Gold Plated Pocket Watches
It must be said that apart from the undeniable vintage charm, gold plated pocket watches remain very popular as an addition to men’s formalwear, and interestingly have become an alternative jewellery piece for women, evident in the success of Rolex’s elegant Datejust 31 ladies watch range.
Esquire magazine recently reported, whilst on a rare tour of Rolex headquarters, of the influence pocket watches had on the technical development and aesthetic features of timepieces in the 20th century. In addition to this, IWC Schaffhausen’s new Jubilee range of wristwatches, and in particular The Pallweber “150 Years” Edition, paid homage to the company’s original designs in the form of unique time/date displays.
A Brief History of Time
Pocket watches, formerly called “Gusset Watches” referring to the name of the pocket in which the watch was stored, have not always had the flat and compact design as we know it today. The first models were very bulky and round. It is the invention of the screw which made it possible to create a flat version of the watch which is perfect for gold plating.
Its rise in popularity can be attributed to King Charles II of England, who praised the merits of watchmaking among his peers during tours of Europe and North America. The Industrial Revolution heralded, like many other mass-produced products, its widespread use as a requirement to accurately record heavy machinery output and freight transport.
March Lab’s Travel Clocks, aimed mainly at travellers, is a particularly original reinterpretation of a pocket watch. The geometric etched steel or gold plated case can be neatly folded pack to reveal an elegant forest-green dial, composed of a steel hour markers and three hands: the hour and minute hands benefit from “Super-Luminova” treatment for increased visibility in the dark.
The prestigious Swiss watch house Tissot, in a recent range called Bridgeport Lepine Mechanical, sought to look back to more traditional features. This combination pocket watch features a 45mm 316L stainless steel case and a silver chain that enhances the vintage look that fans will appreciate. The white and anthracite dial with carbon finish in the centre incorporates beautiful details while remaining relatively simple.