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Audemars Piguet 35734OR/000 New Rose gold Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Audemars Piguet Rose Gold Hunter Pocket Watch
£10,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
18
UK
Vacheron Constantin Very good Yellow gold 33.5mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Vintage 18K / 750 Solid Yellow Gold Dial...
£4,999
Professional dealer
1186
UK
Omega Good Rose gold 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
Omega 14K Rose Gold Small Second Pocket Watch
£849
Free shipping
Professional dealer
132
UK
Pocket Watch Very good Yellow gold 55mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Full Hunter Yellow Gold Minute Repeating Calendar Pocket Watch
£5,750
Free shipping
Professional dealer
754
UK
Good Yellow gold 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Ayrshire Scotland
English Vintage 1905 18ct gold full hunter Pocket watch....
£2,250
Professional dealer
24
UK
IWC Good 57mm United Kingdom, London
IWC Vintage Kriegsmarine Pocket Watch
£4,950
Professional dealer
628
UK
Audemars Piguet 25701PT.OO.0000XX.03 Very good Platinum 52mm Manual winding
Audemars Piguet Platinum Grand Complication Pocket Watch, ref....
£204,866
Professional dealer
86
US
Bovet Amadeo Fleurier AF43003 Very good Rose gold 43mm Automatic
Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Rose Gold Pocket Watch Conversion 43mm...
£14,676
Professional dealer
259
US
Patek Philippe Pocket Watch Good Yellow gold Manual winding
Patek Philippe Patek Phillipe 18K Yellow Gold Pocket Watch...
£5,811
Professional dealer
 
US
Audemars Piguet 35764PT/000 Very good Platinum Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Audemars Piguet Platinum Pocket Watch
£11,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
18
UK
Omega Very good Rose gold 43mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Norwich
Omega Vintage Antique Rose Pink Gold Pocket Men’s 1950 Swiss...
£699
Professional dealer
1186
UK
Rolex Good 60mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Rolex Art Deco Pocket Watch (Rare and Vintage)
£5,500
Private Seller
 
UK
Pocket Watch Very good Rose gold 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Full Hunter Rose Gold Rare Double Sided Calendar Pocket Watch
£3,850
Free shipping
Professional dealer
754
UK
Good 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Westhoughton
IWC Peerless 9ct Rose Gold Case Pocket Watch
£650
Professional dealer
108
UK
IWC Good 57mm United Kingdom, London
IWC Vintage 'Kriegsmarine' Pocketwatch
£5,900
Professional dealer
628
UK
IWC Yellow gold 45mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Bishop's Stortford
IWC Vintage Turler Pocket Watch Yellow Gold - COM786
£2,599
Free shipping
Professional dealer
397
UK
Waltham
Waltham Riverside Maximus Pocketwatch
£2,980
Professional dealer
180
US
2326 Very good Yellow gold 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, EC1N 8LE
Pocket watch 18k gold Gowland Bros, London 18CT Pocket Watch...
£22,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
UK
Audemars Piguet 35803PT/000 Unworn Platinum Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Audemars Piguet Platinum Pocket Watch
£9,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
18
UK
Waltham Very good Yellow gold Manual winding United Kingdom, Hampshire
Waltham 1919 Full Hunter 10Ct gold filled Pocket Watch 17...
£359
Professional dealer
93
UK
Patek Philippe 317818 Very good White gold 45.5mmmm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe Pocket watchOpen Face
£8,200
Private Seller
 
UK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Very good Yellow gold 40mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Jaeger-LeCoultre Vintage Open Face Pendant Yellow Gold Pocket...
£2,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
754
UK
Fair Yellow gold 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Westhoughton
18 k Full Hunter Pocket Watch Hunter
£2,200
Professional dealer
108
UK
Ulysse Nardin Ulysse nardin 18k mint pocket watch Very good Yellow gold Manual winding United Kingdom, East sussex
Ulysse Nardin Locle Suisse Antique 18K Solid Gold Pocket Watch
£3,500
Professional dealer
16
UK
Waltham Vintage Gold 14kt Yellow Plated Waltham Pocket Watch, Approx 1928, Working, 17 Jewel Movement, Waltham, Open Face, Small Case 32 mm Good Gold/Steel 32mm Manual winding
Waltham Vintage 14kt Y Gold Plated Waltham Pocket Watch, Est....
£317
Professional dealer
5
US
M35352 Vintage 1890's Minute Repeater
£9,312
Professional dealer
180
US
Vacheron Constantin 4319 Good Yellow gold Manual winding United Kingdom, EC1N 8LE
Vacheron Constantin Vacheron @1819 18ct gold engraved with...
£8,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
UK
Patek Philippe Good Yellow gold
Patek Philippe Pocket Watch 18 Karat Gold
£21,597
Professional dealer
29
US
Patek Philippe 972/1J-010 New Yellow gold 44mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe Open Face Pocket Watch 44mm
£23,855
Professional dealer
1229
UK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Good Steel 51mm Manual winding United Kingdom, BR4 9DW
Jaeger-LeCoultre World War 2 - RAF issued Pocket Watch
£495
Private Seller
 
