5 Types of Pocket Watches, Their History & Resurgence.

Resurgence of the Pocket Watches in 2022


Regaining their popularity in recent years, pocket watches are no longer used for telling time, but becoming a smart-looking accessory for all genders, as well as a status symbol.



Another reason for their resurgence is the recent trend of vintage fashion.


Furthermore, some of the examples definitely have a great investment potential, like this Napoleon Bonaparte c1800's 18K Gold, Enamel, Natural Pearl OpenFace Pocket Watch:



Being over 200 years, the timepiece is in remarkable condition & deserves a museum display.


Made during the reign of Napoléon Bonaparte & showcasing an exceptional craftsmanship,

it's unrivalled in value & cultural significance. This turn of the 19th century pocket watch is a truly fascinating one-of-a-kind piece.


Although this example is exceptionally rare, pocket watch of similar style was sold in 2007 for over $46,000 (AUD).


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Bit of History


First appeared in Europe in 16th century, pocket watches of that period were quite large in size (transitional between clock & watches) & were fastened to clothing.


Using the advances in mainsprings, German watchmaker Peter Henlein managed to create a smaller version by 1510, that was compact enough to be worn on a chain around the neck.


Second half of the 17th century marks the transition to carrying watches in the pockets, as waistcoats were becoming fashionable. Designed to fit into the pocket, their shape became rounded, with the glass attached, covering the dial.


Up until early 18th century the majority of pocket watches featured the verge escapement (the earliest known type of mechanical escapement), that the Napoleon Bonaparte c1800's 18K Gold, Enamel, Natural Pearl OpenFace Pocket Watch also has:



In the 2nd half of the 18th century lever escapement was introduced.


Mid-19th century (in 1857 to be precise) American Watch Company in Waltham, Massachusetts introduced the revolutionary Waltham Model 57, which was the very first pocket watch that used interchangeable standard parts. Prior to that, pocket watch parts weren't standard & difficult to source.


Waltham Model 1857 (serial number 67613) was owned by Abraham Lincoln.


Nowadays, Waltham Pocket Watches are a great choice if you are looking for a reliable, iconic & simply great-looking timepiece.


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Being among the first "railroad grade" pocket watches, Waltham "railroad" models boast high precision movement & was used by train conductors. In order to be called "railroad" the watches needed to meet certain standards, like being of a particular size, having at least 17 jewels, having an open face & Arabic numerals (with stem located at 12), being adjusted to at least 5 positions & be lever set.


We are lucky enough to have a great collection of Waltham Pocket Watches with the most prominent one being a Waltham Vanguard 23 jewels RailRoad Antique Open Face Pocket Watch, c1900's: