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Cartier Very good Yellow gold 32.5mm Manual winding
TOP
Cartier High Quality Late 1800s 18kt Enamel Open Face Pocketwatch
£3,883
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
25
US
Hamilton Hamilton 3992B Very good 68mm Manual winding United Kingdom, West Yorkshire
Hamilton British Military Hamilton 3992B Navigation Master Watch
£1,850
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Very good Silver 60mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Edward Prior Triple Case
£2,250
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Good Yellow gold 51mmmm Manual winding United Kingdom, Chatham
TOP
Robert Roskell Liverpool 18k ornate pocket watch, 1825
£4,990
Private Seller
 
UK
Omega MA141-63 Very good 48mm Manual winding
TOP
Omega Taschenuhr Neusilber Handaufzug Taschenuhr Vintage Von...
£586
Verified Dealer
2013
DE
IWC Good 57mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
IWC Vintage Kriegsmarine Pocket Watch
£4,950
Verified Dealer
404
UK
Cartier Very good 44mm Manual winding
Cartier Vintage Pocket Watch 44mm 18k Yellow Gold
£3,724
Verified Dealer
114
US
Rolex Cellini Very good White gold 39mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Rolex Cellini 18k White Gold Pocket Watch With Chain Incl. B&P
£7,500
Verified Dealer
26
UK
Waltham waltham 1892 Good Steel Manual winding
Waltham Vanguard 1892 Railroad Model
£155
Verified Dealer
 
US
Longines 2394772 Very good Yellow gold Manual winding
Longines 4 Grands Prix
£4,116
Verified Dealer
10
US
Lemania Nero Lemania Split Seconds Military Chronograph Stopwatch Very good 51mm Manual winding United Kingdom, West Yorkshire
Lemania Nero Lemania Split Seconds Military Chronograph Stopwatch
£190
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Good Yellow gold 42mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
An 18k Yellow Gold Silver Roman Dial Vintage Pocket Watch
£1,150
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Good United Kingdom, Hitchin, Herts
American Waltham Military WW2 Pocket Watch
£275
Verified Dealer
22
UK
Piaget 676065 Good Yellow gold
Piaget Pocket Watch (C24-103-I)
£2,641
Verified Dealer
10
US
IWC Good 57mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
IWC Vintage Kriegsmarine Pocket Watch
£4,500
Verified Dealer
404
UK
Longines 838535 Very good United Kingdom, 9
Longines 3915851
£449
Private Seller
 
UK
Patek Philippe Vintage Good Yellow gold 44mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe 18k Yellow Gold 1930s Vintage Pocket Watch
£5,500
Verified Dealer
26
UK
Sothis South Bend 227 Fair Yellow gold Manual winding
Sothis Model 2 Grade 227 Rail Road Pocket Watch
£233
Verified Dealer
 
US
Good 60mm
Reloj de Bolsillo de Alta Colección, Chinesse. Escape Duplex....
£1,137
Verified Dealer
45
ES
half hunter pw w enamel masonic portrait Very good Silver Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Half Hunter Pocket watch pocket watch
£700
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
42
UK
Rolex Prince 1561 Good 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Rolex Sporting Prince Travel Watch Vintage 1561
£4,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Good Manual winding United Kingdom, Hitchin, Herts
New Gold Plated Full Hunter Pocket Watch
£225
Verified Dealer
22
UK
Very good 51mm Chronograph
Tasca Cronografo Real art. Ts40
£682
Verified Dealer
379
IT
A. Lange & Söhne Kal 43 Good
A. Lange & Söhne Kal 43
£6,131
Verified Dealer
 
US
Zenith 1866298 Good 36mm Manual winding
Zenith 1866298
£159
Private Seller
 
GR
Poor Yellow gold Manual winding United Kingdom, Sheffield
18k Gold Vintage Pocket Watch
£1,750
Verified Dealer
15
UK
Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse Good Yellow gold 47mm Manual winding
Patek Philippe Ellipse Pocket Watch
£6,213
Verified Dealer
26
US
Waltham 1899 Very good Yellow gold Manual winding
Waltham Riverside Maximus 1899
£893
Verified Dealer
129
US
fob  Watch with picture Very good Silver 32mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Lecoultre movement pocket watch
£290
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
42
UK
Good Rose gold 57mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Unbranded Complete Calendar Full Hunter Pocket Watch
£5,750
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Good Silver United Kingdom, Hitchin, Herts
Swiss Renown Silver Case Full Hunter Pocket Watch
£450
Verified Dealer
22
UK
Eterna 7365 Good Silver 48mm Manual winding
Eterna Silver Pocket Watch, Chronometer, Jost Interlaken - Rare
£432
Verified Dealer
134
CH
Movado Movado 14kt gold Good Yellow gold Quartz
Movado 74E79882
£2,990
Verified Dealer
 
