Pocket watches vs wristwatches

The history of watches dates far back as the early 16th century in Europe. There and then, watches were made to work on portable spring-driven clocks, which first appeared in the 15th century and later evolved into a mechanical device. Later on, the watch which was developed from the 16th century to the mid 20th century functioned as a mechanical device powered by winding a mainspring which turned gears and then moved the hands and kept time with a rotating balance wheel. This type of watch had chains attached to them which made them easy to be worn as pendants.


However, in the 17th century style and fashion had a shift and changed for the men. As a result of this, men began to wear watches in pockets instead of as pendants, but the case was different for women as the female folks watch remained a pendant into the 20th century. The change in male fashion was said to have occurred in 1675 when Charles II of England introduced waistcoats. For the love he had for waistcoats, Charles II was the first person to initiate the idea of carrying the watch in a waistcoat. This was not just a matter of fashion or prejudice because watches of the time were notoriously prone to fouling from exposure to the elements, and could only reliably be kept safe from harm if carried securely in the pocket. So this became a trend in the men's fashion (carrying the watch in waistcoats).


To fit into pockets, however, the shape of the watch evolved into the typical pocket watch shape, rounded and flattened with no sharp edges. Glass was used to cover the face beginning around 1610. Watch fobs began to be used, the name originating from the German word fuppe, a small pocket. Later on, in the 18th century, Prince Albert, the consort to Queen Victoria, introduced the 'Albert chain' accessory, designed to secure the pocket watch to the man's outer garment by way of a clip. The watch was wound and also set by opening the back and fitting a key to a square arbor and turning it. And so, the watch fully gained its name, pocket watch, from this practice.


It is interesting to note that the timekeeping mechanism in those early pocket watches was the same one used in clocks that were invented in the 13th century. The mechanisms were: the verge escapement which drove a foliot, a dumbbell-shaped bar with weights on the ends, to oscillate back and forth. However, the mainspring introduced a source of error not present in weight-powered clocks. The force provided by a spring is not constant but decreases as the spring. The rate of all timekeeping mechanisms is affected by changes in their drive force, but the primitive verge and foliot mechanism was especially sensitive to these changes, so early watches slowed down during their running period as the mainspring ran down. This problem, which is called lack of isochronism, plagued mechanical watches like the pocket watch throughout their history.


Ergo, the fashion of wearing a watch on the wrist dates back to the production of the very earliest watches in the 16th century. This idea was triggered by the women as watches were almost exclusively worn on the wrist by women, while men maintained carrying the timepiece in their pockets; pocket watches, up to the early 20th century. It was believed that the world's first wrist watch was created by Abraham Louis Breguet for Caroline Murat, the Queen of Naples, in 1810. By the mid 19th century, wrist watches had gained ground and so most watchmakers produced a range of wrist watches, which they often marketed as bracelets for women.



Characteristics Of A Pocket Watch

Below are the characteristics or the key features of a pocket watch:


Pocket watches are worn or carried in the pocket, hence its name: a pocket watch.

The pocket watch is often regarded as a much formal accessory than the wristwatch. This is as a result of its historical touch. Hence, they are seen as more than just a simple fashion accessory and often, they are heritage pieces, passed down through families for generations. Because of this, a pocket watch will often hold personal, sentimental value for the owner, with many displaying their timepiece in a pocket watch display case in the home when not in use.

Pocket watches are handheld timepieces; they are kept in a pocket, attached to a chain and worn through a jacket or vest lapel.

They are mechanical devices and are mostly held in the hand in order to read the time.

Due to their more formal feel, most pocket watch owners choose not to wear them every day, saving them for special occasions such as weddings, events, and parties.



Characteristics Of A Wrist Watch

A wristwatch, as you would expect, is quite simply a timepiece that is worn around the wrist.

The wrist watch is much more common than a pocket watch and has become a modern go-to accessory, often worn day in, day out.

The popularity of the wrist watch has made it possible for a huge variety of styles to be available, from the classic to the ultra-modern.

