Buying a Pocket Watch_Martins of Glasgow

A First Timer’s Guide to Buying a Pocket Watch: What You Should Know

Many people think that all pocket watches are created equal but this isn’t the case. There are hundreds of different picket watches but knowing what to look for will help you narrow down your choices and choose one that’s right for you.

Pocket Watch Shopping 101

Here are a few things you’ll want to consider as you start your search for the perfect pocket watch.

  • Brand. Before you start reviewing your options, do some research on pocket watch brands. There are a number of different manufacturers and you should be able to find enough reviews and information online to decide which brands you would like to look at.
  • Style. The style of a pocket watch refers to the lines and materials. It’s also important to keep in mind that a pocket watch is designed to be worn within a pocket, so you want to avoid materials that won’t get scratched very easily. Choosing between silver, gold, bronze, platinum and stainless steel will also fall under the style of the watch.
  • Analog or digital. Digital pocket watches display the time numerically, while analog watches have hands and need to be read. Analog pocket watches are generally the more popular choice.
  • Before you start shopping around, decide what you would be willing to spend on a watch. Setting your budget beforehand ensures you don’t fall in love with a timepiece that’s out of your price range.
  • Band, chain or strap. Next, you will want to decide how you would prefer to attach the pocket watch to your pants or vest. Bands, chains and straps are all options and each offers a different type of look.
  • Mechanics. Because you’ll want your pocket watch to last for years to come, it helps to learn a bit more about the inner workings. You can refer to reviews to find out more about which brands are most reliable. If you will be purchasing a second-hand watch, speak to the seller about the mechanics as well as the service history of the piece. Overall, metal gears are a much better choice.
  • Usage. How do you plan to use your pocket watch? If it will be an everyday accessory, you’ll want to focus on functionality. If you plan to only wear it on special occasions, you could focus more on the style. If you will be adding the watch to a collection, take your time to find something truly unique.
  • Age. If you are looking for a vintage pocket watch, age will be important. Anything older than 75 is considered vintage and will cost more.
  • Hinged vs. open face. Some pocket watches have hinges and a cover, while others have an open face and will always have the time on display. One drawback of open face options is that the watch face can be damaged more easily.

When choosing a pocket watch, keep in mind that this is an investment. It’s something that you can pass down to your children or grandchildren so take your time to choose a piece that speaks to you.