How Is a Pocket Watch Worn?

Updated April 17, 2017

Pocket watches tout an air of dignity. Some of these watches are eloquent status symbols, worn on the vests of the well-to-do, while others wear them more casually on jeans' pockets. Even ladies can look smashing wearing a pocket-style watch on a chain or pin. You must know how to wear them properly, however, so that they look their best on you.

Vest Wear

According to the Men's Flair website, wear your pocket watch with a vest, which should have a place to attach the chain, letting the watch rest comfortably in your pocket. You should be able to pull your watch out easily to check the time. Also, wear the watch chain on the opposite side of the hand you use most to allow you to check the time while doing other activities, such as writing or eating. If you're right-handed, for example, wear the chain on the left side, or vice versa.

Vest Chains

Men usually wear pocket watches on some type of chain. T-bar chains are probably the most common way to wear a pocket watch. One end of the chain has a gold or silver bar that attaches to a button hole in your vest, and the other end holds the watch, which rests in your vest pocket, according Double Albert chains are more formal. Two chains extend from a bar that hooks into a vest button hole. One chain holds the pocket watch, which you'd place in one vest pocket, and the other chain can hold a cigar cutter or a knife, which you'd place in the vest pocket on the opposite side of the watch.

Trouser Chains

Trouser chains are usually either ring chains or belt clips. Ring chains can have different-sized rings and chains to accommodate different watches, according to One end of a ring chain attaches to a belt loop, and the other end attaches the watch, which rests inside the trousers pocket. With belt clip watches, one end of the chain has a metal piece, often ornately decorated, that slides over the belt, while the other end of the chain attaches the watch. You then place the watch in your trousers pocket. Another, more casual trouser chain is called a fob, which sports a decorative charm on one end of a leather strap, while the other end of the strap holds the watch. The watch fits into the jeans pocket, and the fob charm dangles out of the pocket for others to see.

Ladies' Watch Chains

Ladies do not actually need a pocket to wear a pocket watch. Instead, they can wear pocket watches as pendants as long slide chains around their necks. The 45- to 70-inch continuous slide chains were popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras and still continue to be fancy accent jewellery pieces today, many of which are engraved or decorated with pearls and gemstones, according to These chains feature a slide in the middle to adjust the chain's appearance and length and a swivel to hook into the watch's bow.

Ladies' Watch Pins

Ladies have been wearing pocket watch pins since the Victorian or Edwardian times and still continue to wear them today, according to Ladies can wear these pins, which are usually ornately decorated with stones or engraving, on any blouse or sweater. Some antique pins came with matching earrings. The pocket watch pin actually resembles a medal, with one piece pinned to the blouse and the pocket watch dangling from that piece by way of a small hook or loop that attaches the two pieces together.

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About the Author

Donna Ferrier has been a writer and editor since 1990. She has written articles for "Training and Development Journal," "Officer Review" magazine and "Signature Service and Business Printing Technologies Report." Ferrier has written website copy, press releases, resumes, flyers and fund-raising letters. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia.