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European Pocket Watches

From Bréant to Boyle, the tradition of European pocket watches was synonymous with beautiful pieces that told time with perfection. The manufacturing of pocket watches in Europe is as old as the 15th century, yet creators even in the 18th and 19th centuries celebrated this heritage by maintaining high standards of production rendered in styles befitting haute couture.

Since humankind’s earliest days, the desire to tell time has been persistent, but the development of simple spring mechanisms by the end of the 1400s allowed innovative spirits to develop the first movable timepiece. Over the subsequent generations, this technology became increasingly refined, allowing portable watches to become not only less bulky but also to tell time more reliably and with fewer windings during the day.

Though the pocket watch began to wane in popularity with the introduction of the wristwatch and digital technology, it nevertheless remains a striking statement piece today, with those who wear them giving a nod to the timepiece’s rich history.


Quick Facts

  • English King Charles II is often credited with popularizing the wearing of a watch that slipped into one’s pocket in the 17th century. Prior to his day, watches were often simple suspended from one's dress
  • Benjamin Franklin’s marvelous 18-carat gold pocket watch safeguards its own history, as each of its owners have engraved their names and dates on it. According to the watch’s record, it has changed hands three times since Franklin’s possession in the 18th century
  • With the development of time zones in the late 19th century, accurate time telling became all the more important, particularly for those managing the movement of trains (it was because of train travel that time zones were established)

Recommended Items at Auction

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Very Fine Antique 18K Gold Durand Geneva Pocket Watch
Dec 12, 7:00 PM EST
Very Fine Antique 18K Gold Durand Geneva Pocket Watch
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$62510 Bids
Silver and niello pocket watch - DIOGENE, Paris
Dec 06, 3:00 PM CET
Silver and niello pocket watch - DIOGENE, Paris
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €250- €350
€2207 Bids
POCKET WATCH CHRONOMETER, J. F. HOURIET
Dec 07, 3:00 PM CET
POCKET WATCH CHRONOMETER, J. F. HOURIET
by Im Kinsky
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€2,2005 Bids
Isaac Rogers, London.
Dec 07, 9:00 AM PST
Isaac Rogers, London.
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $500- $600
$6505 Bids
LIP pocket watch with chronograph
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
LIP pocket watch with chronograph
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €150- €300
€2403 Bids
2 Coin Silver Pocket Watch & Case Watch
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
2 Coin Silver Pocket Watch & Case Watch
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$302 Bids
LONGINES & OMEGA 2 open face gents pocket watches
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
LONGINES & OMEGA 2 open face gents pocket watches
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €200- €400
€1202 Bids
ANONYME - EQUISTILLON & DELHOUDENS Montres de poche
Dec 10, 2:30 PM CET
ANONYME - EQUISTILLON & DELHOUDENS Montres de poche
by Accademia Fine Art
Est: €100- €200
€1102 Bids
Jaeger-LeCoultre open face pocket watch
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
Jaeger-LeCoultre open face pocket watch
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €150- €300
€1202 Bids
Collection de treize régulateurs.
Dec 07, 2:00 PM CET
Collection de treize régulateurs.
by Galerie Moderne
Est: €250- €350
€1802 Bids
LEPINE PATEK PHILIPPE POCKET WATCH, 1914, YELLOW GOLD
Dec 15, 5:00 PM CET
LEPINE PATEK PHILIPPE POCKET WATCH, 1914, YELLOW GOLD
by Ansorena
Est: €7,500- €10,000
€3402 Bids
18K GOLD PATEK PHILIPPE FOR BAILEY, BANKS & BIDDLE O/F POCKET WATCH W/ BOX.
Dec 19, 9:00 AM EST
18K GOLD PATEK PHILIPPE FOR BAILEY, BANKS & BIDDLE O/F POCKET WATCH W/ BOX.
by Morphy Auctions
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$1,1002 Bids
bp parity badge
TASCHENUHR "MOBILIS", MIT TOURBILLON, UM 1910
Dec 12, 10:00 AM CET
TASCHENUHR "MOBILIS", MIT TOURBILLON, UM 1910
by Schuler Auktionen
Est: CHF400- CHF800
CHF4502 Bids
Open face Verge pocket watch with 1/4 repetition
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
Open face Verge pocket watch with 1/4 repetition
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €500- €1,000
€5002 Bids
Rare 17th C English Pocket watch
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Rare 17th C English Pocket watch
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $350- $725
$1102 Bids
14k pink gold hunting cased pocket watch
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
14k pink gold hunting cased pocket watch
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €400- €700
€4001 Bid
14k pink gold hunting cased pocket watch
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
14k pink gold hunting cased pocket watch
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €600- €1,200
€6001 Bid
INVAR 14k yellow gold hunting cased pocket watch
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
INVAR 14k yellow gold hunting cased pocket watch
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €800- €1,500
€7501 Bid
MINERVA nearly mint pocket watch with chronograph
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
MINERVA nearly mint pocket watch with chronograph
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €300- €600
€2801 Bid
Le GRAND à Dieppe early verge movement
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
Le GRAND à Dieppe early verge movement
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €150- €300
€401 Bid
14k yellow gold ladies hunting cased pocket watch
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
14k yellow gold ladies hunting cased pocket watch
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €200- €400
€801 Bid
Pocket Watch 18 K Gold Enamel Diamonds
Dec 08, 3:00 PM UYT
Pocket Watch 18 K Gold Enamel Diamonds
by Zorrilla Subastas
Est: $350- $450
$3001 Bid
OMEGA 14k pink gold hunting cased pocket watch
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
OMEGA 14k pink gold hunting cased pocket watch
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €300- €500
€2801 Bid
14K GOLD OMEGA POCKET WATCH.
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
14K GOLD OMEGA POCKET WATCH.
by William Smith Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell European Pocket Watches


Wannenes Art Auctions

Wannenes Art Auctions

Henry's Auktionshaus

Henry's Auktionshaus

Morphy Auctions

Morphy Auctions

Osenat

Osenat