The return to vintage styles is one of my favorite trends in the modern watch industry. Like craze over investment timepieces, this hype over vintage watch fashion takes on a number of different forms. These include bringing back traditional designs, hand-wound pieces, and of course, the popularization of old-school pocket watches.
20 Best Pocket Watches
In this article, I will be detailing some of my favorite pocket watches that can be found in the modern era. Each of them is perfect for those of you who love that vintage vibe.
1. Vacheron Constantin Ref. 57260 Pocket Watch
First on our list is none other than Vacheron Constantin. For those not caught up on your horology news, this brand is the one responsible for producing the most complicated watch — not just a pocket watch — in the world. That is the Vacheron Constantin Ref. 57260. It is a truly sophisticated mechanical pocket watch, with a total of 57 complications including alarm functions, a Gregorian perpetual calendar, and a leap year display. That said, it is a pretty large pocket watch. This is not surprising, as it is the only way it can accommodate all of its features. With 28,000 components, and hand-decorated by just one Master Watchmaker, this pocket watch is a real treat. How much does this gorgeous pocket watch cost? Around $8 million USD.
2. Stührling Vintage Ref. 6053 Pocket Watch
This gorgeous Stührling Vintage Ref. 6053 pocket watch is the perfect synthesis of vintage and modern energies. First, it is undeniably classy, with a conventional round stainless steel case and elegant Roman numeral markers. The partial skeleton dial, through which you can see the mechanical movement at work, also adds a certain stylish flair to the equation. The result is an exquisite pocket watch that will appeal to almost everyone. Perhaps the best thing about this product, however, is its price. You can get one of these striking mechanical pocket watches for under $100 USD, which makes it significantly more affordable than most of its competitors. The last thing you need to know is that this pocket watch has a power reserve of 30 hours, so be sure to wind it up at the start of each day.
3. Baume and Mercier Clifton Ref. 10253 Pocket Watch
If you’re looking for a luxury pick without the million-dollar price tag, then the Baume and Mercier Clifton Ref. 10253 Pocket Watch is for you. It does not have the exorbitant price of the Vacheron Constantin timekeeper mentioned above, but it is a high-class luxury pocket watch in its own right and for good reason. The case of this watch is made of tasteful 18K pure rose gold, with its strap weaved from pure lambskin leather. It features a fixed bezel, paired with an opaline silver dial. On the face of the watch, you will find hints of rose gold accents and stunning Arabic numeral markers. The exhibition case back provides a crisp view of the watch’s movement. This mechanical pocket watch retails at $55,000 USD. You might be able to find cheaper pieces on the second-hand market. That said, considering the watch’s luxurious case material, you can expect its price to appreciate over time.
4. Speidel Classic Pocket Watch
Speidel has been through a lot as a company. This company started out as a manufacturer of watch bands and bracelets around 1867. They later ventured into trickier markets such as women’s jewelry. However, they did not really become a brand to be reckoned with until 1951. That was when Speidel started manufacturing ID bracelets, which was a huge trend at the time. Later, after being sold to a different entity, the brand went bankrupt. It was only in 2009 when Cerce Capital LLC stepped in to salvage the company so that they could go back to what they know best: watch bands and men’s timekeepers. Among its many offerings, one outstanding model is the Speidel Classic Pocket Watch, which is a closed-face mechanical pocket watch. It has two sub-dials: a main one for the whole day and the other for the seconds past. It is powered by a quartz analog movement, so you can be sure that this is an affordable watch. What’s more, the brand offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows you to return the pocket watch for a 100% refund if you are not totally satisfied with it! This pocket watch retails at around $80 USD, which is a very manageable price indeed.
5. Tissot Savonnette Mechanical Pocket Watch
Tissot is one of my favorite brands to recommend because they balance quality and affordability so well. The Tissot Savonnette Mechanical Pocket Watch is no exception, as it is manufactured in Switzerland, made using exceptional materials, and has a fantastic movement on the inside. Craftsmanship aside, this pocket watch is just gorgeous to look at. Between the sleek Roman numerals and the design of the stick hands, you can tell that Tissot took their time in crafting the aesthetics of this piece. This produced a fantastic option for all mechanical pocket watch enthusiasts. The price of the watch varies greatly, from $295 USD for stainless steel quartz models to $995 USD for double mechanical models.
6. Kronen & Söhne Full Hunter Skeleton Dial Pocket Watch
There is nothing like a classic timekeeper, and the Kronen & Söhne Full Hunter Skeleton Dial Pocket Watch is a stunning example of this. At first glance, you will immediately be bewitched by this watch’s face, which shows off a skeleton dial through which you can see the inner workings of the watch. The complex movement of this watch comes in lavish gold, which contrasts sharply against the black alloy case. Kronen & Söhne made this 45mm pocket watch just 120 grams light, so it is easy to carry anywhere. It features a mechanical movement, so if you are looking for a timepiece that can show you horology at its finest, then this is the one for you. This mechanical pocket watch falls on the more affordable side, with its price ranging between $40 USD to $50 USD.
