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Author Topic: How do you wear your pocket watch?  (Read 32277 times)
Ezra Hogbin
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« on: November 20, 2009, 05:41:36 pm »

I have a dilemma. I don't always wear a waistcoat, but I do like to use my pocket watch. Does anyone else use a pocket watch without a waistcoat? If so, do you simply place it in your trouser pocket, or do you have a pouch on your belt? If you keep it in your pocket, do you keep the chain on?  Is there any etiquette which covers this?

Also, left hand or right hand pocket on waistcoat?

Any and all advice gratefully received.
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Capt. Dirigible
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2009, 06:02:32 pm »

With a waistcoat I always have mine in the right hand pocket simply because I'm right handed. Without a waistcoat..mostly I wear black or brown denims and like most jeans they have that tiny little pocket situated  above the right hand pocket which  is described as 'a watch pocket' so I pop the watch in there and attached the chain either to my belt or to a belt loop on the jeans.

One thing I've always wanted to know though, is there a  correct and incorrect  way to wear a pocket watch with a waistcoat? I used to have the watch in the right hand pocket and the chain threaded through the first or second to the bottom button hole and the end of the chain clipped onto the left hand pocket (so the chain hangs in a sort of 'W' shape). However I've seen people wearing theirs the same way only without threading it through the button hole so it's simply hanging from one pocket to the other (in a sort of stretched 'U' shape). Then I noticed some wearing the chain  simply clipped onto a higher button hole (so the  chain hangs in a 'J' shape).

 Is it merely a case of personal preference or is there a certain 'watch chain etiquette' I'm missing out on? Maj. Tinker..you favour the pocket watch and cut quite a spiffing figure..what  do you say?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2009, 06:19:27 pm by Capt. Dirigible » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2009, 06:15:43 pm »

I usually wear trousers with a watch pocket and keep it in that. Since I only wear a waistcoat when either with friends, "dressing up" or at formal occasions, I don't make a habit of keeping it there.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2009, 06:49:39 pm »

With a waistcoat I wear one in my left pocket.  In trousers I wear it in my right top pocket (I don't like doing that though as I always think it could get damaged when I sit down)... If I wear it on a jacket, the chain goes through the buttonhole and the watch resides in the breastpocket. 
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2009, 07:16:33 pm »

With a waistcoat I always have mine in the right hand pocket simply because I'm right handed. Without a waistcoat..mostly I wear black or brown denims and like most jeans they have that tiny little pocket situated  above the right hand pocket which  is described as 'a watch pocket' so I pop the watch in there and attached the chain either to my belt or to a belt loop on the jeans.

One thing I've always wanted to know though, is there a  correct and incorrect  way to wear a pocket watch with a waistcoat? I used to have the watch in the right hand pocket and the chain threaded through the first or second to the bottom button hole and the end of the chain clipped onto the left hand pocket (so the chain hangs in a sort of 'W' shape). However I've seen people wearing theirs the same way only without threading it through the button hole so it's simply hanging from one pocket to the other (in a sort of stretched 'U' shape). Then I noticed some wearing the chain  simply clipped onto a higher button hole (so the  chain hangs in a 'J' shape).

 Is it merely a case of personal preference or is there a certain 'watch chain etiquette' I'm missing out on? Maj. Tinker..you favour the pocket watch and cut quite a spiffing figure..what  do you say?

The way you wear your chain depends on your chain. You wear it in a W shape only if you have a double albert. Otherwise you wear it from button hole to pocket.

The pocket depends on whether you are left handed or right handed one would imagine.

If one were to wear it on your trousers there is a clip chain that slides on to your belt and the watch goes in your pocket.

Personally I only wear a pocket watch with a waistcoat, and wear a wristwatch the rest of the time.
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Ezra Hogbin
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2009, 07:18:13 pm »

Thank you, kind Sirs, for your swift responses.
I have thought of keeping my watch in the "watch pocket", but I have only one pair of trousers with a watch pocket large enough ( and my watches aren't particularly large).

