7 Best Modern Pocket Watches You can Buy in 2024: Comprehensive Guide

Written by – Updated on February 24, 2024

Pocket timepieces are back in vogue.

These are more than just your antique timekeepers. A classic fob watch serves as a fashion statement, displaying elegance and style for anyone who sports it.

With so many choices, it can be hard to pick the one that best suits your personality and taste.

Luckily, this review is here to list down some of the most high-quality men’s and women’s pocket chronometers in the market.

For the products to follow, I'll touch on aesthetics, durability, precision, accuracy, and everything else in between.

Tissot Savonnette: Top Choice

Tissot has been in the watch industry since 1853. They have been producing Swiss luxury watches that contain high-quality components. Their attention to detail has been second to none.

Unlike other watch brands transitioning to wristwatches and digital stopwatches, Tissot still produces some of the premier pocket timekeepers.

One of them is the Tissot Savonnette. It stands out as the top pick of fob watches on this list.

What makes Tissot's creation unique from other pocket timepieces is its watch face. The magnificent craftsmanship is evident in its face, while the Roman numerals evoke prestige and nostalgia.

Tissot Savonnette applies a Japanese quartz movement, one of the most precise methods of tracking time.

It's also made of stainless steel, making it water-resistant and rust-proof.

One disadvantage of the watch is it relies on mineral crystal, which is not as strong as sapphire. Thankfully, the hunter window can fully shield the watch’s face when you do not use your watch.

Bulova B2662 Ashton: Great Value

Bulova is another brand you should consider when trying to buy premier pocket timepieces.

Founded by Joseph Bulova in the late 1800s, the Swiss watch manufacturing company has been manufacturing timekeepers and pendant watches since 1911. [R]

Fast forward to around a century later, and the Bulova B2662 Ashton is one of the brand's remarkable innovations. It will surely be worth it in terms of value for money.

Instead of Roman numerals, it uses Arabic numbers. This format may be easier to read for some watch users. It also comes with a chain and clip. These prevent your pocket timepiece from slipping off your pocket.

It also comes with a presentable gift box. I have to give kudos to Bulova for emphasizing the proper packaging of the product.

Unlike most pocket clocks, which use mechanical movement, this watch practices Quartz movement.

For $117.80, expect the outstanding and most optimized timekeeping service Bulova brings to the table.

Benefits

  • Arabic numbers and white dials, which are easy to read
  • Inseparable chain due to strong clip
  • Presentation box for gift-giving purposes
  • Hunter case for added protection

Drawbacks

  • Compromising components (mineral glass crystal)

Mudder: Top Affordable Selection

It makes sense if you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on an antique watch.

These costly watches are mostly used as furniture accessories or character costumes. While all the pendant timepieces on this list have their own set of functions, these do not justify the hefty price tags.

If you're on a budget and want to try the pocket-watch experience, then the Mudder may be the watch to go for. Here are some of the things the $11.99 pendant timepiece has to offer.

For starters, it comes in a classic, white dial, which includes both 12-hour and 24-hour formats. Paired with Japanese Quartz motion, Mudder does the job in terms of accurately keeping track of time.

It also features readable Arabic numbers and large second, minute, and hour hands with reliable accuracy and precision.

The budget pocket timepiece comes in multiple colors like gold, rose gold, silver, bronze, and black. Indeed, you will not have to feel guilty spending a lot of bucks for this vintage antique.

If anything, the Mudder has all the features to give you that preppy vibe or if you want a quirky accessory to your cosplay adventure.

Benefits

  • 12-hour and 24-hour format
  • Affordable price
  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Large hour, minute, and second hands

Drawbacks

  • Quartz-type movement, which requires batteries

FindTime Digital

I cannot deny that pocket timepieces still belong in today's era of smartphones and digital watches. [R]

What if I told you that you could combine both modern and antique elements in one timepiece?

If you are looking for a modern pocket timepiece that does not involve Quartz style movement or clock hands, FindTime Digital is for you.

As suggested by the name, it does not use the standard analog dial. Instead, it presents the time digitally.

It carries advanced functions like the altimeter, barometer, and thermometer indicators. These features make your digital watch suitable for outdoor activities.

