has a hinged cover on the front and back of the timepiece. This is usually opened by pushing the button at the top of the watch halfway and then fully down.
Double Half Hunter
By now, you can probably guess what this is. A combination of the double hunter and the half hunter. You have a hinged cover on the front and back and a small window in the middle of each.
Whenever purchasing a pocket watch, you will see reference to the number of jewels the watch has. This refers to an item added to the watch’s mechanism and typically indicates the quality of the timepiece. The higher the number of jewels, the better the quality.
Now we have looked at some of the most common terminology used, let’s look at some watches.
The Pocket Watches
This Stuhrling pocket watch is a beautiful timepiece. It has a skeleton cover, meaning you can see the mechanism’s fascinating inner workings. The case size is 45 mm and is made of stainless steel. It’s available in gold, silver or rose gold and features stunning, diamond-tapered cobalt blue hands.
This watch has a mechanical movement so does require hand winding but is a favourite among watch lovers. It can keep track of two separate time zones and tracks day and night with the sun/moon subdial.
This pocket watch also has the bonus of being a desk watch thanks to the added hinge that allows it to stand upright. Furthermore, unlike many pocket watches, it is water-resistant up to 50 metres.
This is a great value pocket watch with a vintage feel.
Although it looks like an open face watch, it actually has a transparent cover. So it’s well protected whilst giving a beautiful view due to the skeleton design. The dial is brown, and the design’s victorian feel makes it a lovely timepiece for ladies or gents.
The case is 45 mm and made of aluminium so is also lightweight. It has an acrylic dial window rather than glass; however, you expect there to be some compromise at this price. The movement is automatic mechanical, so whilst it does need winding to get it started it shouldn’t need regular winding.
If you’re looking for a truly luxurious watch then you can’t go wrong with this one.
Longines are world-renowned for their watches, and their pocket watches are no exception. The watch itself is 18kt gold and everything from the case to the indicators are gold toned. With a simple open-face design, the time is visible immediately; however, you cannot see the inner mechanism of this timepiece.
The case size is 39 mm, and the quartz mechanism means you do not need to wind by hand as it is run by battery.
This pocket watch does not come with a chain; however, these are easily purchased online. This also means you can add your own bit of personality with a chain of your choice.
Very different from what we have looked at so far, the Spovan SPV600 brings pocket watches into the 21st-century.
Ideal for adventurers, this lightweight digital watch includes a barometer, altimeter, thermometer, weather forecast, and time and date function. Furthermore, if fishing is your sport of choice, this watch can track up to six fishing locations, including air pressure, temperature, and fishing water depth. Another bonus being water resistance up to 30 metres.
The case size is 52.5 mm, and the simple grey design also makes it ideal for male or female users.
Patek Philipe 973J
Finally, no list of pocket watches would be complete without the inclusion of Patek Philipe. The epitome of luxury and priced higher than your average new car.
The Patek Philipe 973J is a simple, yet elegant, yellow-gold pocket watch with a classic white dial and roman numerals for hour markers. Furthermore, a small sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position shows the second hand.
The case size is just 44 mm, and the dial is protected by sapphire glass. The movement is mechanical so will need hand-winding however it boasts up to 50 hours power reserve. Unsurprisingly, this pocket watch is not water-resistant, and at this price, I would be reluctant even to risk the smallest of splashes.
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Last Updated on January 25, 2021
Emma is an experienced multifaceted writer and is our Copy and Visual Editor, Social Media Manager and regular Content Contributor. When not working, Emma enjoys life with her little girl, partner and Jack Russell Terrier in the lovely countryside of the South West UK.