Does anyone seriously consider getting a pocket watch in the XXI century? On the first thought, the answer seems obvious. But if you consider the amount of practical reasons in your love for luxury wristwatches – spoiler: there’re none – and count all those times you’ve tried to find a timepiece not looking like the watches of all your buddies, chances are, you won’t be so sure. 

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Sometimes the urge to be original pays out with a stunning look

The pocket watch fashion guide

While some modern pocket watches look like they were just borrowed from the nearest museum, their designs and exteriors in general can be as classical, as futuristic. Still, there’re some common good manners involved in wearing them. During the pocket watch era, the need to combine your precious timepiece with a proper outfit won’t cause you any trouble – the three-piece suit was the most common choice for any gentleman. Nowadays, it seems a bit more complicated, but then again, as long as you’ve decided to purchase such an exotic mechanical accessory, the need to dress accordingly will hardly scare you away.Let’s start with the waistcoat variants. One of the most classical and elegant styles is Double Albert, named after queen Victoria’s husband. The middle of the chain is inserted through the vest buttonhole, and the end-links – one of which is connected to a watch – are placed in the left and the right pockets. There’s also a Single Albert, where the watch itself is in the vest pocket, while the opposite end of the chain is inserted through the buttonhole and slightly hangs down. All manners of t-bars, pendants, or fobs are appropriate.
If you so wish, the chain can even skip the buttonhole
The other retro-inspired, yet slightly more casual variant is to use the jacket pocket with a chain fixed at the collar lapel by the t-bar. This is still a rather highbrow look, but at least you can pull it off without the vest. The most casual style of wearing a pocket watch came from the USA, and was developed in the late XIX century, thanks to the core part of the cowboy clothing – the jeans. And don’t worry, there’s no need for a horse. In case you’ve never wondered, the fifth pocket was actually meant for a pocket watch. Just put it where it belongs, fix the chain or a leather cord on the belt loop, and you’re good to go.
Breguet Classique Complications 1907

Breguet Classique Complications 1907: The Royalty of Complicated Classics

The manually wound caliber 508GS proudly combines the minute repeater with a grand and petite sonnerie and the tourbillon in a beautiful regulator-style layout acting as a seconds pointer. The hour hand in a small register sits right above the central minute hand, and the seconds are indicated via the tourbillon. Multiple guilloche techniques adorn the dial and the cover of the yellow gold hunter case measuring 56.5 mm in diameter. There’s also some hand engraving involved.
Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch

Montblanc 1858 Pocket watch: The Most Adventurous

This pocket monopusher chronograph in a very modern-looking 60 mm titanium case is a limited edition honoring the 160th anniversary of Minerva – the watch manufacture that became the backbone of Montblanc watch division. Everything here is slightly off the beaten path: the blue dial is made of stone and the large red central hand tells time in 24-hour format. The superb finishing of the manually wound movement is visible when you open a hunter-style caseback. And being a part of an adventure-inspired collection, the watch also features a compass. How cool is that?
IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition ‘150 Years’

IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition ‘150 Years’: The Minimalist’s Dream

Another anniversary piece: this time far more traditionally executed and gently pushing the boundaries of ‘less is more’ approach. The super clean white enamel dial shines against the round 52 mm rose gold case, while the manually wound movement with a 60-hour power reserve features jumping hours and minutes, displayed in a digital style in the corresponding windows. And there’s also a small seconds with a hacking function at 6 o’clock, in case you’d be uncomfortable with no hands at all. 
Patek Philippe Ref. 983J

Patek Philippe Ref. 983J: The Most Traditional

The ultimate classics in a yellow gold hunter case measuring 48 mm. The watch can be opened both from the front and from the back. The manually wound movement 17"' SAV PS IRM beats at 2.5 Hz frequency, consists of 154 parts and in addition to the central hands drives the small seconds and the indicator of an 36-hour power reserve. The latter two are vertically aligned and bring the perfect symmetry to the white enamel dial layout.
HYT Skull Pocket Watch

HYT Skull Pocket Watch: The Ultimate Conversation Starter

You’d never need the word ‘classic’ when describing the pieces of this unconventional Swiss manufacture. Even their pocket watch comes in a titanium case and is complimented by titanium chain. The trademark fluid time telling uses green tube supplemented by a super cool mechanically powered LED system. The only drawback of this unique LED technology is the need to wind it up each time after five seconds of operation.
Richard Mille RM 020

Richard Mille RM 020: The Most Unconventional

One of Richard Mille’s personal favorites. Enclosed in a rectangular titanium case, the manually wound movement features a carbon mainplate, a variable-inertia balance, and two barrels provide the piece with a power reserve of 10 days. A tourbillon located at 6 o'clock and a crazy high-tech chain that required more than 500 manufacturing operations provide additional gravitas.
Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260: The Most Complicated

The most complicated watch ever produced on the planet Earth, period. In addition to the main time, there are 57 functions on two dials, including a split-second chronograph with two retrograde central hands and three column wheels, a perpetual calendar, and a repeater with Westminster chime. This horological tour-de-force was created on a bespoke order by the unnamed collector and took eight years of development by three master-watchmakers from the special Vacheron Constantin division Atelier Cabinotiers.
Longines Railroad Pocket Watch

Longines RailRoad Pocket Watch: The Most Nostalgic

You all know this moment: you’re watching a movie with a gorgeous steam train arriving, awaited by the Victorian ladies and gentlemen. The trainman reaches out for his elegant, yet casual pocket watch, and you instantly know, you want one too. Well, Longines has got you covered! The steel 49.5 mm case protects the manually wound caliber L513.2. The central hands as well as the small seconds are blued and very legible against a white dial. In addition to the railway-themed engravings, the back cover features a small window partially showing the magnificent movement finishings.
Jaquet Droz Parrot Repeater

Jaquet Droz Parrot Repeater: The Ultimate Artistry

Celebrating the 280th anniversary, the Swiss brand has released a one-of-a-kind pocket watch combining all of its trademark techniques. Even the moving automaton-birds and their hatching children, can’t distract the viewers attention from the extremely complicated jewelry ornament on the front cover, a large enamel parrot on the caseback, and the depth of the pastoral landscape brought to life by engravers and artists.
Bovet Virtuoso IX

Bovet Virtuoso IX: The Most Versatile

Like any other Bovet Amadéo, the Virtuoso IX can be transformed into a pocket watch, a wristwatch or a table clock. The regulator-style dial features a central minute hand, the hour register at 2 o’clock, and a second time zone in 24-hour format at 10. A big date and 10-day power reserve window counterbalance each other at 4 and 8. The reverse side drastically changes the overall mood: the central hour and minute hands rotate directly over the complex movement with 10 days of power reserve. And then, of course, there’s the flying tourbillon visible from the both sides. The Virtuoso IX is available in white gold, red gold, or platinum versions.