It’s official. Pocket watches are back in style! Ok it’s taken about 40 years, but they are now apart of a few male trendsetters’ daily attire.
It’s not quite as straightforward as wearing a wristwatch. Wristwatches are easy as you simply fasten them around your wrist.
Pocket watches, as the name may suggest, is intended to be worn and carried in the pocket rather than on one’s wrist. They first became very popular in the 16th century. Traditionally they were worn by well to do gentlemen, were made from materials such as silver and gold and in designs that matched their status in society. Before that, they were actually originally designed for women to use who wore dresses or skirts, yet didn’t have any pockets.
They were hugely popular and soon became the must have item for men. If you had a pocket watch you were thought of as a true gentleman and affluent, as pocket watches were thought of as a status symbol and statement pieces.
In modern times we think of pocket watches as family treasures that are probably handed down through the family as heirlooms. A Grandfather may give his old pocket watch to his grandson and so on and on, from one generation to another. The difference with the many types of pocket watches you can buy today is that they have a very modern, minimalist twist, not only in design but in functionality and features which take them beyond the traditional time keeping purposes on the original pocket watches.
The History Of The Men’s Pocket Watch
Back in the 15th Century Clocks were big and grand, but then as time went on ( pardon the pun ) they evolved from the large grandfather clocks and large mantle piece clocks and got a whole lot smaller. Women were often wearing them as a necklace or for men they wore them attached to a chain which was then connected to their vest, But this caused a little problem as the watch was clearly visible through the vest. This then changed the design somewhat by keeping the watch in a pocket.
Often or not these pocket watches were made into a shape of a flat sphere or egg type item, which were covered in elaborate etchings, embossed patterns and ornate designs. Over the face of the pocket watch was a hinged cover usually made of brass to protect, which main purpose was to protect the glass that covered the watch face and functioning mechanism.
Different Styles Of Pocket Watches
There are two main styles of pocket watches that were originally available back in the 16th century onwards.
Hunter Case Pocket Watch
Probably the most popular type of pocket watch, The hunter case pocket watch had a protective cover over the watch face. This usually was in the form of a spring-loaded metal cover which acted as a very good protective shield for the crystal watch face. This would protect it from from dust, scratches and other damage or debris.
Other hunter versions included the “demi-hunter” which had a glass or opening within the metal cover so that you could tell the time without having to open the watch. To make telling the time even easier with the cover closed, the hours were marked with a colored enamel on the outer cover.
Open Face Pocket Watch
The open face pocket is exactly what it says it is. It was a pocket watch style that did not have a metal cover or glass to protect the hands or the crystal. With open-faced watches it was common to have the pendant positioned at 12 o’clock and the second dial positioned at 6 o’clock. This was known as a “sidewinder”. Another open-face version had relocated the winding stem to 12 o’clock and the second dial to 3 o’clock.
Here’s Consumer Expert’s List of The Best Modern Pocket Watches Available in 2021
It makes no difference if you’re male or female, as modern day pocket watches really do cater to both sexes. It’s a versatile accessory that can be worn with smart dress and as a statement piece or as a casual look with shirt and jeans. We have also listed some awesome Modern Sports Pocket Watches for the sports and outdoor activities enthusiast.
Use this post to have a good window shop, and try to find the pocket watch that truly matches your needs and requirements.
Modern Pocket Watch Comparison Table
ConsumerExpert.com Star Choice
Kronen & Sohne make awesome watches, FACT! And this half hunter wind up pocket watch is one of them. The build quality is excellent and feels very solid and robust. The case is smooth on the front and on the reverse is a contemporary and elaborate design.
To open the face cover, you simply press the small tab on the top left. The case cover also folds right over so that the pocket watch can also be used as a desk watch.
A full wind will keep the watch ticking away for 36 hours, which is pretty standard amongst other pocket watches.It comes in a very swish gift box, which makes this watch ideal for a birthday or christmas present.
Kronen & Sohne offer a 12 month international guarantee on this watch, which comes in the form of a Guarantee Card which will be within the gift box.
A classic mechanical pocket watch that oozes style, yet sits very nicely in today’s modern styles and trends. The Charles-Hubert Paris pocket watch is a modern classic that is good enough to be kept and handed down the family. It’s an heirloom-quality timepiece with a contemporary edge. It comes in a Chrome finish, made from brass with 47 double hunter case with a matching curb chain. I love the modern twist of the skeleton dial with roman numerals. It has a 17 jewel mechanical movement and comes in a beautiful deluxe gift box, making it an absolute first class choice for father’s day, birthday or Christmas present.
It’s a hand wind analog watch, so no need for batteries. Just remember to wind it up every week.
Not only do I think that the design and look of this vintage pocket watch is pretty spot on but I also like the versatility it has. Yes it’s a pocket watch that you can wear on your person, but it’s slightly more than that. It has the functionality to be able to stand up, so when it’s not in your pocket you can stand it up next to your laptop and use it as a desk clock. Photos of loved ones can easily be placed into the watch case and there’s plenty of smooth space on the back of the watch for any engraving that you’d like on there.
It comes with a 17 jewel mechanical movement with fluorescent pointers so you can see the time in the dark or at low light and has an acrylic glass cover instead of glass, which makes it a lot more durable and safer than other pocket watches.
The mechanical movement means that you do not need a battery. Just wind up and it works.
This watch is great as a dress pocket watch and is contemporary enough to be worn with any style of clothing. Also pretty good as a Father’s Day present.
This vintage-inspired timepiece from Charles-Hubert Paris is beautifully crafted inside and out. The case is made out of silver-tone plated brass. With its antiqued finish, the pocket watch looks like an heirloom passed down through generations.
There isn’t a hinged face cover. The watch is completely open and features mineral crystal glass on the front and back. This is a hand-wind watch that relies on jewel mechanical movement. Thanks to the open face, you can view the moving gears as the clock ticks away. The 17 jewels, which are integrated throughout the clock parts, are visible as well.
The detailed pocket watch comes with a deluxe gift case and a plated metal watch chain. There’s also a hinged kickstand on the back to prop the watch up on a desk.
Open-face skeleton design
Plated brass construction
Jewel mechanical movement
Includes gift case and chain
The Bravura pocket watch provides luxury details at every turn. Clad in silver-colored metal, the timepiece features many intricate design cues. On the back, you’ll find stunning etching and iconic symbols like the Fleur -de-lis.
On the opposite side, there’s an architecturally inspired border around the open face. Even on the backside of the covers, you’ll notice subtle details that give this timepiece an added touch of elegance!
This is a mechanical pocket watch. It requires a spin of the dial to operate. Once cranked, the metal gears inside will move to keep the piece on track. Thanks to the mineral glass on both sides, you can enjoy the mechanical movement up close and personal.
Dual covers on front and back
Classic mechanical movement
Polished silver-color metal
Intricate etched details
Includes metal chain
Here’s a simpler pocket watch that still offers all of the sophistication you’re after. The jewel mechanical watch has an open skeleton design. Both the front and back feature durable mineral glass, which provides a clear view of the mechanics inside.
The various clock components are adorned with 17 jewels of purple and blue. The pocket watch does feature dual protective covers. With a push of a button, the spring-loaded hinges jump into action to reveal the open face. However, the cases are sporting windows as well. On the front, you can easily tell the time through the window without opening the covers. On the back, you can check on the gears to ensure that your timepiece is still moving.
The watch is crafted out of silver-tone metal. It’s more minimalist in terms of design, but the intricate gears inside provide plenty of gorgeous details.
Jewel mechanical movement
Small seconds dial
If you are looking for a gift for Dad, Brother or Grandad, then this vintage / contemporary looking pocket watch with a modern twist, then this will certainly on your shortlist. Pricewise it’s perfect. An expensive looking and feeling watch that is actually quite cheap!
This open faced golden movement, skeleton style pocket watch, comes in a polished metal case that has striking retro looking roman numerals on the edge of the metal case face.
The metal cover protects the inner golden movement along with additional protection from an acrylic clear watch face cover. What I love about this pocket watch is how eye-catching it is, especially when worn with a nice dark tweed jacket and white shirt. The darkness of the watch casing and the striking gold movement, goes so well with a dress shirt. It’s elegant yet robust and comes with a wonderful gift box which will impress the receiver of the gift as well provide the watch with a safe storage solution.
8. ManChDa Skeleton Dial Champagne Gold Double Hunter Case Hand Wind Mechanical Skeleton Pocket Men / Women Analog Watch + Chain
This is an elegant double hunter design pocket watch, made from brass. I love watches made from brass as there is a significant weight to it. Makes you feel that you actually have an old fashioned pocket watch.
It has a very modern skeleton mechanical dial in the center of the watch face, which gives the traditional looking dress pocket watch a twist. This watch is unisex and comes in champagne gold, which makes it a very smart pocket watch, ideal for formal occasions and business attire.
ManChDa watches are known for their quality and excellent workmanship, and this watch is no different. It has precise mechanical movements as well as an elegant long removable chain and acrylic watch face cover. It doesn’t require a battery, just the occasional wind up. I found that 3 times a week is sufficient.
9. Gotham Men’s Silver-Tone Minimalist Ultra Thin Railroad Open Face Quartz Pocket Watch – A Great Alternative To A Wristwatch
A classic pocket watch with a modern minamilistic twist, made with precision Japanese analog quartz movement, the Gotham thin railroad open face pocket watch provides the wearer with a watch that just oozes style and simplicity. The “railroad” term means that the timepiece is a bit larger than normal, but because of the thin profile, it feels a lot smaller when in the pocket.
