Pocket Watch – A Brief Buying Guide

Pocket watch Buying Guide

There is a wide variety of pocket watches sold even in today’s modern world as people still like to collect these magnificent historical masterpieces. It carries out its function that is indicating time pretty well along with reflecting the wearer’s personal style. In order to avoid a regretful purchase, some prerequisite knowledge is your way to go. While buying a pocket watch you need to pick out the difference between the real one and a duplicate.

Mostly there are two different kinds of people who give preference to pocket watches over the regular ones. The first type includes people who are fond of antiques and take a great deal of interest in collecting historical pieces. A pocket watch is mainly considered as an item meant for a real collector. The other type includes people who are modern and wish to set the trend by making themselves unique from the rest of the crowd out there. People who prefer a simple lifestyle and are not much fond of high-tech gadgets also like to wear a pocket watch.

When you are pondering upon which design or mechanism to choose from, the wide variety makes the choice even more difficult. Before investing in a pocket watch buyers should have the basic knowledge of such watches and consider certain important factors before actually making a purchase.

Parts of A Pocket Watch

Whatever product you are buying, you should take into account what it is made up of. Same goes with pocket watches. Let us take a look at the parts of which a pocket watch is comprised of.


It is a ribbon or a leather strap that is used for holding a pocket watch. Sometimes, fob is also used to refer a decorative piece connected to a chain or a very tiny chain itself.

Albert chain

A chain that is meant for attaching a pocket watch to the item of clothing that you prefer is known as an Albert chain.


The metal hook or a hoop that is located above the crown is known as a pendant. A fob or a chain is attached to it.


A metal rod that is thin and long extending from inside to the outside that is to the crown is known as the stem. It is visible only when you pull out the crown. In some watches, it is used to set the time or even for winding.


Crown is a textured knob that is large in size that peeps out of the case. It is attached to the stem at the end. When pulled out it is sometimes used for setting the time as well as winding.


A dial is the front portion of the watch which displays the time.


The case is the cover made up of strong, durable metal enclosing the intricate working and the dial. Some of the materials used to manufacture the case are stainless steel, gold, nickel, brass, titanium, silver, or platinum.

Buying Antique or Ancient Pocket Watches

A lot of history is associated with an antique pocket watch and its value is based on how rare it is, its construction, construction, condition, and age. Many such watches feature monograms, designs or unique engravings that can further increase the value. Most of the times antiques are objects that are passed down to a younger generation by the older generation. Although, it is not necessary that an antique watch has been previously owned by someone.

Whenever you are purchasing an antique pocket watch ask for the official appraisal papers. It is best to get the watch insured after you buy it. The main requirement for this process is also the appraisal documents.

Purchasing Modern Pocket Watches

Modern pocket watches are manufactured in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They are sleek, sophisticated and are enclosed in polished and shiny metal cases. Most of the people who wish to wear a pocket watch like to own the latest styles and designs whereas people who like displaying them prefer antiques.

Mechanisms of Pocket Watches

The mechanism of a pocket watch is the most important thing to consider while making your purchase. For keeping time, there are many ways to power a pocket watch. Let us take a look at the different pocket watch mechanisms.

Analog Vs Digital

A digital watch displays time by means of digits that change progressively whereas an analog watch displays time by means of movement of the hands of the watch. It is not necessary that a digital watch is electronic. The majority of pocket watches are analog but there are also some great digital varieties out there, although digital pocket watches are not that common. They are pretty rare as compared to their analog counterparts.

Mechanical Pocket Watches

A mechanical watch makes a ticking sound. It consists of a spring that is manually wound in order to keep them in a running condition. There are several ways to wind a mechanical pocket watch. It is powered by mechanical movements and does not require a battery.

Self-Winding Pocket Watches

Self-Winding Pocket Watches make use of the body movements for automatic winding. Even though this is a useful feature it is found in very few pocket watches. If you don’t wear the watch for a long time you can also wind it manually to power the watch.

Electronic or Quartz Pocket Watches

A quartz crystal that is charged vibrates and these vibrations are utilized for powering a quartz pocket watch. No parts inside the watch are in motion and it doesn’t require constant winding. A battery is used to provide power to the crystal. An electronic watch can feature any type of display. It can be LED or LCD digital display or the traditional analog form in which the hands of the watch are used to display the time.


Regardless of the reason you wish to purchase a pocket watch, knowing about what factors to consider before making a deal is crucial.

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