Due to its being a modern-day device, wrist watches are available in digital styles or even smart watch designs that can make calls and access the internet. Modern-day wrist watches are extremely versatile – they can make just as much of an impression worn day to day as they can with a formal ensemble. As a result of this, many people opt for a wristwatch due to the ease of use it offers: the timepiece is always on your wrist, making it quickly and easily accessible for telling the time.

A wrist watch has a high flexibility of use.



Advantages of the Pocket Watch Over The Wrist Watch

The pocket watch has more security than the wrist watch being that it is carried about in the pocket.

It is less noticed by thieves.

It brings a more elegant and respected look than the wrist watch.

It can be transferred from one generation to another when treasured because of its nature and historical background.


Disadvantages of the Pocket Watch Over The Wrist Watch

The pocket watch is not as much of a visible fashion accessory.

It is not so convenient to use in telling the time.



Advantages of the Wrist Watch Over The Pocket Watch

The wrist watch is convenient to use being that it is worn on the wrist.

With the wrist watch on your wrist, people can easily assess your fashion style and taste. That is to say that it contributes to your fashion taste and beauty.

You can easily tell the time with the wrist watch. This means that it is easily accessible.


Disadvantages of the Wrist Watch Over The Pocket Watch

The wrist watch exposes you to the danger of being robbed if it is such that is very expensive.

It can easily be damaged due to its exposure to the wrist.

The wrist watch can wear hair around your wrist off.



From the above advantages and disadvantages, you would notice that both the pocket watch and the wrist watch have their individual pros and cons. This implies that the choice of having a pocket watch or a wrist watch is left to whoever is faced with such a task. Some people have more than one pocket watch and just one wrist watch notwithstanding the non-flexible nature of the pocket watch. For such people, it is a choice they made themselves. While some other people have a couple of wrist watches and no pocket watch at all irrespective of the prestige and honour that come with using a pocket watch. It is their choice.


Peradventure you are still confused about which one to buy between a pocket watch and a wrist watch, then you should check out the suggestions below:


You should buy a pocket watch if:

You want something historic, unique, and different to the masses.

You are attending a special event such as a wedding, work event, or party and you really want to make an impression of great elegance with outright uniqueness.

You want to bring a classy, elegant, and distinguished finish to your look always.

You want an investment, collector piece that can stay with your family for years to come.


You should buy a wristwatch if:

You are looking for ease of use – you want to be able to quickly and easily tell the time.

You are looking for a more casual style.

You want a timepiece you can wear every day, with any outfit.

You want a timepiece with additional, technical features such as wifi, pulse monitors, and GPS.


When looking to buy a pocket watch there are two important decisions to make. These are:

The look

The mechanism.


Buying a pocket watch can be just as difficult a choice as buying an ordinary wrist watch even though you have considered the conditions as said above, albeit, you are guaranteed to look good no matter what. Whether you want the antique look, the personalized look, or just a simple look there is a style to suit everyone.

Let us start with the simplistic look. This is perfect for any occasion, whether the watch is intended for use in everyday life, or whether it is only brought out for special occasions. This particular style of pocket watch has no case, meaning the face is always clearly visible, in other words, a handy feature if you are in a hurry.


If you are looking for that special birthday gift or just a gift for someone special in general, you could look at an engraved pocket watch. The best for this would be the full hunter or double hunter whose features include a solid outer case concealing the watch face until opened. This makes the watch ideal for a special gift as it gives you your very own blank canvas to work with and make your own. The double hunter has one extra feature – a second opening of the casing at the back to allow viewing of the mechanism as well as enabling the watch to stand on its own, a feature that could easily be used for display purposes.


However, if you are after a watch to complement your own outfit for a big event, something a little more decorated might be required. Maybe that suit for the wedding just needs a little more of the wow factor. In this case, a half hunter would be perfect for you. This watch is again similar to the full hunter but the case has a crystal that allows the time to be seen without opening the watch. As a result of this, the casing is often more intricately detailed. Depending on the depth of detail that you are after is the ultimate decider as to whether you would prefer the half hunter or the double half hunter. This particular design is rather spectacular as the flawlessly intricate design occurs on both the front and the back, with a second crystal allowing the mechanism to be displayed again without having to open the entire back.