US
Breguet Very good Red gold 50mm Manual winding
TOP
Breguet Rare Breguet pocket watch authentic gold 18k full hunter
£17,232
Private Seller
 
US
IWC Good Yellow gold 49mm Manual winding
IWC Schaffhausen, Rare 14K Yellow Gold Pocket Watch, Circa 1905
£2,015
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
137
US
Longines Good Platinum 46mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
Longines Pocket watch 18k white gold total weight :52.380
£1,299
Verified Dealer
68
UK
Elgin 214 Very good Yellow gold Manual winding
Elgin Veritas Grade 214
£617
Verified Dealer
129
US
havila swiss pw Very good Silver 51mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Havila pw
£450
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
42
UK
Very good Yellow gold 52mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Rare World Time Full Calendar Pocket Watch
£10,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Good Silver United Kingdom, Hitchin, Herts
Silver Fusee Pocket Watch by W.Fowle of Uckfield.
£575
Verified Dealer
22
UK
Patek Philippe 89578 Very good Rose gold 46mm Manual winding
Patek Philippe 18k Rose Gold Pocket Watch 89578 Very Rare...
£6,986
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
112
US
Girard Perregaux Ferrari 981 Very good Titanium 53mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Newry
Girard Perregaux Sport Timer pour Ferrari Stopwatch
£3,400
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
14
UK
Zenith Very good United Kingdom, Slough
Zenith Pocketwatch
£450
Private Seller
 
UK
Vacheron Constantin Good Red gold 53mm Manual winding
Vacheron Constantin Pocket Watch
£2,524
Verified Dealer
222
US
IWC IWC Watch Co. Pocket Watch Full Hunter 14k Gold 27s 1 Very good Yellow gold 52.49mm Manual winding
IWC Full Hunter 14k Gold 27s 1907 Antique Art Deco Swiss 56
£2,018
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Illinois Very good Yellow gold Manual winding
Illinois Bunn Special
£1,545
Verified Dealer
129
US
Hebdomas hebdomas case 526680 Very good Silver Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Hebdomas pocket watch
£380
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
42
UK
Very good Yellow gold 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Full Hunter Quarter Repeater Pocket Watch
£2,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Good Silver United Kingdom, Hitchin, Herts
AWW & Co Waltham Silver Cased Pocket Watch
£325
Verified Dealer
22
UK
Omega Good Rose gold 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
Omega 14K Rose Gold Small Second Pocket Watch
£699
Verified Dealer
68
UK
Patek Philippe 7030SH Very good Yellow gold 50mm
Patek Philippe 1870's Antique Mens Midsize 50mm Hunter Case...
£3,586
Verified Dealer
184
US
Omega Very good Silver 51mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Glasgow
Omega pocket watch
£850
Private Seller
 
UK
Omega Very good White gold 44mm Manual winding
Omega Vintage Men's Omega 585% 14K White Gold Silver 17J 44mm...
£1,165
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
344
US
Chopard 600/2 Very good Yellow gold 43mm Automatic
Chopard Tiffany & Co. Chopard Full Hunter Pocket Watch 18k Gold
£4,658
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Patek Philippe Very good Yellow gold 31mm Manual winding
Patek Philippe
£2,710
Verified Dealer
129
US
helene hofer pw Very good Steel Manual winding United Kingdom, London
helene hofer pocket watch
£180
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
42
UK
Good Yellow gold 53mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Henry Moser Full Hunter Vintage Pocket Watch
£2,250
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Good Silver Chronograph United Kingdom, Hitchin, Herts
English Silver Fusee Centre Seconds Chronograph.
£695
Verified Dealer
22
UK
Rolex a1715 Good Steel 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
Rolex Vintage Military Pocketwatch
£1,399
Verified Dealer
68
UK
Patek Philippe Good Yellow gold Manual winding
Patek Philippe 18k Gold Pocket Watch
£5,433
Verified Dealer
12
US
Rolex 540 Good Steel 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Swindon
Rolex Vintage 540 Military Pocketwatch
£1,150
Private Seller
 
UK
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Pocket Watches: The Gentleman's Timepiece

Pocket watches have a large fan base. The timepieces range from cheap vintage models to extremely rare collector's pieces. World-famous manufacturers such as Patek Philippe have produced the most extraordinary pocket watches.


