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Bowden Pocket Watches

Bowden pocket watches epitomize the peak of British timepiece technology and taste in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Specializing in clocks as well as open-face pocket watches for both men and women, F.E. Bowden added to the history of tasteful time telling.

The advent of the rudimentary pocket watch in the 16th century, but it was not until a century later that it truly became integrated into popular fashion. As technology progressed and time keeping became increasingly more accurate, the pocket watch became a staple for dapper dress. By the 20th century, however, the popularity of the pocket watch began to slow simply because the wristwatch was more practical.

Regardless of this slow wane, pocket watches continued to be revered, in part because of the superior mechanisms designed within. Working out of Plymouth, in southwestern England, F.E. Bowden was a champion of expert watch works, and his sophisticated machinery served as a fitting compliment to the elegant casings into which they were set.

Quick Facts

  • As a testament to the popularity of pocket watches even in the early years of the 20th century, a special leather strap was designed to accompany soldiers in the battles of World War II
  • By the late 19th century, Bowden’s company expanded to include his children, so you might find late 19th and early 20th century pieces that are marked “Bowden and Sons"
  • Marie Antoinette commissioned one of the most famous pocket watches in 1793. It required 44 years to complete, which was unfortunately more than Antoinette had left. The watch was completed in 1827, almost a decade after her beheading

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