The Sartorial Steampunk

Posted by on May 14th,2008

A Double Albert Cahin with fob drop

Wearing your Pocket Watch – Part 1.

Perhaps one of the most desirable Steampunk garb accessories is the pocket watch. A pocket watch certainly adds a classy and retro element to any attire. But, how to wear them, you may well ask? The answer lies in the variety of chains that were common in the Victorian era. A watch chain is a necessity, especially with a vintage mechanical pocket watch. Most older pocket watches have no built-in means of protection against shock for the delicate balance shaft. Dropping your watch meant an expensive repair.

So, with all that in mid, let’s look at what is probably the most popular Victorian watch chain, the Double Albert. Named for Queen Victoria’s beloved Albert, the chain consists of a T-bar and two complete chains with watch swivels. The T-bar goes through a vest button hole, and secures the chain. There is one chain end to attach the watch to (generally on the same side as one is handed, i.e. right hand side for those right handed) and another chain to add a fob, cigar cutter, knife, match safe or other item, which is worn in the opposite pocket of a vest. There is often a short fob drop chain attached to the T-bar. This allowed for decorative fobs to be attached and displayed. Intaglio carved stones set in gold were popular as fobs with the gentry and dandies. Seals, or club emblems were also popular. A Double Albert Chain with Fob Drop is shown above.

Gold Fob with Stone

The Double Albert remained popular well after the Victorian era. Wear this chain style with a hunter cased pocket watch, and you have a combination that’s hard to beat.

Next time, something for the Steampunk lady who wishes to dress in a more traditional way, and still carry a pocket watch – the Lady’s Long Slide, and watch pins.