"How To Wear" Guide - Double Albert Watch Chains[click on any of the below photos for an enlarged view]
The Double Albert style pocket watch chain, like the Albert chain, is named after Prince Albert (1819-1861), husband of the UK's Queen Victoria. This style of chain features two longer "arms" and a shorter centralized "drop," to which a small object is attached, such as a charm, fob, or locket. The pocket watch is then attached to one arm of the chain, while the second arm is reserved for a large fob, such as a pocket knife, watch key, compass, cigar cutter, or fraternal symbol charm. Watches aren't usually attached to both arms of the Double Albert, except as sometimes seen in dealer or display photos. Although available in different lengths, the chains are meant to be worn draped as opposed to pulled taught.
Note: although the watches in the following photos are shown half-out-of-pocket, this is merely to illustrate the attachment of the chain to the watch. Pocket watches should be worn entirely inside the pocket, ideally within a velvet or thin leather pouch for protection.
The spring ring is the most straightforward means of attaching the pocket watch chain to the wearer's garment. It is a more modern form of connection than the t-bar, and was originally attached to a buttonhole (on a vest or shirt) or used to attach the chain to itself after being looped around the wearer's belt. The use of the spring ring to attach directly to a belt loop is an even more recent application.
Some of the larger spring rings feature a "chain guard," which is a protrusion that prevents rotation of the ring in the buttonhole, or functions to keep different attachments separate on the ring.
On the center photo example immediately below (where the spring ring is attached directly to the wearer's shirt), the "drop" is a slide on the main chain (which forms the two "arms"); in this circumstance, the arms are meant to be of equal length (symmetrical) to the two pockets.
The t-bar, made to be passed through a buttonhole, is the earliest form of connection between the pocket watch chain and the wearer's vest or shirt; it predated the spring ring and various clips used afterwards.
Fancy or ornate t-bars tend to be worn from the inside-out (to make visible and display the t-bars); standard t-bars are usually worn outside-in (so they aren't visible, as seen below).
The lobster-claw style clip is a very modern form of pocket watch chain connection, as it was introduced well after the t-bar, spring ring, and other belt clips. This style of clip is most often used to attach the chain to a belt loop, as pictured below. In this instance, a pocket knife has been attached to the chain's drop.
Pocket watch chains have also found use among women; during the 1990's, more ladies began to wear Double Albert (and "Single" Albert) style chains as necklaces, using fobs, lockets, and other jewelry items as pendants on the chain's ends. The chain is fastened around the wearer's neck by connecting the swivel clasp from one of the arms (normally used to attach a watch or fob) to another section of the chain. In general, chains worn in this manner should be at least 15" long for a short choker style, and 16" or longer for a looser necklace. Watches worn as pendants for this style should be of a small size, and are usually worn as much for decoration as for their use in keeping time.
Ladies Uses (Spring Rings):
In the three photos below, the primary spring ring (which, for men's styles, would be used to connect the chain to the wearer's garment) is employed to attach a locket, while a small pocket knife has been attached to the chain's drop. As the pictures demonstrate, Double Albert chains used as necklaces may be worn short, long, or with an additional item (in this case, a small pocket watch) connected to one of the chain's swivel clasps as a pendant.
Ladies Uses (T-Bars):
The three photos below show a Double Albert chain used as a necklace with the chain's t-bar (which, for men's styles, would be used to attach the chain to the wearer's garment) featured as its own component of the jewelry. As the pictures demonstrate, Double Albert chains used as necklaces may be worn short, long, or with an additional item (in this case, a small pocket watch) connected to one of the chain's swivel clasps as a pendant.
As with wrist watches, most right-handed wearers have their pocket watch on the left side of the body; this allows for winding with the right hand while holding the watch with the left.
We are also in the process of collecting some additional contemporary photos of pocket watch chain fashion and ideas, which can be easily viewed on our Pinterest Board. Please let us know if you have any photos to contribute!
Vintage Mens Pocket Watches
Vintage Ladies Pocket Watches
Pocket Watch Chains
Pocket Watch Chain Fobs
Jewelry & Watch Polishing Cloths
More "How To Wear" watch chain pages...
Straight Watch Chains
Albert Watch Chains
Ribbon-Style Watch Chains
Other Styles Of Watch Chains
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