4 things to consider when choosing a single pocket watch

Half hunter watches, full hunter watches, marine watches, fob watches, it matters not which you prefer, but if you are in the market for a single watch or you’re a first time buyer, you should take some time to consider a few things.

It all comes down to preference and with preference comes options, so take your time and allow yourself to ponder these 4 things before you make your latest purchase.

pieces of time antique pocket watches


For a purchase of a one-only watch, this is more than likely what you will want – a watch that is more than likely all-original, as best as can possibly be determined. In order to fulfil this there is little research required of the watches that appeal to you.

Allow for watch servicing

Fortunately, when you purchase a timepiece from Piece of Time, you won’t need to factor in this element. However, other dealers aren’t all the same so you should recognise that unless a watch is guaranteed to have been properly cleaned and oiled, there will be additional cost involved for a watch service. Ensure you don’t allow for the simple claim that is was “recently serviced.” Ask if it has been stripped and if each pivot hole has been “pegged out” (cleaned by inserting a sharpened pegwood stick and rotating). Also ask if the balance pivots have been polished. Enquire as to what else was done during the servicing. Any competent watch repairer or watch maker will be more than happy to run through the process with you. Following on from the initial service, the watch will require service at regular intervals, dependent upon how often it is wound up. If the movement is continually run, a cleaning and oiling is needed once every 3-5 years. If you intention is to only ever wear your watch on rare specific occasions, this ought to be done once at the onset and about every 7-10 years thereafter. If you’re not going to carry it or use it as a working watch, don’t concern yourself with getting it serviced.

Carrying your watch? When?

If you’re planning to carry your new watch only at special occasions, when you’re wearing a suit or tuxedo, or at the least a jacket and tie, you will more than likely want to aim for a gentlemen’s dress watch, perhaps a hunting-case style. This is because this type of timepiece offers you a thinner, smaller diameter, than the everyday watch a workingman might carry. The sizes are 10-size and12-size and possibly some 14-sizes. If you are in the market for a watch to combine with more casual wear, the open-face versions of the same sizes are more fitting. Some people consider there to be a certain feeling of satisfaction, and an aura of substance, in carrying a‘man’s watch’, a large 18-size timepiece that weighs in at 170g or more. The 16-size watches fall in-between and are thought to be the most suitable in almost all situations.

What kind of reaction would you like from your peers?

Perhaps slightly egotistical, but nothing wrong with taking a moment to envision how you want people to react when you unveil your timepiece to check time. If your wish is to have people notice and spark up conversations, go with something larger in the form of an 18-size, in a hunting-case. Yes, it can be done casually and inconspicuously, but you can certainly ensure that quite a production is made from pulling out your newest addition, easing the lid open, checking the time, softly closing it by pushing in the crown while you close the lid and safely tucking it back in your pocket. Note that when closing the case you should never snap the lid closed – it ruins the catch. If you prefer to shy away from attention and have the quiet satisfaction of simply possessing a nice watch, go with a smaller open-face model with which the time can be checked in a more inconspicuous manner.


Image: Jeffrey Smith under creative commons.