Following are some miscellaneous examples, for men and women, of novel pocket watch chains or means of chain attachment.
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.
[click on any of the below photos for an enlarged view]
The button-hook attachment for pocket watch chains was a precursor to spring rings. The button hooks were most likely custom made for the wearer, were often ornate, and were seen on straight, Albert, and Double Albert chains.
The remembrance-hair style of watch chain dates back to the Victorian age, when it was common for women, using their own hair, to make a braided hair chain for their husband's or beloved's pocket watch. This style was especially prominent during the American Civil War as a memento of a far-away loved one. Remembrance-hair chains were also sometimes used as mourning objects, though their use was not exclusive for this purpose.
Once advances in technology during the 1850's allowed less expensive chains to be made, slide chains became the most common method for women to wear their pocket watches. Although not as safe for the watch as a ribbon-style chain (as the necklace allowed the watch to swing), the slide chain is generally thought of as a very attractive form of jewelry. It was also common to see the slide chain's watch tucked into the pocket of a riding vest.
The slide on the chain allows multiple configurations; the following photos show a slide chain necklace being worn long, shortened with the slider positioned to one side, and shortened via a "double-wrapped" style with the slider centered. Current trends still hold the slide chain necklace as a very popular women' style, along with ribbon-style chains.
As a rule of thumb on an average-build woman, if you want to wear the chain long and have the swivel reach your waistline, we recommend chains 24" or shorter for heights under 5'4", 22" to 26" for heights 5'4" to 5'8" and 24" or longer for heights over 5'8". If you are looking to wear the chain double-wrapped, we suggest a chain between 24" and 28" in overall length for the swivel to rest above your bustline, and a chain between 26" and 30" in overall length for the swivel to rest at your bustline.Positioning the Slide:
With both our vintage and modern slide chains, we include small lengths of cork to help you position your slide exactly as you'd like the chain to hang. In many cases, they won't be needed, but once in a while fashion and gravity do not cooperate! The cork will allow you to position the slide without damage, and will be secure and durable enough to last for many years. We will include a few pieces with each order so you can position your slide exactly where you want it to create the perfect look.
To use the cork pieces, position the slide where you'd like it to rest, then move it upwards the length of the slide a few millimeters. Grip a piece of the cork tight with the chain directly under the slide and then thread the cork into the slide hole while you push the slide back down into position. Once the cork is properly seated, you should be able to move the slide along the chain short distances to re-position it, wear in different styles, etc. but we do suggest you try to position the slide as close to where you'd like it to rest first to save wear and tear on the cork.
Regardless of the method used to attach the chain to the wearer's vest, shirt, or pants, the bow of the pocket watch is attached to the chain with a small swivel clasp that allows the watch to rotate and keeps the chain from twisting. These swivels are findings that are traditionally used with pocket watches on most vintage pocket watch chains. As opposed to many of the more modern styles, these do not have any small latches to pull back but rather part of the oval "clip" section depresses into the finding, allowing you to slip in your pocket watch bow or fob lanyard. Once released, it has a small internal spring that closes the oval loop back up and prevents whatever is clipped from accidentally coming out without your intervention.
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.
As a rule of thumb, on an average-build male, we suggest straight or Albert style chains 10" or shorter for heights under 5'8", 10" to 14" for heights 5'8" to 6'2" and 14" or longer for heights over 6'2". For Double Albert chain styles, we suggest 20" or shorter for heights under 5'8", 18" to 30" for heights 5'8" to 6'2" and 24" or longer for heights over 6'2".
We are also in the process of collecting photos of pocket watch chain fashion and ideas, which can be easily viewed on the following Pinterest Board. Please let us know if you have any photos to contribute!
Related Products:Vintage Mens Pocket Watches
Vintage Ladies Pocket Watches
Pocket Watch Chains
Watch Chains - Ladies Styles
Jewelry & Watch Polishing Cloths
More "How To Wear" watch chain pages:Straight Watch Chains
Albert Watch Chains
Double Albert Watch Chains
Ribbon-Style Watch Chains
More Ladies' Styles For Watch Chains
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