Unlike most pocket timepieces, the Find Time Digital is waterproof, with a water resistance of 30 meters. The design uses a smooth silver chrome case that adds to the ruggedness of the product.

While some of the exceptional fob watches rely heavily on a stainless steel chain, this particular fob watch is paired with a synthetic necklace.

It may be a disadvantage because the necklace is made out of metal alloy, which is heavier than other lightweight materials.

For $65.99, you will be able to enjoy the digital advantages this pendant watch brings compared to its more traditional counterparts.

Benefits

  • Advanced features (altimeter, barometer, and thermometer)
  • Water-resistant (30 meters)
  • Heavy-duty silver chrome case

Drawbacks

  • Synthetic necklace, which can be heavy on the neck

ShoppeWatch

Modern pocket timepieces have been the norm as of late. Various watch brands have re-engineered their designs to cater to the young audience.

ShoppeWatch, on the other hand, maintains its old-fashioned antique vibes.

Despite this, you won't have to worry about going out of style. If anything, old-school apparel is making a comeback, and the vintage pocket wristwatch helps to complete the look. [R]

To enhance your clothing experience, wear the antique pocket timepiece around your neck with a 14-inch chain. By doing so, you'll be able to keep track of time while looking stylish.

It also uses a half-hunter eagle design for durability and aesthetic purposes. The watch face measures 45 mm and 4.2 ounces. This proves that the pendant watch is lightweight and easy to carry with your palm.

Its three-hand design comes with Quartz movement, which may be disadvantageous for some because of battery requirements.

For $35, you will be able to add vintage flair to any outfit. Other pocket timepieces cannot pull this off.

Benefits

  • Half-hunter style and eagle design
  • Lightweight and easy to carry (45 mm and 4.2 ounces)
  • Old-school clothing blends well with modern styles

Drawbacks

  • Quartz style movement

Patek Philippe Art Deco 18K

If I may paraphrase Bruno Mars, you will be getting "18 Karat magic in the air". Kidding aside, the Patek Philippe Art Deco 18K is on the high end of this list.

Originating in the early 1940s, this prestigious pocket chronometer gives off an Art Deco look.

Classic style pocket watch with gold plating.

The case has a minimalist appeal to highlight the elegant yellow-gold look. The back part of the pocket timepiece has an engraved covering that lets you see the mechanical gear and insides.

As mentioned earlier, the disadvantage of the Patek Philippe Art Deco is the expensive price tag, which is an understatement, to be honest.

It costs $6200. You heard that right. You can get about 515 pieces of the budget pick (Mudder Pocket Timepiece) for the price of one Patek Philippe Art Deco 18 Karat.

If you have the cash and revel in the notion that you got your watch from a certified antique dealer, then go for it by all means.

Quick Verdict: Invest in timeless luxury with the prestigious Art Deco Patek Philippe 18K, exuding elegance and mechanical mastery.

Benefits

  • Prestigious Art Deco look
  • Yellow Gold color
  • Minimalist case design

Drawbacks

  • Expensive

SIBOSUN Antique Skeleton Mechanical Pocket Timepiece

Although Quartz watches give you precise and accurate results, they still have their fair share of flaws. One of those is the need for batteries for it to function.

If you want a mechanical pocket chronometer that can automatically operate independently, I suggest going for SIBOSUN Antique Mechanical Skeleton. [R]

Based on the watch product's name, it contains a skeleton dial, which gives you access to how a pendant watch functions at the back while viewing the dials in the front.

Since it relies on mechanical movement, it uses a mechanical hand that you need to wind up at least 10 to 15 times.

By doing this, a classic fob watch can read the time accurately, just like its Quartz counterparts.

Instead of a hunter case, which most classic fob watches use, the skeleton watch applies an open-case style. It is similar to vintage railroad antique-style watches.

One of the watch's biggest problems is the inconsistent time markings. Since it comes in the form of a skeleton dial, it uses line markings instead of Arabic numbers and Roman numeral labels.

As a result, you may have a difficult time keeping track of time.

Another disadvantage is it contains acrylic crystals, which are not as strong compared to sapphire.

