How to wear a pocket watch




In the 1500’s large mechanical pocket watches were worn on chains around the neck but today gentlemen have more subtle ways of wearing their timepiece. In this article we look at how to wear a pocket watch in the modern era.

Most of the Woodford models come with a chain included in the box; this chain can be used in two ways to create either a formal or informal look. For a relaxed style the chain may be hooked, using the small clip, to the belt (or waist band) allowing the pocket watch to sit in the trouser pocket. The same clip may be attached to a buttonhole in your waistcoat – with the pocket watch sitting in the waistcoat pocket. This gives an altogether more formal look. Lets have a look in detail at how to wear a pocket watch.

Traditional Chains & Alberts
Pocket Watches look fabulous when worn with a waistcoat. Wearing your pocket watch with a 3 piece suit is essential or indeed just with a casual jacket and your favourite waistcoat. A chain with a ‘T bar’ is the traditional way to achieve this look. These particular chains are often called ‘Albert Chains’ after Queen Victoria’s husband, who made them very fashionable. They are also sometimes referred to as ‘fob chains’ because they hold the watch in the ‘fob pocket’ of the waistcoat.

These traditional chains are available in two main types, single and double chain. The style you choose is a matter of personal choice. The T bar on the end of the chain passes through a buttonhole in the waistcoat.

The other end of the chain attaches to the pocket watch resting in the waistcoat pocket, thus creating the traditional and classic chain loop seen so often in old films and photographs.

Double Alberts have two chains attached to the T bar. The second chain is designed to hold yet another item of value and importance and runs elegantly to a matching pocket on the other side of the waistcoat.

Small keys (to the drinks cabinet), a precious medal, or any other decoration were usually attached to this second chain. In the days when the watch chains were made from high quality gold, the extra length and double strand was a stylish way to show wealth.

On some designs there is a third, very short chain to which it is possible to attach yet another item, such as a medal or seal, if you have nothing to attach to this chain (often called an ‘inch drop’ then it can be tucked inside your waistcoat and so not seen at all)

On this example we show one of our rage of pocket watch chains that have a fob attached to the drop chain. This makes for a magnificent look inspired by Victorian and Edwardian pocket watch wearers. The pocket watch wastcoat look here is very impressive, the fob in this case has a polished gemstone in the sterling silver mount.

For those occasions when you are not wearing a waistcoat or wish to wear your pocket watch with a 2 piece suit, a belt clip can be used. This is a belt or trouser band version of the pocket watch chain, it is a clip that goes from the belt or trouser band and travels down the to trouser pocket, in which you put the pocket watch.  Popular as far back as the 1930s this method is often seen in old film noir movies. Humphrey Bogart is often seen wearing one while playing Sam Spade

I have often seen men wearing pocket watches this way even while they have a 3 piece suit on, it was thought a modern method of wearing a pocket watch. Humphrey Bogart in ‘The Maltese Falcon’ (1941) wears his in this fashion.   Using one can really extend the wearing of a pocket watch, no matter what your wardrobe, making it ideal for wearing a pocket watch with a 2 piece suit.

Many of our customers buy these for walking and rambling trips. What makes a great model of pocket watch case is the steel bar hinge, this lets the flap open fully and without strain or wear.


How to wear a pocket watch with jeans? They have much small pockets for pocket watch wearing .For  travel and the outdoor life, a pocket watch case is very popular. These cases attach to the belt and give total protection to the watch while wearing it. The watch slips in the leather case, and can also be secured by a chain. 

The watch front and back is fully protected, often very useful on a trip or a journey where you may think the watch may fall out of a pocket.

Modern Pocket Watch Chains

Snake link pocket watch chains are becoming increasingly popular with our customers as they look very excellent when worn with a modern suit or evening jacket. The links, usually made from polished stainless steel, are formed by snake links rather than chain links. Fastening in the same way from as a traditional single Albert the Snake link watch chain has a very modern style and is available in a polished silver finish or in a gold plated version. At around £20 they make a great alternative to the traditional pocket watch chain.

Part of the enjoyment of owning one, is working out how to wear a pocket watch for any occasion and what suits your style.