Like three-button jackets, pocket watches are likely to become the sartorial equivalent of dinosaurs in a few decades. No, we aren’t suggesting that the fashion industry should revert to its season of plaid shorts and hanging neck clocks. If there are any male fashion relics that deserve to be protected from obsolescence, it would be pocket watches. Otherwise, good luck explaining to your grandkids why you had to kill both the dress watches and the dinosaurs.
Types of Pocket Watches for Men
While there are a lot of parameters used in categorizing pocket watches, there are two main types/styles known to pocket watch enthusiasts; the hunter case or hinged and the open face pocket watch.
The Hunter Case/Hinged:
This pocket watch is mostly distinguished by its protective lid made from metal or glass that protects it from scratches. The lid is often spring loaded but may also feature a hole that can be used to check the time without opening the watch, however, these are more popular in men’s watches with glass lids.
The Open Face:
Like their name implies, these pocket watches do not have lids or hinges. And while they have the advantage of displaying the time in full view, the prospect of getting damaged makes the closed watch a better option for people with active lifestyles.
Things to Consider When Shopping for Pocket Watches for Men
Wondering what to look out for when shopping for a pocket watch?
Materials and Mechanics:
Pocket watches can be made with anything from gold to bronze as well as ceramic, glass and various other decorative materials. While a collector might enjoy having a bit of variety, metal pocket watches are a solid option for the singular reason that they are the least likely to be damaged. Plus, if you’re considering the watch as a gift option, then gold, silver or bronze will not only appear a more appealing option, but they can also be easily engraved to suit the receiver’s taste.
Generally, a small knowledge of watch design, gears and mechanics is required while shopping for a pocket watch. Again, watches with metal gear excel in a variety of conditions compared to those made of plastic. Sure, you’ll have to worry about rust in the long run, but with plastic gear, even a speck of sand can make the workings of your watch go haywire.
…Analog or Digital?:
For some people, an analog watch is a clear option. However, you must note that these are much harder to decipher than digital watches whose display is basically numeric. Depending on whether or not you are conversant reading analog watches, you might want to re-think the option of an analog pocket watch. You certainly don’t want to waste time, checking the time.
Design & functionality:
Given the fact that they are designed to be stowed away in pockets, you would imagine that their designs wouldn’t be a problem. How you choose to carry the watch, however, might, in fact, be. Between the various attachment-types available – including, chain, strap or band, and their color, most people make grave mistakes when choosing their pocket watches. Remember that you can’t go wrong with neutral colors and clean lines. As for attachment types, anything that isn’t a stark contrast to your outfit might suit you just fine.
A vintage pocket watch mustn’t be old, dented or rusty to have ‘character’. As a matter of fact, do not consider buying a pocket watch with rust – it might be a reflection of how old and ‘valuable’ the piece is, but it is also a reflection of neglect. And it can’t be too valuable if it has been left to rust too badly.
Tempted as you might be to break-the-bank, remember that cost doesn’t always guarantee quality. With some research and a little bit of patience, you can even snag a vintage piece without the hassle of boring a hole in your bank account. It is really only a question of knowing where to shop.
How to Wear a Pocket Watch
Again, how you wear your pocket watch is dependent on your chosen attachment and the design of the watch itself. Ultimately, you may choose to wear your pocket watch in several different ways/styles depending on the occasion. This wiki guide explains how to include your pocket watch in a variety of outfits. Spoiler: you don’t always have to latch it on to a waistcoat.
Our Top Picks
Pocket watches may no longer be de rigueur but they are the perfect accessory. By themselves, they can make you come-off as interesting. From their intricate designs to their construction, they offer a perfect blend of practicality and aesthetics that cannot be rivaled. So, whether you’re considering it for yourself or a gift, you will find that there is no easier way to make a fashion statement – Thus, our stunning line-up of pocket watches for men.