I tend to wear waistcoats for work and also casually, but there are occassions when I don't wear one. When I do have a waistcoat on, I clip the end of the chain by the button just above the height of the pocket and have the watch in the left hand pocket, so it forms a U shape to the pocket. My chains aren't long enough to form the W, but i have seen short chains with decorative fobs on which I will ceratinly look into getting.
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markf
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2009, 09:04:48 pm »

When I used to use my pocket watch/cell phone mod I used a fairly non-Victorian belt clip and chain.  markf

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HAC
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2009, 09:16:03 pm »

Please, please, avoid those belt clip slide on clasps like the plague, if one values one's watch, Those are the least secure method of attaching a chain known to man. A proper chain end for a belt loop, is a spring ring, or similar.. They have a nasty habit of coming loose, just when one really needs them to stay put. 



Cheers
Harold

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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2009, 10:08:11 pm »

My grandfather wore the same pocketwatch his entire life. He always carried it in his front trouser pocket with the chain attached to his belt. I wear mine the same way.
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Vienna Fahrmann
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 11:03:28 pm »


    I cheat, as many women's clothes are not equipped for pocketwatches.  Sometimes I  use a safety pin on the inside of the garment to loop the chain a bit so that the watch doesn't just hang straight down from the buttonhole.

       Vienna
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Ezra Hogbin
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Sir Hilary Codswallop, at your service


« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 10:52:48 am »

Safety pin, or even decorative pin! Why didn't I think of that?

That way I could hook the clip to my belt, without the whole chain hanging into my pocket. You've given me a brilliant idea; and so simple too!
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Sir Henry Tolvaddon
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 11:07:50 am »

I wear mine in the left pocket of my waistcoat, even though I am righthanded, but originally pocket watches were worn in the fob pocket on trousers (because IIRC the pocket watch was invented before the modern waistcoat).
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2009, 03:23:09 am »

For daywear, when wearing a single-breasted waistcoat, I usually wear my pocketwatch in my right waistcoat pocket, with a double albert chain connecting to a ring-top pen in my left pocket (usually one of my collection of Wahl metal lever-fillers). With many double-breasted waistcoats I've found that it looks better, however, to use the same sort of chain going to the right pocket twice, with both the pen and the pocketwatch in the right pocket.

For eveningwear, I usually have a pocketwatch in my right waistcoat pocket with no chain, as is appropriate for the end of the 19th century; I also tend to think that chains detract from evening waistcoats, and are too shiny and noticeable indoors at night due to lighting differences. I usually carry a short mechanical pencil (I have a nice 1911 gold ring-top that I'm quite fond of right now, for example) instead of a pen if I'm going to be dancing; these tend to work better with dance cards, and aren't as prone toward leaking when dancing (having a pen leak in a white linen waistcoat would not make for an enjoyable evening). For some dances, I'll also move my pocketwatch into my left pocket, where it's less likely to be an annoyance.
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Zwack
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2009, 05:05:15 am »

http://www.pocketwatcher.org/category/howtowearyourwatch/
http://www.mensflair.com/style-advice/pocket-watches.php

I have heard that it is normal to wear your pocket watch on the off hand side and the second link reiterates that.

When wearing a watch with a waistcoat I wear the pocket watch in the left hand pocket (I'm right handed) with the chain going to an appropriate buttonhole.  If I'm using a double Albert chain the other end goes to my right hand pocket with either a Waterman's 452 1/2 V fountain pen, a small knife, or a USB key. 

If I'm not wearing a waistcoat the watch goes into my front right pocket and the chain is looped through the belt loop nearest the front.

Z.
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Wells45
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2009, 05:40:56 am »

I wear mine in the same way as Zwack.
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2009, 06:39:22 am »

I tend to disagree entirely with that second site, though I can't really understand what the author is saying about waistcoat pockets resting in trouser pockets.

While I'm right-handed, I usually have my watch in my right pocket because I tend to turn slightly clockwise. Having the watch in my right pocket allows me to either pull back my coat with my right hand to reach it, or use my left hand across the coat. Since my right side is usually slightly back, this isn't as visible, and allows me to more easily check my watch surreptitiously. If it were in my left pocket, it would be more visible, as the left side of my waist is usually slightly forward when I'm sitting, and I'm not as adept at subtly pulling back my coat with my left hand. I'm not sure what my watch would have to do with writing, or why I would want to hold a pen while checking my watch (something I can do with my watch in my right pocket anyway).

My pen, on the other hand, is more convenient in my left pocket, since I can remove it with my left hand, and then unscrew it with my right, leaving me able to write without switching hands.
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Zwack
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2009, 07:59:33 am »

http://www.pocketwatchcentral.com/wearingapocketwatch.aspx  Lots of pictures of different ways of carrying a watch...