7. Longines Equestrian 18K Gold Pocket Watch
There is nothing like a known and respected manufacturer creating a reliable and equally stunning watch. At first sight, the Longines Equestrian 18K Gold Pocket Watch comes in a very simple design. It is a straightforward gold mechanical pocket watch inspired by the equestrian sports with which Longines has been associated since the 18th century. You can find a trio of equestrian horses with a stable boy engraved on its 18K rose gold case. This watch uses manual winding and has a small seconds dial at 6 o’clock. The price for this timepiece ranges between $32,000 USD and $52,000 USD.
8. Frederique Constant Manufacture Pocket Watch
If you want to turn the quality and craftsmanship of your pocket watch up a notch, I cannot think of a better choice than the Frederique Constant Geneve Manufacture Pocket Watch. This Frederique Constant is a timepiece to behold, as it comes from one of the finest brands in the entire world, looks fantastic, and has a nice hefty weight to it with its rose gold-plated stainless steel case. The dial on this piece is especially tantalizing. Frederique Constant combines silver coloring and a unique texture to make something that is entirely original, while still giving off a classic vibe with the quintessential Roman numeral markers and Breguet-style hands. Retailing at $749 USD, this is an excellent entry-level piece to start your pocket watch collection with.
9. August Steiner Skeleton AS8017 Pocket Watch
Vintage-looking, sleek, and stylish — the August Steiner Skeleton AS8017 Pocket Watch is every watch aficionado’s dream. It is also great for people who are looking to add some finesse to their outfits. The fine craftsmanship of this watch can be seen from its skeleton dial, which exposes the precise mechanical movement inside. It features a brushed, beveled bezel with Roman numerals to mark every passing hour. The skeleton dial is protected by a mineral crystal which is coated with scratch-resistant sapphire for additional reinforcement. To allow for easy adjustment of the time, this mechanical pocket watch has a large onion crown at 12 o’clock. You can get this pocket watch in either stunning silver or luxurious gold. This $350 USD timepiece also comes with a brass link chain, so you can easily style it with your outfits.
10. Tissot Bridgeport Lepine Mechanical Pocket Watch
Tissot is one of the well-known brands on our list, so it is not surprising that they have produced a number of the best pocket watches today. Another outstanding model in their catalog is the Tissot Bridgeport Lepine Mechanical Pocket Watch, which is simple, beautiful, and reliable. Powered by a mechanical movement, you can say that this watch will never die. It features a traditional round gold case, with Arabic numerals reminiscent of classic pocket watch designs, and blue Breguet-style hands that add a splash of color to the watch face. Cop this mechanical pocket watch for just $675 USD.
11. Spovan SPV600 Waterproof Pocket Watch
So far, we have only been discussing traditional pocket watches. That said, have you ever seen a modern pocket watch made for the avid adventurer? The Spovan SPV600 Waterproof Pocket Watch is really a treat for sports enthusiasts. Aside from timekeeping capabilities, this timepiece also functions as a stopwatch. It is further equipped with a barometer, an altimeter, and a thermometer. You can even get a weather forecast and alarms for storms in this timepiece. All this, packed into a 52.2 mm pocket watch! It has a water resistance rating of 30 meters to boot, so you can rest assured that it is splashproof. What’s more, this handy and durable pocket watch only costs $43 USD!
12. Piaget Altiplano Pocket Watch
With an 18K white gold case, a sapphire crystal, a unique color scheme, and minimalist looks, you will fall in love with the Piaget Altiplano Pocket Watch the second you see it. That said, do not fall too hard, as the stocks for this timekeeper are severely limited. Piaget only produced 26 pieces of this Altiplano pocket watch, so unless you are working with a large budget, you will likely never get your hands on one. That said, its exceptional aesthetics are still fun to look at, right? Piaget does not disclose the price of this mechanical pocket watch on their website, but with only 26 pieces available, you can expect it to be on the more expensive side.
13. IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 YEARS” Pocket Watch
It is hard not to fall in love with the IWC’s Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 YEARS” Pocket Watch. Named after the Austrian watchmaker Josef Pallweber, this watch pays tribute to and exercises the use of Pallweber’s watch design patent. This timepiece is simple and strips a pocket watch down to its most essential time-telling use. It tells time rather differently, with round apertures for both the hours and minutes, rather than the traditional hour markers. Cased in stunning gold with a clean eggshell-white dial, you will surely love this watch for formal events. This is a limited edition mechanical pocket watch, so you will rarely see it being sold online. Priced at $66,900 USD, it is not the most affordable timekeeper, but it is definitely one for investment.
