Pocket watches have an aura of romanticism and charm that wristwatches could never really claim—at least not until about the turn of the century. Antique pocket watches simply ooze with charm and sophistication. As early as 1462, an Italian pocket watch maker was made by Bartholomew Manfredi for a friend of the Duke of Modena. Since then, pocket watches flourished through the 15th and 16th centuries, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that a practical pocket watch was invented. Instead of having only an hour hand, it now was manufactured with the hour and minute hands—the ones that we know today.
Henry Pitkin is credited with manufacturing the very first fully-functional pocket watch in 1830. Later on in the 19th century, Schaffhausen-Japy watches were coming out of Switzerland at an alarming rate. America responded with the American Watch Company; it made more than 50,000 pocket watches. This only made the Schaffhausen-based watchmaker eager to produce the most precise and the most accurate pocket anybody had ever seen. From that, the Swiss Army Knife/Watch was born.
Types of antique/modern pocket watches
Antique pocket watches are, nonetheless, one of the most prized collector’s items of modern times. They are also widely produced and still worn in the mainstream. Two of the most notable types are the hunter-case and the open-face. The hunter-case pocket watch boasts a spring-hinged, round metal cover; this houses the crystal, dials and inner workings, and shields them from soot in the air, dirt, debris, nicks and scratches and other items.
The other mainstream type is the open-face. The main difference is that it has no cover over the crystal, or the watch face itself. Both models use various combinations of pendants (for winding), dials and “sub-second dials” for setting the time.
Facts about “modern” antique pocket watches
• Most of them are made in partial or solid gold, stainless steel, antique brass and similar fashions.
• Many hunter-case watches come with ornate compasses inside the lids. This type simply exudes sophistication and style.
• “Steampunk” is a subculture of style that heavily relies on such things as antique pocket watches, Victorian-era design, and steam-powered machines.
• Gold pocket watches are often given to employees as a retirement gift by many employers, families and friends.
• Men who want that extra-classy, traditional look use them as time-pieces inside their business suits—where they are attached via a chain or some sort of lapel.
• As many did in olden days, men sometimes wear these pocket watches on their belt-loops.
• Additionally, many of these open-faced and hunter-cased pocket watches are family heirlooms or part of a collector’s prized collection.
A treasured pocket watch can be for anybody
Antique pocket watches make superior gifts. Especially prized are genuine Antique Swiss Watches. They are hard to come across but keep their value and are real treasures. Do you have a relative who is about to retire, or is newly-retire? Do you have a college graduate as a son, sibling or friend and want to purchase something really classy for them? Check out the abundant selection of pocket watches online and you’ll find one that is absolutely perfect for you, a family member or friend.