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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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ANTIQUE HMSS SPINNER FOB SET WITH BLOODSTONE AND AGATE, WEIGHT 4G
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
ANTIQUE HMSS SPINNER FOB SET WITH BLOODSTONE AND AGATE, WEIGHT 4G
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD609 Bids
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HMSS FOB CHAIN AND T-BAR, BIRMINGHAM 1922, LENGTH APPROX. 40CM, WEIGHT 30G
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
HMSS FOB CHAIN AND T-BAR, BIRMINGHAM 1922, LENGTH APPROX. 40CM, WEIGHT 30G
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD1205 Bids
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HMSS FOB MEDALLION, BIRMINGHAM 1918 BY WHH, WEIGHT 5.4G
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
HMSS FOB MEDALLION, BIRMINGHAM 1918 BY WHH, WEIGHT 5.4G
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD355 Bids
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ANTIQUE HMSS FANCY LINK FOB CHAIN WITH SWIVE CLIP, WEIGHT 29.5G, APPROX. LENGTH 38CM
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
ANTIQUE HMSS FANCY LINK FOB CHAIN WITH SWIVE CLIP, WEIGHT 29.5G, APPROX. LENGTH 38CM
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD704 Bids
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C.1911 HMSS BULLI WOONONA EISTEDDFOD TENOR SOLO 2ND PRIZE FOB WITH GOLD PLAQUE , WEIGHT 9.3G
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
C.1911 HMSS BULLI WOONONA EISTEDDFOD TENOR SOLO 2ND PRIZE FOB WITH GOLD PLAQUE , WEIGHT 9.3G
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD203 Bids
TWO FINE EARLY 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH GOLD AND AGATE WATCH FOB SEALS. 46.8 grams. 4 cm x 3.5 cm. (2)
Jun 19, 10:00 AM BST
TWO FINE EARLY 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH GOLD AND AGATE WATCH FOB SEALS. 46.8 grams. 4 cm x 3.5 cm. (2)
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£82 Bids
GOLD FOB SEAL
Jun 28, 11:00 AM EDT
GOLD FOB SEAL
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $400- $500
$2252 Bids
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH GOLD AND AGATE WATCH FOB SEAL. 25.9 grams. 3.75 cm x 2.5 cm.
Jun 19, 10:00 AM BST
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH GOLD AND AGATE WATCH FOB SEAL. 25.9 grams. 3.75 cm x 2.5 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£82 Bids
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH GOLD AND AGATE WATCH FOB SEAL. 19.2 grams. 4 cm x 2.5 cm.
Jun 19, 10:00 AM BST
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH GOLD AND AGATE WATCH FOB SEAL. 19.2 grams. 4 cm x 2.5 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£62 Bids
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VICTORIAN 9K GOLD MOUNTED GOLDSTONE FOB + UNMARKED SILVER TONE, GOLD EMBELLISHED, BROOCH, WEIGHT 3.4G
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
VICTORIAN 9K GOLD MOUNTED GOLDSTONE FOB + UNMARKED SILVER TONE, GOLD EMBELLISHED, BROOCH, WEIGHT 3.4G
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD302 Bids
Lovely Ivory Fob with Buckle and Horse Motif **See Selling Parameters**
Jun 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Lovely Ivory Fob with Buckle and Horse Motif **See Selling Parameters**
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
Vintage Watch FOB - MWFC 2001 REX SPARK PLUG
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - MWFC 2001 REX SPARK PLUG
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - REX SPARKPLUG 2001
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - REX SPARKPLUG 2001
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - LACKAWANNA RAILROAD
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - LACKAWANNA RAILROAD
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - READING LINES RAILROAD
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - READING LINES RAILROAD
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - ROCK ISLAND RAILROAD
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - ROCK ISLAND RAILROAD
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - ROCK ISLAND RAILROAD
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - ROCK ISLAND RAILROAD
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - B&O RAILROAD
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - B&O RAILROAD
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - SEABOARD RAILROAD
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - SEABOARD RAILROAD
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - ILLINOIS CENTRAIL RAILROAD
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - ILLINOIS CENTRAIL RAILROAD
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - L&N RAILROAD
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - L&N RAILROAD
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
Vintage Watch FOB - GAMEWELL CO RED FIST
Jun 27, 8:00 AM CDT
Vintage Watch FOB - GAMEWELL CO RED FIST
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $20- $1,000
$101 Bid
1925 & 28 AMA Gypsy Jaunt Tour Watch Fobs
Jun 21, 10:00 AM CDT
1925 & 28 AMA Gypsy Jaunt Tour Watch Fobs
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Watch Fobs


Donley Auction Services

Donley Auction Services

Albion Antique Auction Centre

Albion Antique Auction Centre

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Roseberys

Roseberys