Buying A Pocket Watch

Why Should You Buy A Pocket Watch?

Pocket watches are a timeless accessory that can add style to an outfit, make interesting collector items, or simply just be more convenient to tell the time for you.

You’ll want to make sure you get the right watch for you. So, if you’re planning on buying a pocket watch, there are several things you should consider.

Pocket watch buying guide

What To Consider When Buying A Pocket Watch


The first thing you need to consider when buying a pocket watch is the purpose of the watch. Do you intend to wear the watch every day? Or only for a special occasion like a wedding? Do you want to collect and display pocket watches?

Thinking about the purpose of the watch should inform your decisions on everything below. For example, if you want to wear a watch every day, you might decide on a full hunter case to avoid scratches on the glass of the face. If you want a watch to display, a double half hunter skeleton watch may be more appropriate.


The movement in a watches refers to how the watch is powered. There are two main types: mechanical pocket watches, and quartz.

Mechanical watches will usually need to be wound daily. And they often require more general maintenance to keep them running smoothly.

Quartz watches require much less maintenance, usually only needing a new battery now and then.

Think about how much time you have to look after your pocket watch. You need to weigh up what would suit your lifestyle best, as well as the intended purpose of the watch.

Case Types & Style

Next, you should think about the case style you want. There are several options to choose from:

  • Open face
  • Full hunter
  • Half hunter
  • Double hunter
  • Double half hunter
  • Skeleton

 This is the most obvious characteristic when thinking about types of pocket watch. And, this affects the entire look and feel of the watch. So, choose your case type carefully.

Types of Chain

When thinking about wearing your pocket watch, you should consider the types of chain and fastening you might want.

Think about the type of chain that would suit you and your watch best:

  • Straight
  • Albert
  • Double Albert

And, think about how you will attach the chain, either to a belt loop, waistcoat, or however else you will wear your pocket watch.

  • Albert T-bar
  • Belt slide
  • Bolt ring

Most pocket watches will come with either a chain with a belt loop, or a pendant chain, by default. Keep an eye out for this to make sure you get the right chain and fastening for you.


As mentioned with movement types, you should think about the care and maintenance you’ll be able to keep up with.

Most watches don’t need a lot of maintenance. With mechanical watches, you’ll be fine for the most part with winding it once a day. But, they will need some maintenance every few years.

Quartz watches are a lot easier to maintain. But, whether or not you choose to buy a quartz watch will depend on the purpose, and the case type you want. If you want a skeleton pocket watch, you will almost certainly only ever find them as mechanical watches – because quartz watches don’t have a mechanism to view.

Brands & Makers

You might want to buy a pocket watch from a specific brand or manufacturer. This is often the case when collecting pocket watches. Or, you may have had a recommendation.

There are many different watch brands that also make pocket watches, or brands that specialise in pocket watches. Some of these brands include:

  • H Samuel
  • Brelsen
  • Tissot
  • TAG Heuer
  • Charles Hubert
  • Bulova
  • Stuhrling

There are many other brands beyond these here. But, unless you’re looking to buy a specific watch or collect from a specific brand, brand isn’t necessarily as important as other factors.

However, as with any purchase, make sure you’re buying from a reputable retailer or seller. Check for seller feedback and reviews to make sure you’re buying a good-quality pocket watch from a reliable retailer.