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The Pocket Watch: Reliable and Classic

One cannot watch a period movie without a character using a pocket watch or at least catching a glimpse of one. These timepieces have been in use for hundreds of years in varying forms. Indeed, those who have an affinity for antique watches will find that the history of the pocket watch is an interesting one.

What is a Pocket Watch?

In general terms, a pocket watch is, hence the name, carried in the pocket and is a strapless timepiece. These watches typically have a analog display. The face of the watch is protected by a hinged cover, although there are some types that are open-faced. Although the watch itself is strapless, it comes with a chain that is meant to be secured to a belt loop, a lapel, or a waistcoat. These chains can be quite decorative, and are referred to as fobs.

The Evolution of the Pocket Watch

Early examples of this kind of watch surfaced as early as the 16th century. While these watches were in the same style as subsequent pocket watches, they were quite large, and thus had to be worn around the neck. The 17th century saw the emergence of the first watches that were actually small enough to be worn in a pocket.

Pocket watches became especially popular during the latter part of the 19th century. It was during that time that the railroad was becoming quite popular, and as such it became the chosen timepiece of railroad conductors. It actually became required, because knowing the time was necessary in order to prevent train wrecks, and also for insuring that a train was going to make its intended destination on time.

These watches continued to be quite popularly used by both men and women until the wristwatch was invented. Wristwatches then became favored by women, while men still preferred the pocket watch, as it had become a sign of masculinity.

However, once World War I began, men started to wear wristwatches. There was very little time to waste on the front by taking a watch out of a pocket when one could easily check the time on a wristwatch. Despite this, railroad conductors, perhaps out a sense of tradition, continued using pocket watches.

While the use of pocket watches have been almost totally replaced by wristwatches now, the more ornate watches are prized by collectors. Indeed, pocket watches are the ultimate timepiece of the past.

The Pocket Watch: Reliable and Classic The Pocket Watch: Reliable and Classic Reviewed by LUX TIME on February 06, 2018 Rating: 5