Highlights

  • Large variety of vintage pocket watches
  • Prices ranging from a few hundred euros to millions
  • New models with mechanical or quartz calibers
  • A. Lange & Söhne pocket watches are especially sought after by collectors
  • Available with a chronograph function, perpetual calendar, or minute repeater

Pocket Watches for Men and Women

Pocket watches have been beloved for centuries, especially amongst collectors and watch enthusiasts. Wristwatches almost made the pocket watch completely obsolete in the 20th century. Wearing a watch on your wrist is simply more comfortable for most people. Originally, it was predominantly men who used pocket watches. In order to not lose the watch, it was secured with a chain. There was a spring ring or clip at the end of the chain, which you could attach to a buttonhole. Men usually carried their pocket watches in their vest pockets , though they kept them in their pants or jacket pockets as well. Women often attached their pocket watches to a chain and wore them as necklaces.

Manufacturers such as Tissot, Regent, or Dugena continue to produce affordable pocket watches. These are powered by mechanical or quartz movements. The number of pre-owned pocket watches available is much larger. The most highly sought-after models are vintage watches from the German manufacturer A. Lange & Söhne. Patek Philippe, one of the most renowned watch manufacturers in the world, is known for their especially intricate pocket watches. The Graves Supercomplication and Calibre 89 were the most intricate pocket watches for decades.


Buying Advice

If you're searching for a pocket watch, you have the choice between countless models. Prices range from a few hundred to a few million euros for very rare, intricate models. Apprentice watches are particularly special watches. They were made by watchmaking apprentices towards the end of one's apprenticeship, making them "journeyman's pieces." Watches from the 19th or first half of the 20th century are extremely coveted amongst collectors. Since there is only one of each watch, they're extremely scarce, and you should accordingly plan to spend at least 30,000 euros for such a rare piece.

A less expensive entry into the world of pocket watches would be a model from Regent, Dugena, or Tissot. Pre-owned Tissot pocket watches cost less than 500 euros, although their gold watches can cost around 2,500 euros. All three manufacturers currently offer pocket watches in their portfolios. You can also find pre-owned pocket watches from the Swiss manufacturer Omega at affordable prices, sometimes for less than 200 euros. However, gold models can cost up to 4,000 euros.

Pre-owned pocket watches from the International Watch Company (IWC) can be purchased for around 800 euros. Gold models, however, are available for 25,000 euros. The prices for vintage pocket watches from Patek Philippe start at around 3,500 euros. However, there are also models that cost nearly one million euros. The Graves Supercomplication , a special order pocket watch for the American banker Henry Graves, Jr., sold at a Sotheby's auction in 2014 for 23.2 million Swiss francs (CHF), making it one of the most expensive watches in the world. The Patek Philippe 89 is slightly less expensive, although it's still one of the most intricate pocket watches ever produced. In 2009, it sold for around $5 million at an Antiquorum auction.


The History of Pocket Watches

Pocket watches have been around since the 15th century. The invention of the spring drive made pocket watches possible, as it enabled the entire watch movement to be miniaturized. Before then, large grandfather clocks were powered by weights attached to chains which wound the movement. The oldest known watch with a spring drive dates back to 1430 . It features a fusee, which equalized the uneven pull of the mainspring. This watch belonged to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and is on display at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Germanic National Museum) in Nuremberg.

Peter Henlein, a locksmith from Nuremburg, was one of the first to use a spring drive together with an escape mechanism in a wearable watch. He was able to get the watch down to pocket watch size using this construction, and the shape of the timepiece resembled a can . One of these models is on display at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremburg. The German town of Nuremberg was the center of watchmaking in the 15th century. Historians know it as the "Silicon Valley of the Middle Ages" due to the many inventions made in the town.

These can-shaped watches, which were most likely carried in bags, eventually developed into wearable watches fashioned onto chains. Since the first portable watches still weren't very accurate, they only had an hour hand. This changed in the mid-17th century when better escapement systems were developed, resulting in portable watches with both hour and minute hands.

The majority of older pocket watches are unsigned, as adding company names and logos wasn't common practice until the 19th century. Sometimes you're only able to tell the origin of a watch based on its construction, design, or decorations.


Pocket Watch Cases

In the 16th century, pocket watch cases were often spherical or box-shaped. Over time, the case developed into the common flat design we know today.

