A brief history of pocket watches
Pocket watches were the most common type of watch from their development in the 16th century until wristwatches became popular after the First World War.
Pocket watches generally have an attached chain to allow them to be secured to a waistcoat, lapel, or belt loop, and to prevent them from being dropped. Watches were also mounted on a short leather strap or fob, when a long chain would have been cumbersome or likely to catch on things. This fob could also provide a protective flap over their face and crystal. Women's watches were normally of this form, with a watch fob that was more decorative than protective. Chains were frequently decorated with a silver or enamel pendant, often carrying the arms of some club or society, which by association also became known as a fob. Ostensibly practical gadgets such as a watch winding key, vesta case, or a cigar cutter also appeared on watch chains, although usually in an overly decorated style. Also common are fasteners designed to be put through a buttonhole and worn in a jacket or waistcoat, this sort being frequently associated with and named after train conductors.
Types of pocket watch
- Open Face Pocket Watch: The open face pocket watch has no cover for the watch face so that the time can be read at a glance. The risk of damage to the unprotected watch face led to the development of the full hunter pocket watch that protected the face with a hinged cover.
- Hunter Pocket Watch: The full hunter pocket watch protected the delicate watch face with a protective lid. However, having to open the watch every time the owner wanted to check the time could prove bothersome and so the half hunter was invented.
- Half Hunter Pocket Watch: The half hunter pocket watch was created by the simple addition of a hole in the protective cover that allowed the hands to be read without opening the cover.
- Double Hunter Pocket Watch: The double hunter pocket watch had a lid on the reverse of the watch allowing the viewing of the watch mechanism. The rear lid when open also makes the pocket watch easy to stand upright on a flat surface.
- Double Half Hunter Pocket Watch: The double half hunter pocket watch is a combination of the double hunter and the half hunter pocket watches having the advantages of both; a viewing hole in the front cover and the useful hinged lid on the reverse.