Mudder Classic Smooth Vintage Pocket Watch
We begin our roundup with one of the most popular options among pocket-watch enthusiasts – a silver steel, hinged pocket watch by Mudder, complete with a removable chain and clip and an accompanying gift box; which you’ll find especially useful if you’re looking to gift this to someone special.
There are so many reasons to love this watch – but somewhere between its classic smooth look and budget-friendly price tag, we can guarantee that you’ll get hooked.
The Mudder Classic Smooth Vintage Pocket Watch measures an impressive 1.8 × 0.4 inches – making it the perfect resident for an average sized pocket, and is made from a water-resistant alloy that will both blend in nicely with formal wear (given it gorgeous silver color) and take a small beating from both water and external pressure.
Okay, you can’t go diving in a pool with the watch or bash it with a sledgehammer – but, you get the point.
We can’t decide whether we love its silver-toned exterior more, or that classic white dial and quartz gear, that so distinctly sets it apart from other pocket watches. But we are absolutely certain that for anyone with an eye for both style and practicality, this bad-boy would be an awesome pick.
And did we mention it costs less than $20? That’s right, you’re welcome.
- Gorgeous, seamless design.
- Exterior can be engraved and is a shiny chrome resistant to scratching
- Doesn’t require winding
- Fairly water resistant
- Runs only on one battery and is likely to lose time
- Attachment chain can be quite brittle.
Mudder Classic Smooth Vintage Steel Mens Pocket Watch Xmas Gift (Black)
- Classic, white dial
- Precision Japanese quartz movement
- Come with brown gift box
- A best gift for you
- Pull the crown away from base of the watch and turn the crown clockwise until reaching the exact time
Stuhrling Original Men’s Vintage Mechanical Pocket Watch.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more flair and a little more ‘history’ to its design, then you might like the Stuhrling Original Men’s Vintage Mechanical Pocket Watch .
So, its lid is made of protective glass. But who would want to hide that classic skeleton hand design under a metal lid anyway? Part of its appeal is certainly its seamless analog display that features a dual-sided skeleton dial as well as Roman numeral time markers.
Other than the mild fear of losing grip of the watch and smashing its protective Krysterna crystal glass to pieces, you have no pertinent worries with the Stuhrling vintage. However, with its protective coating, sturdy belt clip, and stainless steel chain, we wouldn’t worry too much about falling.
In terms of quality, this pocket watch sets the precedence for most. Its Swiss-origins explains its superiority compared to its counterparts. Combined with the fact it can alternate between belt and waistcoat, certainly takes the top spot in terms of versatility.
At under $100, the Stuhrling vintage is fairly affordable given its features, but still one of our most expensive picks. However, you can’t put a price on quality workmanship so this watch proves its penny’s worth.
- Beautiful analog display with classic skeleton-hand design
- Comes with both belt clip and steel chain
- Protective glass is made of valuable Krysterna crystal
- Has a desk stand.
- Protective glass is susceptible to breakage
- Crown requires wounding every 25-30 hours.
Stuhrling Original Mens Vintage Mechanical Pocket Watch – Stainless Steel Analog Skeleton Hand Wind Mechanical Watch with Belt Clip Stainless Steel Chain 6053.33113
- Stainless steel pocket watch featuring skeleton dual-sided dial, Roman numeral hour markers, and 12″ link chain with belt clip
- Mechanical hand-wind movement with analog display
- Dual-sided protective Krysterna crystal dial window
- Mechanical Movement – the crown needs to be wound 25 -30 winds or until you feel resistance, every twenty four to thirty six hours.
Gotham Men’s Silver-Tone Ultra Thin Pocket Watch
The Gotham Men’s Silver-Tone Ultra Thin Pocket Watch tops the ranks amongst minimalist pocket watch options. It has a simple, open-faced display with a white sunray dial and 24-hour markings which are more popular in recent pocket watch designs. The railroad watch finishes off with a polished brass case enclosure and silver crown that latches on to its chain.