Pocket watches are classified as either Savonnette or Lépine, an important distinction. The Lépine version is named for the French watchmaker Jean-Antoine Lépine. In this construction, the seconds display, winding stem, and crown are all in line with each other. Lépine pocket watches have no spring cover, and thanks to their construction, they're especially flat. This makes them well suited as tailcoat watches. Savonnette watches, on the other hand, have a spring cover protecting the dial and watchglass which can be opened by a push-piece. The term "Savonnette" comes from French and means "little bar of soap." Savonnette pocket watches have the seconds display at six o'clock, and the crown is on the side at three o'clock. This construction makes it easier to hold and use: You can hold the pocket watch in your right hand and use your thumbs to operate the spring cover push-piece and read the time.

Pocket Watch Cases

  • Lépine: Crown, winding stem, seconds hand in line with the winding stem, no spring cover
  • Savonnette: Seconds display at six o'clock, crown on the side, spring cover for protection

Intricate Pocket Watches

Pocket watches can do much more than just show the time. The most intricate pocket watches come from the Swiss manufacturers Patek Philippe, Breguet, and Vacheron Constantin.


The Graves Supercomplication: 24 Complications

With a total of 24 complications, the Graves Supercomplication held the record for the most intricate pocket watch for decades. It features a perpetual calendar , double chronograph for timing intervals, and astronomical displays . The watch shows the normal time, sidereal time, the sunrise and sunset time, and the starry sky over New York City.

The Graves Supercomplication was custom made for the New York banker Henry Graves, Jr. , a passionate watch collector and Patek Philippe fan. The American car manufacturer James Ward Packard was also a lover of rare Patek Philippe watches. Both men commissioned many watches from Patek Philippe with the goal of beating one another in acquiring the most intricate timepiece. The competition ended with Henry Graves, Jr.'s Graves Supercomplication. Originally commissioned in 1925, the watch was finally completed seven years later in 1932. It took a further 12 months for the watch to reach Graves. Since Packard died in 1928, he was unable to commission any more pocket watches. Therefore, it remains a mystery whether Patek could have made an even more intricate watch than the Graves Supercomplication in the early 1930s.


Patek Philippe's Calibre 89 with 33 Complications

Patek Philippe's Calibre 89 overtook the Graves Supercomplication as the most intricate watch in 1989. With a total of 33 complications, the Calibre 89 set a new record. Among its complications are a double chronograph, perpetual calendar , a moon phase and age display, and a second time zone display . There are also many astronomical displays on the back side of the watch. The pocket watch also has acoustic complications such as a grand and petite sonnerie, a minute repeater, and an alarm function. Patek Philippe only produced four Calibre 89 pocket watches.


Vacheron Constantin's 57 Complications

In 2015, the Swiss manufacturer Vacheron Constantin set a new record. Their pocket watch, reference number 57260, has 57 complications. Vacheron Constantin produced this watch for a wealthy, anonymous customer. The watch features many calendars: a Gregorian perpetual calendar, a Hebrew perpetual calendar, an astronomical calendar function, and a professional business calendar based on the ISO 8601 standard.


A Royal Pocket Watch: Breguet Marie Antoinette

The Breguet pocket watch Grande Complication No. 1160 is, like its predecessor the No. 160, a rarity. An unknown admirer of Marie Antoinette commissioned the watch in 1783 when Breguet was the purveyor to the royal French court. Marie Antoinette was known to be a fan of Breguet. The watch was meant to showcase the watchmaking know-how of the time, and gold was used in lieu of other metals when possible. The automatic watch features a perpetual calendar, minute repeater, and a power reserve display. It also displays the equation of time, the daily deviation between the true and mean solar times. The mean solar time is the time we use day in, day out. Breguet finished the watch in 1827, 44 years after it was commissioned. Marie Antoinette had already died 34 years earlier.

The No. 160 pocket watch was on display in a Jerusalem museum until 1983. It vanished without a trace and remained lost for 24 years, until it reappeared suddenly in 2007. Nicolas G. Hayek, the founder of the Swatch Group, commissioned Breguet to remake the No. 160 in 2004. Since the original was still missing at the time, the watchmakers had to reconstruct it using old drawings and reference documents.

Abraham-Louis Breguet was the founder of the manufacturer and is considered a genius master watchmaker. He is the inventor of the tourbillon, a complication which minimizes gravity-related deviations and ensures the watch runs precisely.