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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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10 x Fob Watch keys - all marked with makers, English
Oct 24, 7:00 PM AEDT
10 x Fob Watch keys - all marked with makers, English
by The Collector
Est: AUD20- AUD40
AUD708 Bids
Vintage 3pc Perpetual Calendar Fob w/2 Magnifying Lenses
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Vintage 3pc Perpetual Calendar Fob w/2 Magnifying Lenses
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$61 Bid
Edwardian Ladies 935 Silver Fob Pocketwatch
Nov 13, 2:00 PM EST
Edwardian Ladies 935 Silver Fob Pocketwatch
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $150- $300
$1000 Bids
ANTIQUE WALTHAM POCKET WATCH WITH FOB
Oct 24, 3:00 PM PDT
ANTIQUE WALTHAM POCKET WATCH WITH FOB
by Midnight Sun Antique Auction
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
A 9ct gold open-faced pin set fob watch,
Oct 27, 10:00 AM BST
A 9ct gold open-faced pin set fob watch,
by Sworders
Est: £70- £90
£500 Bids
A Continental gold pin set enamel fob watch,
Oct 27, 10:00 AM BST
A Continental gold pin set enamel fob watch,
by Sworders
Est: £120- £180
£900 Bids
A quantity of silver pocket and fob watches,
Oct 27, 10:00 AM BST
A quantity of silver pocket and fob watches,
by Sworders
Est: £80- £120
£600 Bids
Antique 19th C Victorian Era Pendant / Fob / Charm
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique 19th C Victorian Era Pendant / Fob / Charm
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $80- $125
$300 Bids
Antique Gold Filled Pocket Knife Fob Pendant
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Gold Filled Pocket Knife Fob Pendant
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $30- $50
$200 Bids
Antique 19th C S Initial Necklace Pendant or Fob
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique 19th C S Initial Necklace Pendant or Fob
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $80- $125
$200 Bids
Antique 19th C Bloodstone Intaglio Fob or Pendant
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique 19th C Bloodstone Intaglio Fob or Pendant
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
Antique Gold & Enamel Greek Key Charm or Fob
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Gold & Enamel Greek Key Charm or Fob
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
A Watch Fob Bracelet
Oct 24, 1:00 PM EDT
A Watch Fob Bracelet
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $125- $1,250
$1250 Bids
A Sterling Silver Curb Link Fob Chain with Shield
Oct 31, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Sterling Silver Curb Link Fob Chain with Shield
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD150- AUD250
AUD1500 Bids
bp parity badge
18CT YELLOW GOLD CASED FOB WATCH, WALTHAM, NOT WORKING, 38.6 GRAMS
Oct 28, 9:30 AM AEST
18CT YELLOW GOLD CASED FOB WATCH, WALTHAM, NOT WORKING, 38.6 GRAMS
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD800- AUD1,200
AUD8000 Bids
Molded Tiger Celluloid Watch Fob
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Molded Tiger Celluloid Watch Fob
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$10 Bids
bp parity badge
A GOLD AND CARNELIAN FOB SEAL OF ADMIRAL NELSON, EARLY 19TH CENTURY
Oct 27, 10:00 AM BST
A GOLD AND CARNELIAN FOB SEAL OF ADMIRAL NELSON, EARLY 19TH CENTURY
by Bonhams
Est: £150- £200
£1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Watch Fobs


Greenwich Auction

Greenwich Auction

Lawsons

Lawsons

Sworders

Sworders

Il Ponte Auction House

Il Ponte Auction House