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Guide to Pocket Watches: Pt II

Welcome back to part II of the guide to pocket watches. In this part of the guide, I will be addressing the various ways that you could wear a pocket watch.

If you haven't read part I of the guide where I discussed the history of pocket watches as well as the practicality of wearing pocket watches, I strongly recommend you to click here to read it first.

When it comes to pocket watches, there appears to be a general misconception or at least a confusion regarding how to wear them. This is especially the case these days as people have discovered more 'creative' ways to wear them.

It is not uncommon to see people chaining their pocket watch to the trousers' waistband and putting it in the pocket of the trousers. I have also seen people hooking the chain to the lapel buttonhole and putting the watch in the left chest pocket of their suit jacket. (picture above)

As much as I appreciate these 'breaking the norms' methods, I would argue that the traditional way of wearing the pocket watch with a waistcoat is still the most appropriate method after all, with regards to the practicality, comfortability, actual purpose of using the watch.

Only by wearing it with a waistcoat could you avoid the restriction of movement caused by putting the watch in your trousers' pocket, or the difficulty of actually using the watch to tell the time if you put it in the chest pocket.

Another confusion to how to wear the pocket watch is due to the variation of chains there are in the market. To keep things simple, the most common ones are the Albert T-Bar, Bolt Ring, and the Belt-Slide.

Choosing what type of chain to use is really a matter of personal preference. However, since the Albert T-Bar is usually the most formal and the least versatile among all, I would recommend you to get the other two if you are new to pocket watches.

On top of that, there are also chains that come with a fob. Again, it is not a bad idea to get one of those to further accessorize yourself, but you would need to be careful about whether it would be too overpowering.


This then leaves us to just two different ways of wearing a pocket watch -- the Single Albert and the Double Albert.

Belt-slide attached to a buttonhole of the vest.

It is more common to see people wearing their pocket watch using the Single Albert method. Not only is it less dramatic, but also it provides you with more room to move the pocket watch around.

Traditionally, you would wear it by having the bolt ring aligned to a buttonhole of your waistcoat and have the button going through both of them if you decided to use the Bolt Ring chain; or wear it by having the belt-slide attached to one of the buttonholes of the vest.

Single Albert resonates with a double breasted waistcoat as well.

However, as much as I would like to wear it in the tradition manner, I found it unappealing when it comes to waistcoats that have 4 or less buttons. By leaving a button reserved for the belt-slide chain and having the last one unbuttoned (Style rule: never button the last button of your waistcoat); there is not much left that actually holds the garment together. In other words, you should only wear it that way if the waistcoat has at least 5 buttons.

What I found to be more practical, given if you are using a belt-slide chain, is to have it attached to the edge of your waistcoat. It could be above all the buttons (picture above), in between the buttons; or even underneath the buttons (picture below) if you want to hide the belt-slide.

Nonetheless, the Double Albert is always a good alternative since it is more elegant.

Despite it is more commonly achieved by using a T-Bar chain traditionally, the Double Albert method could also performed by using the other type of chains. As shown in the above picture, I have a belt-slide chain crossing through a buttonhole and have the belt-slide itself hidden inside the right pocket. The same could be done with a bolt-ring chain.

Similarly, due to the nature that it involves the unbuttoning of two buttons of the waistcoat, I would recommend you to only use the Double Albert method only if you are wearing a waistcoat which has at least 5 buttons.

All in all, wearing pocket watches have often allowed my outfit to stand apart from the others in the room. Do you like wearing pocket watches? If so, what method do you usually use to wear your pocket watch? Let me know in the comment section down below!



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