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What’s a Pocket Watch?

Updated: Apr 17

✦ It’s a time-teller carried in your pocket. Did you know that the pocket watch has been a symbol of affluence from as early as the 16th century?

Even today, the pocket watch still offers a certain level of class and prestige and are highly sought after by distinguished gentlemen and ladies worldwide. The pocket watch has been an integral part of fashion over the decades.

Port Pickers have a selection of top quality pocket watches

The Port Pickers team have collected a superb variety of pocket watches, from vintage, antique, solid gold and sterling silver, the choice is yours. Read about them below, or better still, call into the warehouse and check them out for yourself.


A very nice example of a WW1 Military Pocket watch made by JW Benson circa 1910. The watch movement is inscribed with “H M the Queen”. On the inside of the case you will notice the watchmaker has dated the services of this watch and the dates are from over 100 years ago.

Jaeger LeCoultre GSTP Military Pocket Watch

The ultimate collectors piece. A 1943 Jaeger LeCoulter (GSTP) pocket watch with a 51.8mm case, movement cal. 467. These were entirely produced in house from 1939 through to 1945.

(GSTP) General Services Trade Pattern which indicates the watch was purchased by the British Government for the armed forces. The JLC is one of the most desirable pocket watches.

The brand was founded by Antoine LeCoultre in 1833 and has hundreds of inventions, over a thousand calibers to its name and has some of the most iconic watches made in the 21st century.

8 Day Amida Facon Pocket Watch

A Unique 8 Day Analog Mechanical Amida Facon Brass Cased top wind pocket watch. This watch has a main spring that can be wound to keep the watch ticking for 8 days before needing rewinding. A feature of these watches is that the flywheel is visible through the front dial. The overall design and ornate embossed engravings throughout sets the tone for luxury.

Rolex Pocket Watch

Here we have a full size Rolex pocket watch, circa 1920’s with the high grade 17 jewels caliber 662 extra prima chronometer movement timed to 6 positions and temperature, meaning it can run accurately under different conditions, altitudes and temperatures. A timepiece marvel and a must have for the Rolex fanatic

Moeris Coin Pocket Watch

You don’t need to be a collector of timepieces to appreciate this one… This is a Moeris pocket watch. Can you believe this was made by splitting an actual antique silver coin! The two sides were then made into a pocket watch case. Circa 1940.

The biggest difference between a pocket watch and a wristwatch is one lives on your wrist and one lives in your pocket

“The whole idea of the pocket watch came from clocks.” Darius told us. “ The invention was a smaller version of a clock that people could carry in their pocket, hence the term pocket watch.

In the late 1800s, they started converting pocket watches into wrist watches. By soldering a little piece of metal onto the edges of the pocket watch case and making a band for it, the first wristwatches were created. They were sometimes homemade or made by a watchmaker.”

The wristwatch became popular in the early 1900s and almost everyone wears a wrist watch or has one, today. Darius said, “ The pocket watch started dying off I'd say in the 50s and 60s. You can still buy a pocket watch today, but they're not very common. Most retail stores that stock watches will have a number of brands of watches, some have hundreds and hundreds of different watches, but maybe a handful of pocket watches, if any at all.”

History of the Pocket Watch

The First Pocket Watch is said to be invented by a German watchmaker named Peter Henlein in 1510. By utilizing the recent advancements in mainsprings, Peter was able to create a smaller watch design that was not possible before. This first model was much smaller than any other timepiece and was compact enough to be worn.

It wasn’t yet worn inside the pocket at this time, but rather as a pendant on a chain around the neck. The first models were rather awkward, square in shape and did not fit inside a pocket. It wasn’t until after it was redesigned in the 17th century that the watch would be technically called the “pocket watch”.

It was in 1675 when the pocket watch evolved from being worn like a necklace to being worn inside pockets or waistcoats. Charles II of England introduced us to waistcoats and started placing the watch inside his pocket. Soon the pocket watch was considered a status piece in Europe and as far as North America. Nearly every esteemed gentleman either owned or wanted their own pocket watch.

The popularity of the watch rose even more in the 18th century when they started to include more elaborate features such as intricate designs with diamonds and jewels. This made the pocket watch quite an expensive luxury item that was only afforded by the elite.

As standardized watch parts were produced in the 1800s, the pocket watch would finally become available to the general public and they were very popular for decades. It wasn’t until wristwatches entered the market during the war that the pocket watch would start to lose its popularity. But it didn’t last long. It made a serious comeback in the 1950s and 1970s when three-piece suits came back into fashion.

Although the smartphone has replaced most watches today, the pocket watch is still seen as a status piece that has never lost its prized reputation.

Pocket watches are still made by watch manufacturers today. Brands such as Longines, Bulova, and Tissot continue to create pocket watches. While they are not as popular as wristwatches, many people choose to buy pocket watches for their style.


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34 Uralla Road, Port Macquarie, NSW

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