Personally, I find that with my watch in my left pocket i can check it with either hand just as easily. 

I think that the point about using a pen and checking your watch is that if you are holding a pen in your right hand you would want to check your watch with your left hand, given the propensity for the pen to blot if laid on the paper.

Personally I remove my pen with my right hand, unscrew the cap with my left hand and post the cap on the pen that is still in my right hand.  No hand changing is needed.

It's all a matter of personal opinion and tastes though.

Personally, I would say, find a way that works for you and feel free to use that.

There is no right or wrong way to wear a pocket watch as long as you don't drop it.

Z.
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elShoggotho
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2009, 08:09:04 am »

Does my cellphone watch count? It's either in the right pocket of my waistcoat, the right pocket of my trousers, or the watch pocket of my coat, also on the right side. I'm left-handed.
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Ezra Hogbin
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2009, 01:52:09 pm »

Personally, I would say, find a way that works for you and feel free to use that.

There is no right or wrong way to wear a pocket watch as long as you don't drop it.

Z.
That's good advice.
I have a couple of cheap watches which I wear for wrok or when I'm shooting, but if I dropped my good one ( present from my good lady) then there'd be hell to pay Shocked
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popuptoaster
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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2009, 03:05:52 pm »

I wear mine in the watch pocket of my jeans with the chain clipped to the belt or waistband, mines a fairly small and not very antiquey one though, it was gift from a friend for ushering at his wedding and i prefer to use it rather than leaving it sitting in a drawer. I assume most people would think it was a key chain, at least no one has ever commented on me having it.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 03:08:04 pm by popuptoaster » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2009, 04:02:57 pm »

It's probably incorrect for a lady, but I wear a waistcoat and keep my pocket watch in my left hand pocket. Not particular reason, just habit I guess. My waistcoats are usual bought from charity and vintage shops and the pockets are normally sewn up, but I break into them with a stitch picker. There is a clip on the end of the chain of my pocket watch which I clip to the top of the inner fold of the waistcoat.
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2009, 05:24:00 pm »

I personally wear my waistcoat and idly pick at the thread stitching it shut while I have it on.
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Captain
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« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2013, 11:19:49 pm »

I have taken a liking to Wahmaker's buckle back pants for SP wear.  While I prefer to carry my pocket watches in a vest pocket so as to show off the chains and fobs best, the Wahmaker pants have a convenient watch pocket not unlike most blue jeans.



There are convenient suspender button holes near by if you like the T-bar watch chains too.   These are about the best made, best fitting, and comfortable pants that I own.  I would highly recommend them.  The Frontier Classic version are supposed to pretty good and often less expensive but their sizing is sometimes off so it is probably best to only buy them where you can try them on first.    



Has anyone else found it just a little backwards that most blue jeans have watch pockets but most nice dress pants do not? 
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 12:09:52 am by Captain » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2013, 12:07:28 am »

While my lovely wife was shopping for corset in the French Quarter I noticed that several corsets had pocket watch pockets of various types:



There are also a variety of belt cases to choose from:



I have some people, like those aviators, wearing pocket watches on the wrists:



I don't think that this weird trend will last though.   Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 12:12:49 am by Captain » Logged
IGetPwnedOften
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« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2013, 12:51:43 am »

The pocket watch on a wrist strap is how the wristwatch came into being as far as I'm aware.

I was given to understand during a history lesson while in the Army that during WW1 many British officers found the pocket watch too awkward and took to wearing hunter watches with the cover removed on a leather strap on their wrist so they could see it more easily. I don't know how true that is, but it was taken as fact during those lessons and I imagine they knew what they were talking about.

On my first trip to the US I found wearing a wristwatch uncomfortable during the summer as the band would get all sweaty, so I bought a fairly hefty Smith & Wesson pocket watch and wore that in the watch pocket of my jeans or just dropped in the pocket when wearing trousers. The chain and clip on that watch are very substantial, and I never worried about losing it.

With a waistcoat I wear it in the left pocket, despite being right handed. I never really thought about it, it just seemed correct to me.

In the early 20th century, it was also fashionable to wear the watch on a fob that was hooked through the buttonhole on the lapel of a casual jacket and carried in the handkerchief pocket. Of course, "casual" in those days meant something like a tweed shooting jacket  Grin
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