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Patek Philippe Platinum Pocket watch diamond markers with... Patek Philippe Platinum Pocket watch diamond markers with... US 2006 $10,500

Recognising the timeless classic

Unlike a wrist watch, a pocket watch was designed to be worn in one's pocket, secured by a chain. First mentioned in 1462 by an Italian clockmaker, they became popular from 1524 onwards in Europe, and were noted for their large dials and elegance. By the time of the First World War, however, it was deemed that during combat a wrist watch was far more practical, and this trend continued during peacetime.

Wearing pocket watches with style

Pocket watches add a very stylistic sense of class, being not just a functional timepiece, but also a coveted fashion item. Nowadays, most pocket watches are worn by those historical purists who wish to recreate Victorian-era dress, or those followers of the recent trend of 'steampunk', a rebellious counter-culture that seeks to emulate the more anarchic aspects of Victorian living. In the 1990s, however, some three-piece suits were manufactured that allowed for the wearing of a pocket watch in the vest pocket - this led to a mini resurgence that cemented the pocket watch's reputation as a classier, more formal timepiece than its wrist equivalent.

Quality Workmanship

Considered to be three of the most reliable and decent manufacturers of pocket watches are the companies Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and A. Lange & Söhne. Manual winding is common in contemporary pocket watches, and these brands have a history of manufacturing perfect quality versions.

Styles and Designs

Characteristically, a pocket watch must either be open-faced or 'hunter-style', which has a sprung-loaded protective cover for the dial, and which first came to prominence at the end of the 18th century with the rise of railroading.