This Gotham pocket watch is made from polished brass and is an open face style of pocket watch which means it doesn’t have a flip over cover that goes over the watch face. It comes with a rich blue sunray railroad style dial watch face and white 12 hour markets and red 24 hour markers, making it highly visible on the dial face.
There’s space at the back of this quartz pocket watch so you can engraved a message or to commemorate a special occasion.
What Is The Best Digital Pocket Watches
If you want to go truly modern when it comes to your pocket watch, then we have a short list of digital pocket watches that might fit the bill.
1. Pocket Clip Watches Silver Digital Sports Hiking Altimeter Barometer Compass – Multi Function Watch
If you’re after a pocket watch that is truly modern and digital then the Pocket Clip Watches Silver Digital Sports Hiking Altimeter Barometer Compass is the pocket watch for you. It has a funky digital movement display and chrome case that gives you an almost space age look. It has a retro-casio digital display.
It’s made from a stainless steel casing which makes it robust enough for sporting or outdoor activities as it’s durable and water resistant to 99 feet (30 M). It withstands rain and splashes of water, but not showering or submersion.
This digital pocket watch is ideal for those who love doing the following activities:
The Main Features:
- Swiss Sensor
- Altimeter , which can tell you the distance from the top/foot of the mountain
- Barometer , which tells you the real-time air pressure
- Compass , so you know exactly where you are going
- Thermometer , tell you the real-time temperature
- Weather forecast , tell you whether you should go down immediately , pay attention to safety
Makes an ideal Valentine day gift for him or birthday present.
Best Sports Pocket Watches
You’d be forgiven in thinking that pocket watches are for gentlemen of a certain age that are well dressed and like shooting or going to the opera. This is a well known assumption, but things are changing. As I mentioned earlier in this post, pocket watches have come back in style and have moved towards a sports and outdoor pursuits use.
Below I have listed some of the best sports pocket watches on the market which have a variety of uses. Some can be used as a stopwatch or a timepiece that can be clipped safely onto your clothing or equipment, or as a utility time watch for hiking, camping etc.
The last thing you want to do when playing sports or going on outdoor adventures is to wear your nice watch on your wrist and to smash it or damage it in anyway, hence why the sports pocket watch has become so popular. There is no need to worry about your timepiece as you can safely keep it in your pocket or clipped to an item of clothing.
If outdoor pursuits is your thing then this Dakota Watch is going to be just the pocket watch for you. It has a very handy clip-on watch feature which allows you to safely clip the watch just about anywhere on your person. It also has an ultra bright LED which is located on the crown of the watch. I have one of these myself and it is extremely handy when you need to find something in the dark when you are camping or just needing to watch your step when you are hiking at night.
The clip is strong and does not come off at all, even if you do give it a good yank. I normally clip it to my coat, but it can be clipped on to your back pack, vest, trousers or hunting vest.
It’s fully weather-resistant, both the timepiece itself and the light which makes it the perfect sports / outdoor pocket watch.
Other features include a luminescent set of watch hands and hour markers to make it easy to tell the time in pitch darkness, durable alloy case which you’ll need if you’re very active, integrated carabiner for clip-and-go convenience, a robust and reliable Miyota watch movement, military dial, and water-resistant to 100 ft, if diving is your thing.
As sports pocket watches go, the Spovan Men’s Pocket Sports Watch is a great all rounder. It looks good and functions extremely well in conditions that other pocket watches will struggle with. First of all, you can swim with this pocket watch. It’s waterproof to 30 meters or 98 foot, so it’s more than ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The only thing you should not do is press any of the buttons while you are underwater as this will let in water to the watch.
If you’re a keen fisherman then this pocket watch has some special fishing design features such as pressure records and real-time tracking of 6 sets of fishing sites. It also has four types of weather displays and provides forecasts. The Altimeter, barometer and thermometer function makes this pocket watch ideal for keen fishermen and other such water related sports.
It’s made from Stainless steel and is up to a military level of quality. It’s perfect for both indoor and outdoor sporting activities as well as being a really nice fashion accessory.
LED Display -Back Light
This is one for the outdoor pursuits enthusiast who does not want to be bothered with the watch on the arm and who wants to be free to do as he or she pleases without the worry of smashing their watch to pieces. This pocket watch offers functionality and durability that other pocket watches can’t, yet still retain style.
Features include an optional hourly chime, stopwatch, countdown timer, dual time, and El dial light. The integrated carabiner clip, stainless steel back, mineral glass crystal, and 100ft water resistance level make this clip watch a tough component for any pack, utility vest, belt loop, purse, or laptop bag. The Japanese movement has a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.
There is also a function on there that records times as well as being water-resistant to 99 feet.
This lightweight pocket watch makes an ideal watch for sports, hiking, climbing and other outdoor activities. It clips onto a backpack strap, coat, walking vests and just about anything else that you have on your person. It’s an especially good pocket watch for Skiing with as it is easy to read in the snow and can handle extreme cold weather.