In addition to the primarily metallic pocket watch chains, there are also a variety of leather-based accessory options for securing a pocket watch. This page examines leather straps, fobs, and pouches.
A pocket watch can be worn on either side of the body depending on the preference of the wearer. For instance, many right-handed wearers may 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. However, a right-handed wearer may instead choose to keep the watch on the right for ease-of-use when pulling and returning the watch to a pocket as well.
[click on any of the below photos for an enlarged view]
An alternative to metal watch chains is provided by leather straps. These are traditionally shorter than metal chains and usually feature simple loops at each end, which can be connected to the pocket watch's bow on one end and a belt or belt loop on the other end.
Our braided leather straps are best suited for pocket watches 18-size or smaller. Though new leather may be a bit stiff at first, it can be worked to soften up the strap.
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.
Leather fobs attach directly to the bow of the pocket watch, as the leather strap is passed through the watch's bow and then back through the strap's buckle (the first photo below was taken with the watch obscured), and allow the watch to be easily removed from the wearer's pocket. The leather section is usually a simple strap with a decorative fob on the end opposite the watch. The watch is placed in the front pocket (as seen below) or the smaller front change/watch pocket of the wearer's pants, and the leather strap is allowed to hang out of the pocket, so the decorative fob is displayed and may be grabbed when the watch is needed.
There are a variety of fobs that compliment this leather-strap style; especially popular historically have been railroad, automotive, motorcycle, mining, industry, and fraternal-organization themed fobs.
Leather pouches are a unique alternative (or complement) to watch chains. Wearing a pocket watch in a leather pouch is gentler on the watch than keeping it in a pocket with keys, coins, or other items. Our leather watch pouches feature a rear loop to slide over a belt, and fit pocket watches 16-size or smaller.
For additional security, a watch chain can often be attached to your pocket watch bow to secure the watch directly to your person yet be unimpeded by the pouch. The photo below shows the pocket watch with its bow out to allow the attachment of a chain.
Related Products:Vintage Mens Pocket Watches
Leather Watch Straps (braided)
Leather Strap Watch Fobs
Watch Supplies (including replacement fob straps)
Leather Watch Pouches
Jewelry & Watch Polishing Cloths
➔ Return to the main "How To Wear" page
➔ View a PDF version of this page for easy printing or downloading