After watching several episodes of Peaky Blinders, most of you have probably been wondering how to wear a pocket watch yourself. It’s an excellent look — there’s no doubting that. Men’s pocket watches look smart and sophisticated, and they partner well with pocket squares for the overall dapper look.
What gives this accessory an edge, however, is its versatility. Because of this, pocket watches are great investments. There are many ways in which a pocket watch can be worn, whether it’s with a suit jacket or a waistcoat. But before we delve into that, it’s important to define what a pocket watch actually is.
What is a Pocket Watch?
Like watches, pocket watches are specially-made timepiece accessories. Instead of being worn around the wrist, these are carried in your pocket. There are five different kinds of pocket watches to look out for.
- Open Face pocket watches lack lids, meaning the watch face is always visible.
- Half Hunter pocket watches have lids with small round windows. This means you’ll be able to check the time even while the lid is closed.
- Full Hunter pocket watches come with lids that completely cover the pocket watch. You’ll have to open it to check the time.
- Double Hunters are pocket watches that come with two protective lids instead of one. Each lid covers the back and the front of the watch.
- Half Double Hunters are a combination between half hunter and double hunter, where one of the lids has a small glass window that lets you check the time.
Pocket watches have chains and ornaments known as fobs, serving as accessories that also help keep them in place. Watch chains and ribbons for pocket watches are among the most popular fobs, and they partner well with lapel pins. Knowing how to accessorize your pocket watch is an important step for those of you who want to achieve the ultimate dapper attire. It’s also important to know which accessories go well with them. For instance, pocket squares can help you achieve a more complete and dapper look perfect for formal settings.
5 Different Ways To Wear a Pocket Watch
Pocket watches are flexible accessories, however you can’t deny that there are many unspoken rules that come with wearing them. For instance, you’re going to need something with pockets. Articles of clothing like vests, jackets, and coats are essential. They partner well with business professional attire, however, it’s possible to wear them casually. Here are five different ways to wear a pocket watch.
1. How to Wear a Pocket Watch Without a Vest
While you do normally see them worn with vests, pocket watches can be attached to your pants or blazer pockets as well. If you don’t have a vest in your wardrobe or think you couldn’t pull off a vest outfit, there are many different ways you can still wear pocket watches.
Along with your pocket watch, you’ll need a bolt ring or a belt chain. With these attachments, you can secure your watch to your belt or to the belt loop of your pants. You can also attach it to a watch fob and let it hang from your pants pocket. On the other hand, you can also wear pocket watches with a blazer or a jacket with a breast pocket. You place the pocket watch in your breast pocket before attaching the fastener to the lapel pinhole.
2. How To Wear a Pocket Watch with a T-Bar Chain
Replacing the fobs are T-bar chains holding the pocket watch in place, which are unique in how they’re meant to be threaded through a button hole. Depending on where you choose to keep your pocket watch, this buttonhole will differ. For instance, if you wish to wear it on your breast pocket, you’ll want to thread it through the lapel button-hole.
Conversely, if you want to keep your pocket watch in your front pocket, you should thread it through your middle suit button hole instead. Usually, you let fobs dangle and hang loosely from the bar, making them visible over your vest. You can also keep the fobs in your pockets.
3. How To Wear a Pocket Watch with a Double Breasted Waistcoat
Wearing a pocket watch with a double-breasted waistcoat is relatively simple. All you have to do is place the watch in one of your pockets. Then, loop the chain through the buttonhole directly above the pocket. Just make sure that the watch sits in the pocket opposite of your dominant hand for easy grab.
Be sure to finish off your outfit with some finely-tailored pants and a pair of dress shoes. Once your look is complete, you should have a very dapper and formal aesthetic on your hands — one that exudes an air of confidence.
4. How To Wear a Pocket Watch with a Single Albert
Pocket watches with single albert chains are best worn in your front pocket, with the T-bar threaded through the middle suit button hole. Albert chains refer to pocket watch chains that have “drops”. These drops are additional bits of chain that descend from the T-bar that attaches to the waistcoat. At the ends of these bits of chains are fobs, which dangle from the T-bar.
5. How To Wear a Pocket Watch Like in Peaky Blinders
Men who wear pocket watches nowadays were likely inspired by Tommy Shelby from the hit television series Peaky Blinders. Shelby indeed dresses incredibly well in each episode. On top of his sophisticated three-piece gray suit, a big part of what makes his look so iconic is his dapper accessories — pocket watch included.
If you’re keen on dressing the same way Tommy does, then you’re going to want to pick out pocket watches with T-bar chains. These chains exude confidence, elegance, and sophistication. Tommy’s pocket watch also has a fob dangling from the end of it, so accessorizing with a single albert chain is key here.
However, there is another way to wear a pocket watch — one that’s more experimental — that’s used in the series. Read on to learn more about the double albert and other alternative ways to wear pocket watches.
Alternate Ways To Wear a Pocket Watch
Pocket watches are traditionally worn with a finely-tailored three-piece suit. But there are other ways to rock these dapper timepieces, even without formalwear.
