A Timeless Accessory – How to Wear a Pocket Watch with Elegance

how to wear a pocket watch


In the fast-paced world of today, where technology has rendered wristwatches and smartphones the primary tools for timekeeping, the pocket watch stands as a timeless and elegant accessory. A symbol of sophistication and tradition, wearing a pocket watch is not just about telling time; it’s about making a fashion statement. In this article, we will explore the art of wearing a pocket watch with grace and style, paying homage to the past while embracing the present.

A Brief History

The pocket watch, which dates back to the 16th century, has a rich history. Initially, it was an expensive and coveted accessory primarily worn by the aristocracy. Over time, as technology improved and manufacturing costs decreased, pocket watches became more accessible to the general public.

Pocket watches were once carried in the vest or waistcoat pocket, attached by a chain to a buttonhole. However, as fashion trends evolved, so did the way pocket watches were worn. Today, pocket watches can be worn as a symbol of nostalgia, luxury, or personal style.

Selecting the Right Pocket Watch

Before delving into how to wear a pocket watch, it’s essential to choose the right one. There are various styles and designs to choose from, ranging from antique heirlooms to modern interpretations. Consider the following factors when selecting your pocket watch

1. Style: Determine your style preference. Classic pocket watches are often round or oval, while modern interpretations can feature unique shapes and materials. Choose one that reflects your personal taste.

2. Size: Pocket watches come in different sizes, so consider the dimensions that best suit your physique and fashion style.

3. Movement: Pocket watches can have mechanical or quartz movements. Mechanical watches require winding, while quartz watches run on batteries. Choose the movement that suits your lifestyle and preference.

4. Case Material: Pocket watch cases can be made of various materials, including gold, silver, stainless steel, and even wood. Consider the material that aligns with your style and budget.

5. Dial Design: Pay attention to the watch’s dial design, as it can significantly impact the overall aesthetics. Some dials are minimalistic, while others are adorned with intricate designs.

6. Chain: The chain or fob is an integral part of the pocket watch ensemble. Consider whether you prefer a traditional chain or a modern fob that complements your attire.

How to Wear a Pocket Watch

Now that you have chosen the perfect pocket watch, it’s time to learn how to wear it with elegance and flair.

  • Choosing the Right Attire   – The most suitable attire for wearing a pocket watch includes vests, waistcoats, suits, and formal attire. However, pocket watches can also add a touch of class to more casual outfits like blazers and dress shirts.
  • Pocket Watch Placement – Traditionally, pocket watches were attached to a vest or waistcoat using a watch chain. The chain was secured to a buttonhole, and the watch itself was placed in the vest pocket. This classic approach remains popular and exudes a sense of timeless elegance.
  • Fob or Albert Chain – The chain or fob you select plays a vital role in your overall look. The two primary types are the “Albert chain” and the “fob chain.” The Albert chain has a T-bar at one end and a swivel clip at the other, allowing you to attach the pocket watch to the T-bar and secure it to a buttonhole. The fob chain features a clip or lobster claw clasp for easy attachment to a belt loop or other parts of your attire. Choose the style that complements your taste and outfit.
  • Consider the Occasion – Pocket watches are versatile accessories. However, you may want to choose a watch and chain combination that suits the formality of the occasion. For formal events, opt for a classic design and chain, while for casual outings, you can experiment with modern styles.
  • Coordinate with Other Accessories – To enhance your overall look, coordinate your pocket watch with other accessories, such as cufflinks, tie bars, and lapel pins. Matching materials and colours can help create a cohesive and stylish appearance.
  • Time the Placement – Ensure that the pocket watch chain is of the appropriate length. It should not be too long, as it may dangle excessively, nor too short, as it may appear cramped. Ideally, the watch should rest comfortably in your pocket without being too tight or too loose.


How do you wear a double pocket watch?

The Double Albert is perhaps the most recognizable and traditional way to wear a pocket watch. The pocket watch is placed in one pocket and the chain is passed through the adjacent waistcoat pocket across the waist coat and into the opposite pocket.

Is it OK to wear a pocket watch?

If you’re looking for a timeless accessory to wear to a formal event, look no further than the pocket watch. Whether you’re wearing a three-piece suit or jeans and a blazer, the pocket watch is an elegant and practical way to complete your outfit.


Wearing a pocket watch is a homage to a bygone era of elegance and sophistication. It’s a symbol of timeless style that can add a touch of class to any outfit, whether formal or casual. By selecting the right pocket watch and chain, coordinating with your attire, and considering the occasion, you can wear this classic timepiece with grace and charm. As fashion continues to evolve, the pocket watch remains an iconic accessory, reminding us of the beauty in embracing traditions from the past. So, the next time you choose to wear a pocket watch, do it with confidence and let it be a statement of your timeless style.

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