How to Wear a Pocket Watch

Whether it’s a family heirloom or a brand new Swiss timepiece, pocket watches have always been a mark of class and style. They can transport your look back to the heights of the ‘20s, bring class to your outfit, or complete your three-piece suit. Read more on how to wear a pocket watch with Mondaine, manufacturers of the Official Swiss Railways watches.

The traditional way to wear a pocket watch is sometimes known as the classic method. The pocket watch is placed in your waistcoat pocket and the chain is passed through a button hole. The end of the chain, or the fob, is tucked into your other waistcoat pocket.

There are many different ways to wear a pocket watch. Some of this comes down to your outfit and some is personal preference.  


LEFT OR RIGHT POCKET?

If you’re right-handed, the watch should go in your left pocket and if you’re left-handed in your right. This means you can draw it out while leaving your dominant hand free.


WITH A WAISTCOAT

Traditionally, pocket watches were almost always worn with waistcoats. While few people wear waistcoats as part of their everyday attire now, they still often make an appearance at weddings or other formal occasions.


With a waistcoat, you should go for the classic method, mentioned at the beginning of this article. Place the pocket watch in your waistcoat pocket, thread the chain through your buttonhole and tuck the end of the chain, or the fob, into the other pocket.


The decorative chain is left on show, while the watch is kept safe in your pocket.

A Double Albert

If you have a double albert style chain, place the pocket watch in your waistcoat pocket and attach the T-bar through a button hole, then place the end of the chain in your other waistcoat pocket, very similar to the classic style but you don’t need to thread the chain.

Colours

Think about matching the colour of your three-piece suit and the colour of your pocket watch. Warm hues, including soft browns, suit gold watches better, while greys and blues match better with steel or silver. If you have a black waistcoat, it’ll look great with either a gold or silver pocket watch.


WITH A SUIT (WITHOUT A WAISTCOAT)

Waistcoats aren’t as common as they once were, so you might need to know how to wear a pocket watch with a suit that doesn’t have a waistcoat. This is ideal for formal occasions where you’re not wearing a three-piece.


Your pocket watch should sit in your suit pocket to keep it safe and accessible, but you can choose between the breast pocket or the front pocket.

Front Pocket

Place the watch in your pocket and thread the chain through your middle suit buttonhole. If you have a T-bar, that will be enough to hold the chain in place. If you have a fob, you can place it in an internal pocket of your suit jacket or let it hang loosely, depending on its size and whether it feels secure. If you have a clip, fasten the end of the chain to your trouser loop or other appropriate and secure spot.

Breast Pocket

Thread the T-bar of your chain through the lapel button-hole then place the watch in your breast pocket. If you have alternative fastenings, still thread the chain through the button-hole, but then place the fob in your internal jacket pocket or attach the clip to an appropriate place, such as your shirt breast pocket.


A SHIRT

If it’s a less of a formal occasion that requires neither a suit jacket nor a waistcoat, you can still wear a pocket watch with just a shirt. Attach the pocket watch to either a lower shirt buttonhole or your belt loop, depending on the fastening, then keep it in your trouser pocket.


WITH JEANS

You don’t need a formal occasion to wear a pocket watch. It can add a classy twist to a smart-casual outfit, and can even be paired well with jeans. . 


It’ll depend on your style of pocket watch as to whether this look will work. It’s most effective with larger clock faces or more simple designs. If you have a pocket watch with a very small face or one that is particularly ornate, you might need to look at it more closely to see the time than the length of the chain allows. In this situation, you could consider getting a longer chain so you can still keep the watch in your jeans pocket and be able to read it without problems.


To wear a pocket watch with jeans, simply attach the end of the chain to your belt loop and tuck the watch into your jeans pocket.

Finishing The Style

The best way to wear a pocket watch with jeans is to emphasise the smart-casual style. Choose a darker shade of jeans like black, dark grey, or dark blue, with a straight or slim fit cut. Wear a pair of loafers and a shirt or blazer jacket. It’s the ultimate way to wear a pocket watch with jeans to achieve that perfect smart-casual look.


ALTERNATE WAYS TO WEAR A POCKET WATCH

You can get creative when it comes to wearing a pocket watch with your outfit, but always remember to ensure it’s securely attached to an item of your clothing. Otherwise you risk losing the watch.


As A Necklace

Some people choose to wear a pocket watch as a necklace. This works best with smaller and lighter pocket watches. You could buy a cord or chain that’s designed to be worn around the neck and attach it to your watch.

On Display

If you’re wearing a pocket watch to decorate a costume outfit, you might want the watch to be on display, rather than in a pocket. Attach the end of the chain securely to your clothing, such as to a belt loop. Thread the chain through your buttonholes and rest the pocket watch on the outside of your clothing. Ensure it’s secure and comfortable.

If you’re looking for a high quality Swiss pocket watch, check out Mondaine’s elegant stainless steel pocket watch, bearing the distinctive, minimalist Official Swiss Railways design.