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Time Worn Watches

Welcome to Time Worn Watches where we explore the world of antique watches. My particular fields of interest are antique pocket watches and First World War trench watches. In these pages, we will investigate the history of pocket watches and antique timepieces in general. We will also take a look at specific watches in my collection, plus many other fascinating antique watches that are available online. Antiques, in my view, are objects that are at least a hundred years old. I am not an expert or a dealer, just a collector with a passion for antique watches. It is a fascinating and rewarding hobby.

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Sir John Bennett pocket watch.
Sir John Bennett pocket watch.


A watch is a portable timepiece that is designed to be carried by a person. It’s a lightweight, portable piece of equipment that evolved from the spring-powered clocks of the 15th century. The earliest watches appeared in the 16th century. Typically, they would have been worn on a pendant or chain around the neck. The earliest wristwatches appeared in the 16th century, but these were considered ornamental and almost exclusively worn by women. In the 17th century, the first pocket watches appeared and these were designed, as the name suggests, to be carried in a pocket. Up until the start of the 20th century, the pocket watch remained predominant for men with the wristwatch, or wristlet, considered feminine and unmanly.

Swiss made gentlemen’s silver trench watch, 1917.
Trench watch, 1917.

Pocket watches

Pocket watches were worn by men from the 17th century up until the late 19th century. The trench watch then emerged because of modern military tactics. During the First Boer War in the 1880s, the importance of coordinating troop movements and synchronizing attacks against the mobile Boer insurgents became critical. On the battlefield, the wristwatch proved far more accessible than the traditional pocket watch. Therefore, it became the favoured timepiece amongst the officer class. Although, pocket watches continued to be used by the pilots in the Royal Flying Corps.

Antique watch cutaway showing components.
Movement components.

Modern times

Pocket watches are not common in modern times, having been superseded by wristwatches following the First World War. However, pocket watches continued to be widely used in the rail industry even as their popularity declined elsewhere. Some watch manufacturers have continued to produce pocket watches up until the present day. Pocket watches remain a classic formal accessory that can offer a sophisticated option for completing a formal outfit.

My collection

I like to wear the watches I have in my collection. They need to keep reasonable time over a 24-hour period. Typically, I will wear a trench watch or an antique pocket watch once a week. It might be to work, where I need the time to be accurate within one minute over twelve hours. I might also wear a pocket watch with a three-piece suit to a dinner or a wedding. Again, I need reasonable accuracy over an eight to twelve-hour period. All of the current antique watches in my collection meet these criteria.

I am not a dealer in antique watches, simply a novice collector. I cannot help you with accurate valuations. The watches in my collection may be available for sale with a genuine offer. All of the articles on watches I have researched can be found on the Blog page. A list of informational articles regarding antique watches can be found on the Guides page.

The images used on this website are either in the Public Domain, my own photographs or attributed to the source. I apologise for the quality of my images, but I am not a professional photographer. All I do is aim, shoot several times and hope for the best.

If you are looking to buy your first antique watch and you are looking for a reliable retailer, take a look at our preferred suppliers.

I hope you enjoy your visit to Time Worn Watches.

Jason, Time Worn Watches.

Please note Time Worn Watches does not provide a valuation service. We also get a lot of queries regarding research on particular antique pocket watches. We assist with these requests if time permits.

Author, Jason.

Time Worn Watches does not collect or store personal information.