What are the best pocket watch designs for women? Read this article to have an idea on the different kinds of pocket watches for ladies and how to wear them elegantly.
Women’s pocket watches, though ideally made for keeping time, evolved to become a fashion statement during the Victorian and Edwardian eras
During these periods, it was also fashionable for men to carry pocket watches but they usually kept them inside a small pouch called a fob. The ladies, since they were wearing full dresses, wore their watches around their necks.
Pocket watch necklace, also referred to as pocket watch pendant, was worn as jewelry. It was smaller in size compared to those worn by men but had more elaborate designs.
Revival of pocket watches for women
The popularity of pocket watches declined in the 1950s when men and women saw it more practical to wear wrist watches, instead.
Today, the vintage look of accessorizing with a pocket is making a steady comeback.
Whether you fished out the watch from your grandmother’s chest or bought it from an antique shop, this exquisite timepiece will surely make an edgy fashion statement.
Feminine pocket watch designs tend to be more ornate compared to those for men, mostly made of gold, silver, stainless steel or titanium.
Feminine pocket watch styles
- Victorian pocket watches – the whimsical Victorian lady’s pocket watches have sophisticated and highly-decorative designs. Timepieces from this era often have rice pearl adornments, heavy gold gilding, and intricate precious stone inlays on the lid. Victorian ladies wore these intricately-designed watches to complement their voluminous dresses.
- Edwardian pocket watches – during this period, ladies stopped using corset and fashion was mellower. An Edwardian-style pocket watch is a little laid-back in style when compared to Victorian. The timepieces had simpler designs, less cluttered. The most common type of decoration on watches of these era are engravings on the cover and enamel paintings on the casings.
- Retro women’s pocket watches – influenced by the styles of the 1940s and 1950s, featuring bold and sometimes oversized designs with playful motifs.
- Steampunk pocket watches – a modern romantization of the Victorian elegance, oftentimes referred to as Neo-Victorian. This fashion philosophy came into prominence as a reaction towards digitalization of gadgets and accessories. Steampunk pocket watches aim to mimic the mechanical feel of antique pocket watches. It does this by making use of glass and metal cases, highlighting the inner workings of the timepiece.
Women’s pocket watches come in a variety of styles, each with its unique characteristics and designs. These styles cater to different tastes, occasions, and fashion preferences. Here are some of the common styles of women’s pocket watches:
Other common women’s pocket watch styles
- Art Nouveau – inspired by nature, these watches often feature flowing, organic designs, floral motifs, and the use of enamel work.
- Art Deco – reflecting the geometric and sleek design principles of the 1920s and 1930s, Art Deco pocket watches feature bold lines, symmetry, and the use of materials like onyx and mother-of-pearl.
- Classic Elegance – these watches typically have a timeless and understated design, making them suitable for formal occasions. Common features include Roman numerals, simple dials, and classic watch hands.
- Minimalist: Characterized by clean lines, simple dials, and a focus on functionality. These watches often have sleek, unadorned cases and are popular for everyday wear.
- Fashion-Forward: Designed with current fashion trends in mind, these pocket watches often feature unique materials, colors, and design elements.
- Nautical and Maritime Themes – Often found in sailor-style pocket watches, these timepieces feature anchor motifs, compass designs, and nautical symbols.
- Enamel and Guilloché – These watches showcase intricate enamel work and guilloché patterns on the watch dial, offering a visually captivating and decorative style.
- Religious and Inspirational Designs – Some pocket watches feature religious symbols, inspirational quotes, or motifs that hold personal significance for the wearer.
- Compact and Chatelaine Styles – These pocket watches are often used as decorative accessories, featuring chains or brooches for easy attachment to clothing. Compact watches are small and elegant, while chatelaine watches are often adorned with gemstones and intricate designs.
- Themed and Novelty Watches – Designed around specific themes, these pocket watches may feature whimsical or fun elements, making them suitable for collectors or as conversation starters.
- Half-Hunter: These pocket watches have a small window or aperture on the front cover, allowing the wearer to check the time without fully opening the case.
- Full-Hunter: These pocket watches have a solid front cover, and the time is only revealed when the case is fully opened.
Ideas how to wear your pocket watch
When accessorizing with an elborately-designed lady’s pocket watch, keep the rest of your accents minimal so as not to look gaudy. Make the watch the focal point.
With a long slide chain
A slide chain has a device – called the slide – that works as a pulley to adjust the length of the necklace. The end of the chain has a watch swivel where the watch is attached.
To complement the ornate designs of the timepieces, jewelers crafted fancy slides, which are sometimes embellished with gemstomes or filigrees.
Long chain pendant watches look so vintage chic when worn over a dainty sun dress, or so cosmopolitan when paired with a tailored sheath dress.
On a pin
Women’s pocket watches can also be fastened onto small decorative pins. These are brooches with a snap loop where a watch can be suspended on.
Some pins have a drop pin to help ladies open their pocket watches with ease.
Fashionistas turn heads with a stately fashion article – a feminine pocket watch worn on a watch pin, can be. Wore this like a brooch to highlight your dress or a wide lapel.
On a chatelaine
A chatelaine is group of chains with a clasp at each end for holding keys, trinkets, and occasionally, women’s pocket watches.
Chatelaines are worn at the lady’s waist and Victorian ladies clipped them to their corsets.
Today, corset tops are revived in the runway. Accent your corset with a ladies pocket watch on a chatelaine to make you look sophisticated yet edgy.