Loading Spinner

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

See all items

TWO ANTIQUE POCKET WATCHES
Mar 07, 3:30 PM AEDT
TWO ANTIQUE POCKET WATCHES
by Lawsons
Est: AUD60- AUD90
AUD506 Bids
No Reserve - 14K Omega pocket watch.
Mar 06, 6:00 PM CET
No Reserve - 14K Omega pocket watch.
by Goudwisselkantoor Veilingen
Est: €400- €600
€555 Bids
No Reserve - Zenith Grand Prix Paris 1900 - Men's pocket watch - approx. 1896.
Mar 06, 6:00 PM CET
No Reserve - Zenith Grand Prix Paris 1900 - Men's pocket watch - approx. 1896.
by Goudwisselkantoor Veilingen
Est: €50- €150
€703 Bids
No Reserve - Reid & Sons Newcastle 18K. - Men's pocket watch - approx. 1870.
Mar 06, 6:00 PM CET
No Reserve - Reid & Sons Newcastle 18K. - Men's pocket watch - approx. 1870.
by Goudwisselkantoor Veilingen
Est: €750- €1,000
€652 Bids
bp parity badge
A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte near Dresden in 1A quality with original case and certificate, No. 45508, large silver pocket watch,
Mar 09, 1:00 PM CET
A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte near Dresden in 1A quality with original case and certificate, No. 45508, large silver pocket watch,
by Galerie + Auktionshaus Peter Klöter
Est: €0- €0
€2,2002 Bids
bp parity badge
Moritz Grossmann, Dresden, No. 2563, pocket watch movement with Glashütte escapement,
Mar 09, 1:00 PM CET
Moritz Grossmann, Dresden, No. 2563, pocket watch movement with Glashütte escapement,
by Galerie + Auktionshaus Peter Klöter
Est: €0- €0
€2602 Bids
bp parity badge
J. Alfred Jürgensen, Locle (see Baillie p. 176), ca. 1808-1877, Gold/enamel pocket watch with sprung cover,
Mar 09, 1:00 PM CET
J. Alfred Jürgensen, Locle (see Baillie p. 176), ca. 1808-1877, Gold/enamel pocket watch with sprung cover,
by Galerie + Auktionshaus Peter Klöter
Est: €0- €0
€1,3002 Bids
Jean Marcel Open Face Skeleton - Men's pocketwatch.
Mar 06, 6:00 PM CET
Jean Marcel Open Face Skeleton - Men's pocketwatch.
by Goudwisselkantoor Veilingen
Est: €400- €500
€3001 Bid
bp parity badge
LADIES VACHERON & CONSTANTIN 18K POCKET WATCH
Mar 07, 5:00 PM EST
LADIES VACHERON & CONSTANTIN 18K POCKET WATCH
by Leighton Galleries
Est: $600- $800
$4001 Bid
No Reserve - Omega Grand Prix 1900 pocket watch silver 900/1000 approx. 1895 - 1902.
Mar 06, 6:00 PM CET
No Reserve - Omega Grand Prix 1900 pocket watch silver 900/1000 approx. 1895 - 1902.
by Goudwisselkantoor Veilingen
Est: €50- €150
€51 Bid
ANTIQUE 18K GOLD AND DIAMOND POCKET WATCH, INVAR
Mar 03, 6:00 PM IST
ANTIQUE 18K GOLD AND DIAMOND POCKET WATCH, INVAR
by Alma
Est: $800- $1,200
$5001 Bid
Fusee, M Ranson key wind pocket watch
Mar 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Fusee, M Ranson key wind pocket watch
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $100- $500
$501 Bid
LeCoultre 185 pocket watch
Mar 22, 9:00 AM EDT
LeCoultre 185 pocket watch
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $100- $500
$501 Bid
bp parity badge
Patek Philippe Naviquartz Boron watch with central seconds, reference 1215, 3-piece wooden case with brass corners,
Mar 09, 1:00 PM CET
Patek Philippe Naviquartz Boron watch with central seconds, reference 1215, 3-piece wooden case with brass corners,
by Galerie + Auktionshaus Peter Klöter
Est: €0- €0
€2,0001 Bid
bp parity badge
Alpine verge pocket watch with gemstone bezel, smooth case, enamel dial with Roman numerals,
Mar 09, 1:00 PM CET
Alpine verge pocket watch with gemstone bezel, smooth case, enamel dial with Roman numerals,
by Galerie + Auktionshaus Peter Klöter
Est: €0- €0
€51 Bid
Large Longines 14K Gold Open Face Pocket Watch
Mar 10, 10:00 AM EST
Large Longines 14K Gold Open Face Pocket Watch
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $450- $550
$2251 Bid
bp parity badge
LACO KM observation watch in 3-piece wooden box by Dieter Danner, with Sinn invoice from 1994,
Mar 09, 1:00 PM CET
LACO KM observation watch in 3-piece wooden box by Dieter Danner, with Sinn invoice from 1994,
by Galerie + Auktionshaus Peter Klöter
Est: €0- €0
€4201 Bid
Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre Pocket Watch
Mar 24, 10:30 AM PDT
Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre Pocket Watch
by Turner Auctions + Appraisals
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
bp parity badge
A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte near Dresden, No. 13742, circa 1880, pocket watch movement for spring-cap pocket watch,
Mar 09, 1:00 PM CET
A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte near Dresden, No. 13742, circa 1880, pocket watch movement for spring-cap pocket watch,
by Galerie + Auktionshaus Peter Klöter
Est: €0- €0
€2401 Bid
Vintage CH.F. Tissot And Fils 800 Silver Open Face Pocket Watch
Mar 25, 7:00 PM EDT
Vintage CH.F. Tissot And Fils 800 Silver Open Face Pocket Watch
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$51 Bid
bp parity badge
SPINDEL-TASCHENUHR, ENGLAND, UM 1800
Mar 14, 10:00 AM CET
SPINDEL-TASCHENUHR, ENGLAND, UM 1800
by Schuler Auktionen
Est: CHF300- CHF400
CHF3001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell European Pocket Watches


Galerie + Auktionshaus Peter Klöter

Galerie + Auktionshaus Peter Klöter

Ansorena

Ansorena

Roseberys

Roseberys

Schuler Auktionen

Schuler Auktionen