14. ZIIIRO Z0009PWP Titan Purple Pocket Watch
Back to the world of modern pocket watches, the ZIIIRO Z0009PWP Titan Purple Pocket Watch is also worth a mention. It has a futuristic design that is perfect for lovers of contemporary aesthetics. The display is purely digital, with a rubber strap that you can hold onto. Its design is very original and innovative, with its black LED digital face. Moreover, you can light up the display with the plunger on the top, allowing you to read every single detail with ease. Made from aluminum, its case is sturdy and corrosion-resistant. Not to mention, aluminum is infinitely recyclable, which makes this an eco-friendly timepiece too. It only costs around $190 USD, so this is one of the most affordable pocket watches on this list.
15. Charles-Hubert Chrome Mechanical Pocket Watch
The design on the Charles-Hubert Chrome Mechanical Pocket Watch is what jumps out at you when you see it. It includes a white dial, elegant Breguet-style hands, aesthetically pleasing Roman numeral markers, and a sleek silver exterior. Its dial is skeletonized, which allows you to take a peek at the silver and gold mechanism inside the watch. It is powered by a reliable mechanical movement under the hood, so you will not have to get the batteries changed every few years. For a little less than $100 USD, this mechanical pocket watch can be yours.
16. Patek Philippe 973J Pocket Watch
Patek Philippe’s slogan is “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” That is exactly what you get from the Patek Philippe 973J Pocket Watch: a true, long-lasting heirloom piece. The brand offers various pocket watches, but this 44mm gold pocket watch is one of the best for its luxurious simplicity and minimalistic style. It functions with a hand-wound movement, equipped with 50 hours of power reserve. As a luxury pocket watch, this timepiece retails at $42,580 USD. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth the price, as this is a mechanical pocket watch that can truly go the distance.
17. Omega Olympic Pocket Watch 1932 Rattrapante Chronograph
Omega took to their archives to revive a vintage pocket watch which was used as an official timer for the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games. Watchmakers in the company found this piece disassembled, and decided to bring it back to life. The result: the Omega Olympic Pocket Watch 1932 Rattrapante Chronograph. This historical timepiece is a COSC-certified chronometer and is available in three different editions: 18K yellow gold, white gold, and red gold. A reference to the gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded to sports match winners, there are 100 pieces made for each variant. You will love its simple and clean enamel white dial, which is also inherited from the original 1930s timepiece.
That said, this pocket watch has been given various modern updates, such as the Omega caliber 3889A which powers the watch. It features an advanced, integrated Rattrapante chronograph mechanism which is regulated and controlled through the double column wheel. As an ode to the Olympic Games, this mechanical pocket watch also has the five-ring logo of the sports event, along with the words “Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games” and “Limited Edition” engraved on it. One of the most expensive models on this list, it will cost you upwards of $100,000 USD to own this iconic mechanical pocket watch.
18. Bulova Stainless Steel 96B270 Pocket Watch
If you prefer quartz movements, then this Bulova Stainless Steel 96B270 Pocket Watch is just the right pick for you. It has an exceptional presentation, with a sleek stainless steel case and chain paired with a matching silver dial, indices, and handset. As far as the craftsmanship of this timepiece goes, you will be impressed by how tough it is, from top to bottom. It is even protected by a stainless steel cover that goes over the face of the watch, protecting it from most bumps and scrapes. For around $220 USD or more, this quartz pocket watch is yours to keep.
19. Audemars Piguet Classique Lépine Pocket Watch
We all know Audemars Piguet for its legendary Royal Oak watches. That said, not everyone knows that the company also produces top-of-the-line pocket watches. The Audemars Piguet Classique Lépine Pocket Watch comes with a stunning design and top-notch complications. This elegant timepiece comes in an 18K yellow gold case, with blued steel hands for a contemporary flair. It is a hunter-style pocket watch with a grande complication, minute repeater, and a perpetual calendar. It also features a split time chronograph for your short timekeeping convenience. It is dreamy, classic, and overall very powerful for a dress watch that you would love to carry all night. Do not be surprised by its exorbitant price because after all, this is a very complicated watch made from the finest materials available. You can bring this mechanical pocket watch home for more than $1 million USD. It is a true investment, as a piece that can be passed down from one generation to another.
20. Gotham Silver-Tone Pocket Watch
Those of you who enjoy the skeleton aesthetics should pay attention to the Gotham Silver-Tone Pocket Watch. As you can see, its dial is almost entirely transparent, giving you a great view of what is going on inside. Another window on the case back completes the look by letting you see entirely through the watch. When you add in the fact that this piece is made from exceptional materials, with a stainless steel case and 17 jewels embedded in its movement, you have an undeniably fantastic option which you can purchase for just $100 USD.
Pocket Watches for Modern Times
Now, it is time to choose which pocket watch is right for you. I would start by looking at prices. If you are on a budget, then you can go for a quartz movement from a more affordable brand. If not, going mechanical is an excellent choice, especially if you are choosing one of the exceptional Swiss brands on this list. For those who prefer more modern, avant-garde pocket watches, any one of the digital options we have listed are great too. Whichever direction you go, though, rest assured that you will end up with a fantastic new pocket watch that is sure to turn heads at your next dinner event.