UK
L'Aiglon Good Yellow gold 48mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
L'Aiglon Yellow Gold Vintage Pocket Watch
£2,250
Free shipping
Professional dealer
754
UK
Very good Yellow gold Manual winding
American Watch Co.
£2,123
Professional dealer
271
US
Zenith ww1 9ct gold zenith pocket alarm watch Good Yellow gold 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, East sussex
Zenith WW1 zenith pocket alarm watch
£1,999
Professional dealer
16
UK
Vintage 19th Century Solid Gold Pocket Watch, Working, Avance Retard Movement Very good Gold/Steel 44mm Manual winding
Vintage 19th Century Solid Gold Pocket Watch, Working, Avanc...
£1,322
Professional dealer
5
US
Very good Yellow gold
34178 Patek 18k Yellow Gold Deck Watch
£12,664
Professional dealer
180
US
1770 Very good Silver 45mm Manual winding United Kingdom, EC1N 8LE
Silver Pocket Watch, Hand engraved case, Enamel paint dial...
£16,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
UK
Elgin 50mm Manual winding
Elgin
£633
Professional dealer
661
US
IWC Serial no 2151250 Fair 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Leicestershire.
IWC Pocket Watch, Sultanate Of Oman
£5,000
Private Seller
 
UK
Good White gold 44mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Leigh-on-Sea
E. Howard & Co 14 Kt/Carat White Gold Open Face Pocket Watch c...
£800
Private Seller
 
UK
367475 Good Silver 45mm Manual winding United Kingdom, East Grinstead
Vintage English Silver Pocket Watch.
£275
Private Seller
 
UK
Zenith Good 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, london
Zenith Royal Navy Deck Watch HS3 - PAIR
£800
Private Seller
 
UK
Tiffany Z1000.70.12A21A71A Fair Steel Manual winding United Kingdom, Peacehaven
Tiffany --------8 Day
£2,500
Private Seller
 
UK
Waltham Fair 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, HA2 8JL
Waltham Not known
£785
Private Seller
 
UK
Hermès Slim d'Hermès Hermes Slim d'Hermes Panthere EP2.990A Very good White gold 45mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Hermès White Gold Slim d'Hermes Panthere Pocket Watch EP2.990A
£17,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
754
UK
Elgin 1815453 Very good Rose gold 35mm Manual winding United Kingdom, EC1N 8LE
Elgin Pocket watch 18k gold Enamel dial 1898
£950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
UK
Oris Fair 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, WEST DRAYTON
Oris John bennett
£150
Private Seller
 
UK
Illinois
Illinois Bunn Special Railroad Watch
£708
Professional dealer
180
US
Elgin 1924 Elgin Pocketwatch, Working, 21 Jewel, BW Raymond, Gold Filled, 50mm, Adjusted 5pt, Elgin national watch co. 26260833, Chrono Good Gold/Steel 50mm Manual winding
Elgin 1924 Elgin Pocketwatch, Working, 21 Jewel, BW Raymond,...
£354
Professional dealer
5
US
Longines Good 40mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Longines pocket watch - platinum case with 73 single cut diamond
£3,150
Private Seller
 
UK
Patek Philippe 973J-001 New Yellow gold 44mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe Open Face Pocket Watch 44mm
£23,057
Professional dealer
1229
UK
Very good Yellow gold 49.3mm Manual winding
TOP
South Bend 16s American Pocket Watch
£391
Private Seller
 
US
283966 Very good Yellow gold Manual winding
NG Vintage Antique 14k 585 Solid Yellow Gold Pocket Watch
£968
Professional dealer
851
US
Piaget Very good White gold 42mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Piaget Vintage Open Face Diamond Set White Gold Dress Pocket...
£3,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
754
UK
Zenith 1092496 Very good Silver 50mm Manual winding United Kingdom, EC1N 8LE
Zenith 19 N.V.I, Silver gold plated Pocket Watch
£1,495
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
UK
Illinois Very good Yellow gold Manual winding
Illinois Bunn Special
£931
Professional dealer
271
US
IWC
IWC Stainless Steel Pocketwatch
£1,490
Professional dealer
180
US
Waltham 1940 Vintage Waltham Premier Pocket Watch, Working, 17 Jewels, Size 12S, 10k Gold Plate, Champagne Face, Excellent Condition, #30589855 Good Gold/Steel 44mm Manual winding
Waltham 1940 Vintage Waltham Premier Pocket Watch, Working, 17...
£298
Professional dealer
5
US
A. Lange & Söhne 63668 Good Yellow gold Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne Pocket Watch
£21,522
Professional dealer
29
US
IWC Yellow gold 45mm Manual winding
IWC Tiffany Dial Pocket Watch
£2,607
Professional dealer
661
US
Patek Philippe Pocket Watch, VINT POCKET Good Yellow gold 46mm Manual winding
Patek Philippe Pocketwatch VINT POCKET
£4,060
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1451
US

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.