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Watch Fobs

Watch fobs, which in their most basic form consist of a small chain that attaches to the watch to make it easier to grasp, came into popularity around the 18th century. At the time, pocket watch wearers became frustrated with the only prior option: a pocket. Men’s waistcoats were designed with a special exterior pocket for a watch, but many wanted their timepiece to be more secure.

Soon after, fine metal chains in gold and silver began appearing, artfully attaching the pocket watch to a button lapel. As an added adornment, some paid for extensions, featuring anything from hallmarked silver seals to dazzling dangles that swung from the fob’s lapel attachment.

The fob was thus transformed into an artful statement of elegance that was otherwise utilitarian in nature, saving an entire generation’s pocket watches from precarious falls while adding a bit of luxury to their outfits.


Quick Facts

  • Some women during the Victorian era created fobs that held a lock of their hair, serving as a memento for their husbands to wear daily
  • The use of fob to describe a pocket watch accompaniment began in the 17th century, and its name was most likely derived from the old German colloquial “fuppe,” which referred to a pocket
  • Watch fobs could also be a means of commemorating historic events. In early 2015, a rare “Last Spike” gold fob was auctioned off, one of only a handful that were made to memorialize the completion of the transcontinental railroad in the late 1860s

Recommended Items at Auction

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Gold Fob
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Gold Fob
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$80024 Bids
18K Gold Watch Fob
Mar 01, 8:30 AM EST
18K Gold Watch Fob
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $470- $570
$20010 Bids
Alaskan Gold Miner Gold Nugget Watch Fob
Mar 02, 9:00 AM MST
Alaskan Gold Miner Gold Nugget Watch Fob
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$658 Bids
A VINTAGE GOLD CASED INTAGLIO FOB
Mar 07, 3:30 PM AEDT
A VINTAGE GOLD CASED INTAGLIO FOB
by Lawsons
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD453 Bids
To Our Father Marriage Life Pocket Watch Chain Fob Locket
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
To Our Father Marriage Life Pocket Watch Chain Fob Locket
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
14K YELLOW GOLD WATCH FOB
Mar 10, 10:00 AM PST
14K YELLOW GOLD WATCH FOB
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $900- $1,200
$7000 Bids
Antique Victorian Silver Handmade Heavy Solid Thick Pocket Watch Chain Fob
Mar 15, 9:00 AM EDT
Antique Victorian Silver Handmade Heavy Solid Thick Pocket Watch Chain Fob
by Figlio Designs LLC
Est: $100- $200
$450 Bids
9ct gold ornate fob with carved Jade swivel, gross weight 9.2g.
Mar 09, 10:00 AM GMT
9ct gold ornate fob with carved Jade swivel, gross weight 9.2g.
by Potteries Auctions
Est: £100- £200
£500 Bids
18ct gold whistle fob, 3g.
Mar 09, 10:00 AM GMT
18ct gold whistle fob, 3g.
by Potteries Auctions
Est: £90- £180
£450 Bids
Charles Lindbergh Watch FOB Compass Needle Loose
Mar 06, 9:00 AM PST
Charles Lindbergh Watch FOB Compass Needle Loose
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $40- $75
$200 Bids
(18) Small John Deere pieces
Mar 22, 9:00 AM EDT
(18) Small John Deere pieces
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $100- $500
$500 Bids
Pocket watch fobs, keys, tools and book
Mar 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Pocket watch fobs, keys, tools and book
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $100- $500
$500 Bids
A 9ct gold and bloodstone St Christopher fob seal
Mar 08, 10:00 AM GMT
A 9ct gold and bloodstone St Christopher fob seal
by Martel Maides
Est: £1,600- £2,000
£1,2000 Bids
ANTIQUE WATCH FOB
Mar 08, 10:30 AM EST
ANTIQUE WATCH FOB
by Carroll's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $90- $450
$440 Bids
Vintage Anitque Watch Fob Air Sea Car Bicyle (St Christopher Protect Us?) (Oilly)
Mar 15, 9:00 AM EDT
Vintage Anitque Watch Fob Air Sea Car Bicyle (St Christopher Protect Us?) (Oilly)
by Figlio Designs LLC
Est: $100- $200
$60 Bids
NORTHERN RAILWAY (Queensland) antique 15ct yellow gold fob adorned with a locomotive and monogram
Mar 24, 10:00 AM AEDT
NORTHERN RAILWAY (Queensland) antique 15ct yellow gold fob adorned with a locomotive and monogram
by Leski Auctions Pty Ltd
Est: AUD1,200- AUD2,000
AUD1,0000 Bids
Antique Fob of Saint George and the Dragon Intaglio Pendant
Mar 09, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Fob of Saint George and the Dragon Intaglio Pendant
by Ark Auctions
Est: $1,600- $3,000
$1,5000 Bids
Vintage Royal Style Star Burst Cabochon Pocket Watch Chain Fob
Mar 29, 9:00 AM EDT
Vintage Royal Style Star Burst Cabochon Pocket Watch Chain Fob
by Carroll's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $100- $200
$560 Bids
Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh Watch Fobs (5)
Mar 06, 9:00 AM PST
Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh Watch Fobs (5)
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $100- $125
$500 Bids
Vintage Wright Brothers FOB
Mar 06, 9:00 AM PST
Vintage Wright Brothers FOB
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $40- $75
$200 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Watch Fobs


Leski Auctions Pty Ltd

Leski Auctions Pty Ltd

Mebane Antique Auction

Mebane Antique Auction

Potteries Auctions

Potteries Auctions

Figlio Designs LLC

Figlio Designs LLC