A notable part of this pocket watch design is the drawstring pouch that it comes in – old school. So, that if you’re too scared to cart the watch around bare-faced, you’re left with the option of stuffing it into the drawstring pouch and then into your pocket.
It is thin, an impressive 42mm diameter wide and is made of suitable, engraving-complaint material, which looks great nonetheless – it sure sounds like a great pick to me.
- Thin, railroad design
- Brass case enclosure which is engraving-complaint
- Comes with 15-inch attachment chain and belt clip (It’s pretty long)
- Unique drawstring pouch
- The bare-faced design makes it most susceptible to damage.
Gotham Men’s Silver-Tone Ultra Thin Railroad Open Face Quartz Pocket Watch # GWC15026S
- Classic open face silver-tone pocket watch with ultra thin polished brass case suitable for engraving
- Rich white railroad style dial with black 12 and red 24 hour markers
- Precision Japanese analog quartz movement
- Includes 15 inch silver-tone curb link chain with belt clip holder attachment
- Arrives with deluxe draw string pouch and gift box, operating instructions and lifetime limited warranty card
Spovan Silver Digital Pocket Watch
The Spovan Silver Digital Pocket Watch was designed with the outdoors in mind. While it manages to retain some semblance to the traditional pocket watch design, it certainly breaks all the other stereotypes.
This watch is neither fragile nor brittle. It is both water-resistant and shockproof and boasts a unique ability to survive in virtually any condition imaginable.
But it doesn’t quite end there.
It is loaded with multiple-function features that can see it carrying out the tasks of a thermometer, altimeter and even a barometer. To top things off, it can provide (and record) time tracking making it the perfect fishing, hiking or sports companion. So when it comes to versatility, this watch easily tops the charts.
Now, it doesn’t quite slip into the crisp and proper look of formal wear and it weighs a ton compared to other watches. This is rarely the kind of watch you would want to cart around just to check the time anyway. And believe it or not, a heavy duty carabiner watch makes for a great icebreaker when you’re looking to start a conversation – perhaps begin by saying that your watch provides weather forecast – that is bound to reel anyone in and keep them interested.
- Shock and waterproof
- A decent price tag
- Calendar, and EL backlight
- Protective glass
- Heavy –duty design (it is quite heavy)
- Fashionably unsuitable for formal settings.
Spovan Silver Digital Pocket Watches Hiking Altimeter Barometer Compass
- This is a professional digital sports pocket watch , suitable for men and women , 2 way to carry (Nylon rope/Stainless steel clip) , easy to hold and use , give you outdoor activities more help and delight , carabiner watch , if you like hiking, camping, cycling, running or outdoors survival, DO NOT miss it!
- Fashion Simple Design , heavy duty watch , Multifunction for Daily Use: Altimeter , Barometer , Compass , Thermometer , Weather forecast , Pedometer , Stopwatch , Countdown , EL Back light , Perpetual Calendar , Alarm , Worldtime/Dual Time , 12/24 Hour , Waterproof , Shockproof , suitable for indoor, outdoor and casual occasions, best gift for family and friends
- Swiss Sensor , safe button cell included , Protective hardlex glass , better than normal glass , protects watch from scratches
- Case Diameter 52.2 MM(2.06″) , large face is easy to read , Case thickness 15.5 MM(0.61″) , Case material: stainless steel
- Daily Water resistant to 99 feet (3ATM/30M) , withstands rain and splashes of water , but not showering or submersion , Please DO NOT Press Any buttons in the water , Avoid using it in extreme hot or cold temperature
TIRIO Magic Roman Half Hunter Black Steel
It is not a hunter case watch, nor is it an open face pocket watch – but imagine these two pocket watch styles getting together and having a gothic, vintage baby.
That’s right – that baby would be the TIRIO Magic Roman Half Hunter Black Steel .
By now, you can probably tell that this is one of our favorite designs. Somehow, TIRIO managed to delicately blend renaissance and modern in one lowly pocket watch – and it came out incredible. And naturally, we are impressed.
