Pocket watch on the wrist?
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  1. #1
    Member Elvis Silva's Avatar
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    Pocket watch on the wrist?

    Hello, everyone! This time I'd like to address to a sort of technical issue. I'm growing more and more interested in pocket watches. Many specimens feature beautifully finished movements, much superior to what we usually see in modern wristwatches. Besides, frequently they're offered in the market at very attractive prices, since these pieces rarely draw any attention from the general public.

    The question I'd like to present you is this: there are some straps specially made for pocket watches, which allow them to be weared as wristwatches. Since pocket watches were not meant to be weared this way, are there any problems resulting from the conversion of such a piece into a wristwatch? In particular, does it affect the piece's precision?

    Additionally, I'd appreciate some input on the maintenance of these pieces. I imagine it must be sort of difficult to find parts for some pocket watches. If some of you have experience with that, I'd be glad if you shared.
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  2. #2
    Member marks55's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch on the wrist?

    It shouldn't really affect the precision, but the inherent size and lack of shock protection in most keep me from doing it.
    They're too big a target for me; one good blow and they're toast.

    But if you are not as clumsy as I am, you should have no problem,
    the shock protection is completely irrelevant.
    Last edited by marks55; November 5th, 2017 at 03:02. Reason: ignorance
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  3. #3
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch on the wrist?

    A leather wristlet, or sort of an adapter/metal holder on a strap. You can get either of these on eBay, or you can have a wristlet made to measure.
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  5. #4
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch on the wrist?

    Quote Originally Posted by marks55 View Post
    It shouldn't really affect the precision, but the inherent size and lack of shock protection in most keep me from doing it.
    They're too big a target for me; one good blow and they're toast.
    Not quite sure why the matter of shock protection comes up every single time the issue of a wearing a pocket watch (or wristwatch with a PW movement) on the wrist is being discussed. A non-shockproof wristwatch with a perfectly wristwatch-intended movement also can have the balance staff pivots broken with one proper shock.
    Besides, PW movements were and are being used in wristwatches - an example from the past would be the B-Uhr for the Luftwaffe, and in terms of contemporary stuff, every single watch with a Unitas 6497 or 6498.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
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    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    Villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged.
    Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  6. #5
    DON
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    Re: Pocket watch on the wrist?

    Rather than wearing a huge PW on your wrist. Look for somewhat smaller womens models in standard (rather than fancy) cases

    Can do an Google search on "leather pocket watch wrist straps" which will bring up a maker of these.

    Not sure if he only makes certain sizes or can adapt to a variety of.

    DON

  7. #6
    Member SethThomas's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch on the wrist?

    There are all kinds. And they are not all modern either; was a concept that dates back to WWI trench watches.

    It is usually best to wear a women's pocket watch this way; as men's are usually still too big.






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  8. #7
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch on the wrist?

    Quote Originally Posted by mkws View Post
    Not quite sure why the matter of shock protection comes up every single time the issue of a wearing a pocket watch (or wristwatch with a PW movement) on the wrist is being discussed. A non-shockproof wristwatch with a perfectly wristwatch-intended movement also can have the balance staff pivots broken with one proper shock.
    Besides, PW movements were and are being used in wristwatches - an example from the past would be the B-Uhr for the Luftwaffe, and in terms of contemporary stuff, every single watch with a Unitas 6497 or 6498.
    I guess it comes up because its relevant
    Especially in large 40mm+ pocket watches.
    These were never designed to be worn on the wrist, and without any shock protection the balance staff get broken easily.

    Hence the reason most pocket watches even when worn as a pocket watch are attached to a chain, the balance staff breaks with the smallest fall onto a hard surface.
    The larger the pocket watch and hence balance wheel the more prone they are to damage.

    Dropping a modern shockproof watch (although not recommended) will rarely to never damage it, or at worst smash the sapphire crystal

    And yes "officers" were wearing pocket watches in wristlets from as early as 1877, but we dont have any records of how many survived.

    I personally do NOT recommend it, and I have many wristlets of all sizes/

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    Adam
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  9. #8
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    Re: Pocket watch on the wrist?

    I would also say that it's less down to whether the watch has shock proofing (wrist watches lacked that up to the mid 1950s when fairly well the last of them got that feature) than the size. Huge watches have hige balances and a jolt will bust the balance staff rather easier when that has a massive weight attached to it. On top of that, despite the dictate of modern fashion, wrists weren't really meant to have plate sized watches attached to them. The bottom line is that older ladies' pendant watches serve better for the purpose of strapping them on to the wrist than gents' pocket watches. The drawback is that many are adorned in a feminine sort of way (as one might expect) so that you have at least something elegant and decorative but almost never something utilitarian looking on the wrist.

    Hartmut Richter
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    Re: Pocket watch on the wrist?

    You can always try it to see if you like it...
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  11. #10
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch on the wrist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    I would also say that it's less down to whether the watch has shock proofing (wrist watches lacked that up to the mid 1950s when fairly well the last of them got that feature) than the size. Huge watches have hige balances and a jolt will bust the balance staff rather easier when that has a massive weight attached to it. On top of that, despite the dictate of modern fashion, wrists weren't really meant to have plate sized watches attached to them. The bottom line is that older ladies' pendant watches serve better for the purpose of strapping them on to the wrist than gents' pocket watches. The drawback is that many are adorned in a feminine sort of way (as one might expect) so that you have at least something elegant and decorative but almost never something utilitarian looking on the wrist.

    Hartmut Richter
    We agree size matters, the bigger the movement, the bigger the balance wheel and the bigger the mass. That said even smaller pocket watches the staff snaps off on a ground fall.
    As far a wristwatch protection, well INCABLOC was 1933, and by the during the 40s, it became pretty established, it was already a required specification for WWII wristwatches.

    And early wristwatches from circa WWI are very prone to broken staffs if dropped
    adam
    marks55 likes this.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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