When I was younger I used to love looking through my Grandparents’ treasures. They had collections of things interesting to my young, inquisitive mind. I remember coming across a glorious pocket watch that opened to reveal cogs and an elaborate pattern and closed with a satisfying snap. I loved polishing and playing with this watch. I would instantly be transformed into a different character- an 18th century lady, a Time Lord or even the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. This significant piece of jewellery offered many play opportunities and could tell many stories.
Pocket watches were developed in the 15th century as a result of the invention of the mainspring which allowed for the creation of “portable timepieces”. They became a must have fashion piece after the introduction of waistcoats and watches were designed to “fit in a pocket”, giving them the name “pocket watch” or “fob watch“. The word “fob” comes from the German word “fuppe” meaning small watch. Fob watches with a clip became popular for nurses. The strap was attached to the “6” so for others the watch appeared upside down but this allowed nurses to check the time without having to touch the watch.
Pocket watches are certainly timeless and have never been away but with surges of popularity throughout the ages. They have been worn by many literary and screen characters from Agatha Christie’s Poirot to Doctor Who. Currently they are very popular within the steampunk subculture where a Black Pocket Watch can complete a Victorian-esque fashion outfit. Take a look at this steampunk shop for more gothic-inspired looks.
Choosing a Pocket Watch
I have had many costume jewellery pocket watches and watch pendants over the years but would love to invest in a good quality fob watch.
If you are looking for a pocket watch there are four main types:
Open Face Pocket Watch
The open-face pocket watch comes without a metal cover to protect the crystal.
Hunter-Case Pocket Watches
A hunter-case is a pocket watch with a spring-hinged metal lid or cover that is the same shape as the watch. It is usually decorated with an interesting design.
Demi or Half-Hunter Case Pocket Watches
The hunter-case is a style that features an outer lid that contains either a glass panel or a hole in the centre. This protects the watch while also allowing the wearer to take a quick glance at the time.
Nurses Fob Watches
Nurse Fob Watches are smaller than ordinary pocket watches. They often have a strap attachment. On the end of the strap is a pin or clip of some kind allowing the fob watch to be attached to a piece of clothing such as a collar or pocket. The strap can be attached at 6 o clock so the watch appears to hang upside down to someone standing in front of the wearer. This allows the wearer to hold the watch up for viewing to read the dial in the normal position to them. Nurse Fob watches make a thoughtful graduation presents to future nurses. They remain popular for hygiene reasons.
Take a look at: https://www.fobandco.com.au/ for more information about pocket watches and to choose the fob watch of your choice. Maybe one day in the future our grandchildren or great children will discover our pocket watches in a box of treasures.
Which pocket watch would you choose?