1. Wearing a Pocket Watch as a Necklace
If you’re feeling bold enough, you can actually wear pocket watches around your neck. To pull this look off, all you have to do is replace the watch chain with a proper metal necklace chain or a leather cord. You’re going to want something durable and heavy-duty enough to support the weight of the pocket watch without sustaining any damage. Your best bet is a wide and thick chain or cord.
The best material for a metal chain is stainless steel as it doesn’t corrode. Stainless steel also comes in many colors, meaning you can opt for gold- and silver-colored chains.
2. Wearing a Double Albert
You’ve already heard of single alberts, but what about double alberts? This unique and revolutionary way of rocking this accessory requires you to place your T-bar fastener along the center of the chain rather than the end of it. That way, instead of having the chain dangling on one side of your vest, the chain will instead dangle on both sides. This creates a snazzy W-shape with the chain along your abdomen.
Now, all you have to do is keep your pocket watch in the pocket opposite of your dominant hand. Then, on the other end of the chain, attach another accessory or object before sliding it into the pocket opposite of the one with the pocket watch. Ideally, you’re going to want to use something useful like a ring of keys or a money clip. This is to help weigh the chain down and keep it nestled comfortably in your pocket.
Because the double albert makes for a very symmetrical look, you’re better off partnering it with a symmetrical getup. Save this style for more formal or fashion-forward events as it’s very eye-catching by default. Tone the rest of your outfit down to let your accessories draw all the attention.
3. Wearing a Pocket Watch Casually
If you consider yourself a modern man keen on learning how to wear a pocket watch casually, then wearing it with jeans is your best bet. These accessories can be worn with smart-casual outfits quite effectively, partnering well with jeans and blazers. Despite this, pocket watches go extremely well with smart-casual outfits — so long as your pocket watch isn’t too complicated.
To achieve a casual look, you’re better off with a bolt ring instead of a t-bar chain. Leather strap fobs work well with jeans thanks to their color and texture. Their rough texture and brown color complements the denim that jeans are made of, making you look adventurous and rugged. You could even opt for heavier, thicker metal chains to achieve the same effect.
Although standards for formalwear have changed so drastically over the years, it doesn’t mean old accessories have become obsolete. Anyone can find a way to rock pocket watches provided they’re bold and creative enough.
4. Other Accessories
Belt slide chains, also known as belt loops, are slides that you can wear with your pocket watch. What makes them unique is how they have a piece on one end that’s capable of sliding over the belt or on top of your pants or jeans. With the help of a belt loop, you can bring out your pocket watch with ease without having to bend down.
Similarly, if you want to accessorize, then consider lapel pins. These are accessories you can attach to the lapels of your coat or jacket. The lapel is the part on each side of a coat or jacket situated right below the collar. The lapels are folded back on either side of the front opening. Because of this, lapel pins and pocket watches in any pocket —be it front, breast, or in your pants — are accessories that complement one another.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you wear a pocket watch without a waistcoat?
It is possible to wear a pocket watch without a waistcoat, especially since this type of clothing isn’t as common as it once was. If you plan on wearing one without a waistcoat, you’ll need to be wearing a suit jacket with pockets. You can choose to keep it in either your front pocket or your breast pocket. If you have a fob and the watch is in your front pocket, it’s recommended to let it hang loosely.
2. How should pocket watches be worn?
There are many different ways to wear pocket watches, and all of them can help you achieve a dapper look. The most traditional way to wear one would be to store it in the pockets of your waistcoat while threading the chain through a buttonhole. After doing this, you’re going to want to store the fob on the opposite pocket of your waistcoat.
However, there are alternative ways of wearing them. For instance, the double albert has you place the T-bar in the center of the chain rather than at the end, allowing you to create a more symmetrical look as the chain is split evenly.
3. Which pocket do you put a pocket watch in?
Pocket watches can be kept in a variety of ways. The most common pockets to keep them in would be the front pocket of your coat, or your breast pocket. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep them in the pockets of your pants, however. In fact, it’s even possible to wear pocket watches with more casual clothing like jeans.
4. Can you wear a pocket watch to a black-tie event?
Yes, you can wear pocket watches to black-tie events. These accessories were first created for formalwear, after all. Seeing as black tie events are all formal, you can cobble together a snazzy, dapper look that’s enhanced by the presence of a pocket watch. It’s likely you’ll be wearing a black three-piece suit, so it’s strongly recommended you keep your pocket watch in your front pocket
5. What is the difference between a half hunter and a full hunter pocket watch?
A half hunter pocket watch has a lid with a small round window. This window allows you to check the time even while the lid is closed. On the other hand, a full hunter pocket watch comes with a lid that completely covers the clock. If you want to check the time, you’re going to have to open it.
Rocking Your Pocket Watch for a Dapper Look
Hunters, half hunters, double hunters, and double half hunters — by now, you should be familiar with them all. Though pocket watches are diverse enough on their own, what really distinguishes them from other accessories is how customizable they are.
With a variety of chains and other fobs to choose from, you can never run out of ways to personalize your pocket watch. Now that you’re ready to start wearing pocket watches, it’s time to start thinking of partner accessories like pinky rings to complete the look.