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History Of The Pocket Watch

Pocket watches were introduced in the 17th century. Prior to that, in earlier centuries, clocks were invented. They were rather large to carry around so inventors were working on ways to make them portable.


Pocket watches made it easier for workers to keep track of their schedules, and organize their days and time much more efficiently. Bosses could keep track on performance ratings and deadlines without wall clocks. Businessmen could keep track of business meeting lengths, and define their travel time, so that they could be accurately compensated for their time. The invention of the pocket watch made it easier to monitor the time for everyone.

By the 19th century, the need for pocket watches became even more apparent. Train workers needed pocket watches to keep track of time and monitor the train schedules. They were trying to avoid train accidents. Time allowed the workers to synchronize the system. Pocket watches were a component of the regulation uniform for railroad and train workers.

In the late 1880’s, pocket watches that were designed specifically for railroad workers were introduced. They were designed to be calibrated and synchronized so that train crashes could be avoided. These pocket watches continued to be improved upon to keep up with the changes in technology.

At that time, pocket watches came in two varieties. There was the hunter cased and the open faced. The hunter cased pocket watches came with a cover, and looked similar to a ladies’ compact. You may have seen one during the Victorian era period movies when a man pulls out his pocket watch, opens it, checks the time, and puts it back. As the name implies, open faced pocket watches do not have a cover.

When wristwatches came along, pocket watches became less popular. Wristwatches were made and they were smaller and more compact. The pocket watch was seen as bulky and less convenient than a wrist watch.

Pocket watches have become more valuable, as some companies started to give out pocket watches to retirees. The trendiness of pocket watches have swayed along the years. Some people collect them, while others consider them to be a “status symbol.”

Pocket watches are very valuable depending on the age and the condition that they are in. There are a number of pocket watches still in existence and they can be difficult to acquire. So if you come across one, you may want to consider purchasing it, and keeping it.

My, how technology has advanced. We are no longer dependent upon wrist watches or clocks. We have portable PDAs, mobile phones, the television, radio and internet to tell us what time it is. However, the value and uniqueness of the pocket watch still lingers on.


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