All in all, at $22.99, the SIBOSUN Antique Skeleton Mechanical Pocket Timepiece is still a good option for you.

Benefits

  • The mechanical hand does not require batteries
  • Skeleton dial, which lets you see how a pocket timekeeper functions
  • Open-case style similar to old railroad pocket timepieces.

Drawbacks

  • Compromising materials (acrylic crystal)
  • Inconsistent and hard to read time markings

Steampunk

If you are looking for another sophisticated watch design, you should try out the Steampunk. It's perfect for those who have an interest in cosplaying amine characters.

Steampunk sports black and blue color patterns. It is different from other pocket chronometers that use gold, silver, bronze, etc.

Gears and wheels surround the case to complement the Steampunk style. These features make for an eye-catching conversation piece.

You also don't have to worry about it slipping out of your pocket. Steampunk utilizes a snugged chain with a clip that stays connected to your retro watch. It uses a mechanical hand for precise tracking of time.

The only concern is the gears blocking the Roman numeral markers. It also does not help that these markers are in dark blue, making it difficult to read the time.

It has a starting price of $18.99, which is not too expensive. Indeed, the Steampunk is something you can invest in if you want to explore an unorthodox yet eye-catching design.

Benefits

  • Chain with a clip that connects to the pocket timepiece.
  • Black and blue color scheme
  • Not too expensive

Drawbacks

  • Some gears may block Roman numeral markings

Gotham Open Face

If you are going for a simple yet classic design, I suggest going for the Gotham Open Face.

It doesn't have the most sophisticated design than other skeleton watches, but its sleek look is sure to be a winner.

The pocket chronometer features an open-face design so that you will find it easy to track time. Unlike hunter-designs, which require you to open and close the case, the open-face design watch is the case itself.

It is also lightweight; therefore, you can put it inside your pocket without any hassle. The other face pocket timepiece also comes with a stainless steel chain if you want to hang it around your neck.

It also applies Arabic numbers and a military time format. [R] These are beneficial for those who may have difficulties reading AM and PM time formats.

The only problem with this watch is it is not an heirloom piece compared to other watches. Despite this, I still believe this watch is a solid pick-up for only $44.95.

Benefits

  • Military time format
  • Open face design for easy time tracking
  • Lightweight on the pocket and easy to carry
  • Affordable price

Drawbacks

  • Not an heirloom piece

History of the Pocket Wristwatch

Back in the 16th century, Peter Heinlein invented pocket timepieces that consisted of springs rather than weights.

At first, classic pocket wristwatches used to be bulky and heavy to wear. It's quite ironic given the fact that these watches were meant to be worn as necklaces.

Various antique style chain watches hanging.

After a hundred years of research and experimentation, fob watches became more portable and easy to slip into the pocket.

During the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution, fob timepieces started to incorporate jewelry and more sophisticated materials.

As a result, the classic pocket timepiece became a staple among railroad workers and professionals.

In the present day, the pocket timepiece has brought itself back to the fashion industry. It's no surprise if you see yourself sporting a pocket wristwatch to informal gatherings and events.

How to Buy an Optimal Pocket Timepiece?

Different vintage looking pocket watches.

With so many options, finding the fob watch that perfectly suits your budget and personality can be hard. Here are some things you should consider when choosing a pocket timepiece:

Budget

I cannot stress this enough. You have to make sure the watch you are going to buy fits your budget.

The last thing you want to do is to throw away your entire livelihood for a $6000 vintage chronometer. If that amount is chump change for you, then, by all means, go for it. Indeed, for watch lovers, it is free to dream.

Durability

When buying a pocket wristwatch, you need to take into account its durability. Usually, pocket timepieces with metal cases are the least fragile. Although you can paint ceramic, it is less long-lasting than metal, glass, or crystal.

Watch Movement

On the one hand, a Quartz style movement is accurate but requires batteries that can last up to two years.

On the other hand, mechanical movements require spring movement and some help from the wind. From here, it's all about personal preference.

Wrap Up

With some of the excellent fob watches on this list, I hope you can find an exemplary vintage watch for you!

The choice is still yours, but consider the different reviews and factors before going for your desired classic timepiece.