Let us just go out on a limb and say if you’re looking for an antique option – you won’t find a better alternative to this design. It is made with scratch-proof mineral glass and features a stainless steel casing complete with a 320mm metal chain.
Its skeleton dial design pretty much puts other dials to shame. Combined with its yellow core and bold Roman numeral time dials, you have a pocket watch that is in a league of its own and makes it own rules. As far as being stunning goes, this timepiece no doubt takes the cake.
- Great budget option (that looks more expensive than it costs)
- Superb design
- Made with scratch-proof mineral glass
- The inside face is made from plastic – if you’re keen on a metal watch, this might be a deal breaker.
Carrie Hughes Men Mechanical Pocket Watch with Chain CH461
- 100% Brand New and High Quality!
- Double unter Hunter Pocket Watch Renaissance Antique Look.
- Scratch resistant mineral glass Skeleton Dial with Roman Numerals Display.
- Stainless steel watch case makes the watch more durable.
- Metal Chain Length 320mm ,Dial Diameter 48 mm.
Bulova Men’s Stainless Steel Pocket Watch
Haven established themselves as a prominent part of the watch design industry, and we couldn’t possibly complete our roundup without a reference to Bulova.
Naturally, their Bulova Men’s Stainless Steel Pocket Watch is the most expensive piece in our line-up, costing almost $300 – but it is a well-known fact that when you have to churn out the big bucks, you can expect the extraordinary.
Is this watch extraordinary?
Well, you be the judge;
With the most exquisite looking gift box stamped with the unique Bulova tuning fork logo, this watch will reel in the attention of admirers even before it is in full glare.
Inside the box is a retrograde hunter style watch enclosed in a stainless steel casing and accompanied by the 15-inch clasp chain that will seamlessly make for an excellent belt or waistcoat attachment. The analog-quartz gear provides a quiet time-telling experience, with the beautifully crafted exterior retaining its sleek, classy look thanks to its scratch-resistant grade material. To top things off, it is water resistant and quite the sturdy piece.
One major drawback to this design is its 50mm case. But while this size isn’t particularly a convenient feature, it guarantees the Bulova’s superb time-telling abilities, as the extra room allows the watch to accommodate a powerful inbuilt battery that will no doubt stand the test of time.
- Accurate time-telling guaranteed
- Unique stainless steel finish – with magnificent packaging.
- Obviously doesn’t need to be wound
- Wide 50mm case
- A little above budget for anyone looking for a cheaper buy.
Bulova Men’s Quartz Stainless Steel Pocket Watch, Color:White (Model: 96B270)
- From the Classic Collection
- New hunter style pocket watch with stainless steel case, chain and clasps, 3-hand movement with calendar feature, tuning fork logo etched on case, and water resistance to 30 meters
- Analog-quartz Movement
- Case Diameter: 50mm
- Water resistant to 30m (100ft): in general, withstands splashes or brief immersion in water, but not suitable for swimming or bathing
Our Final Verdict
While some people might consider the idea of owning a pocket watch a tad obsolete, we have a much different conception of what it means to be outdated. Pocket watches for men have earned an indelible place in the sands of (fashion) time. So, whether it is a $20 Mudder Classic Smooth Vintage Pocket Watch or the $300 Bulova Men’s Stainless Steel Pocket Watch that catches your fancy, you cannot go wrong by choosing to snag along a pocket watch when you step out.Only remember that the key to picking the right watch for you is functionality. If you are looking for something that can ease your child into pocket watch ownership, consider the Gotham Men’s Silver-Tone Ultra Thin Pocket Watch. But say, you’re going fishing, hiking or kayaking – the Spovan Silver Digital Pocket Watch will do you one better. And as long as you put your needs at the forefront of making a choice, you won’t be left with so much as an ounce of buyer’s remorse. If anything, the fact that you can whip out your pocket watch and tell what time it is seems like a good enough reason to buy one.Do you know what time it is?No?It is probably time to buy a pocket watch.