Knowledge Base

Wristwatch vs Pocket Watch: Differences, Similarities & Everything Else

Photo of author
Written by:

Jacky Chou

Wristwatch vs Pocket Watch Differences, Similarities & Everything Else

The pocket watch and the wristwatch have the same function, which is to tell the time. However, everyone has preferences in regards to types of watches. So, it’s natural to prefer one over the other.

Are you planning to buy a new watch? You must have been pondering on which to get: a wristwatch or a pocket watch. Well, it’s best to know that many people favor one over the other due to personal reasons or the love they have for a type of watch.

And this article will help you decide which is best for you.

Features of a Wristwatch

As the name implies, the wristwatch is a timepiece designed for the wrist. The wristwatch has made time-telling straightforward – all you need to do is swing your wrist up to your face.

Compared to a pocket watch, the wristwatch has now become so famous that many people see pocket watches as a thing of the past.

Due to the popularity of the wristwatch, there’s a wide variety of brands, styles, and designs that you can choose from. There are also some wristwatches with digital and intelligent features. These smartwatches can connect to the internet, make calls and even keep an eye on your health.

Over the years, there has been a tremendous improvement in the wristwatch manufacturing industry. Hence, the versatility of the wristwatches of today makes them qualify for both formal and informal occasions.

Features of a Pocket Watch

Unlike the wristwatch, many consider the pocket watch a formal accessory. This type of watch is usually handled with extra care and kept in a pocket.

For security, the pocket watch features a chain worn through a jacket or a vest lapel. Due to the formal feel, you may not be comfortable wearing a pocket watch every day. Imagine how odd it would be to wear a pocket watch on a polo T-shirt.

Usually, the majority of pocket watch owners reserve it for special events like parties or weddings – and they don’t even get used as much as they were in the past anymore.

Meanwhile, most pocket watches go beyond fashion. They come with a historical touch. In most cases, pocket watches are heritage watches passed down to family members over generations.

And that’s why pocket watches often hold personal and sentimental value for their owners.

Pros and Cons of the Wristwatch Over the Pocket Watch


The wristwatch is a comfortable timepiece since it is worn around the wrist.

The wristwatch gives other people the opportunity to assess your fashion style and taste. That means it contributes to your fashion sense and beauty.

You can quickly tell the time from your wrist. The ease of accessibility is a significant advantage of the wristwatch over the pocket watch.


The wristwatch, especially if classy and expensive, exposes you to the danger of being robbed. It’s no news that thieves get attracted to jewelry.

The wristwatch is also susceptible to scratches and damage due to its exposure. Likewise, your watch can give the skin around your wrist a different tone and wear the hair in that area off.

Pros and Cons of the Pocket Watch Over the Wristwatch


Unlike the wristwatch, the pocket watch is more secure because it’s carried about in a pocket. This also makes it less noticeable to thieves and doesn’t draw that much attention to you.

A pocket watch equally commands an elegant and respected look more than a wristwatch.

You can pass down a pocket watch to generations because they are mostly treasured due to their historical background.


The pocket watch is not much of a visible fashion accessory as it resides in the pocket.

Using the pocket watch to tell time is not too comfortable. Reaching into your pocket to get your watch every time can be stressful. That is one of the many reasons why soldiers switched from pocket watches to wristwatches during the war – and men also started using wristwatches.

When Did Pocket Watches Go Out of Style?

During World War 1, officers were required to have an accurate and dependable timepiece to manage duty rotations and attack times.

At the time, they used pocket watches. And it wasn’t convenient to constantly remove the timepiece from their pockets, open it to read the time and return to their pockets.

The level of inconvenience in using the pocket watch motivated the soldiers to structurally modify the pocket watch for the wrist instead. They attached wire loops to the watch cases so they could strap the pocket watch around their wrists.

Not long after, a few watchmakers discovered the wrist placement of watches fit better. That’s how the production of wristwatches began. For men, at least, since women had been enjoying this style of watches for a while longer.

However, pocket watches didn’t go out of style immediately. It took a few years for many to adopt the new development in watch style. It was at that point the relevance of pocket watches began to fade.

Are Pocket Watches More Accurate?

Well, many people seem to ask this question, and the answer remains the same.

Pocket watches are simply accurate – not more. The history of pocket watches, or should I say railroad watches, have been the reason behind this question.

Historical records confirm that the pocket watches were configured to match with the train schedules back in the day and they were always accurate. This significant characteristic made the pocket watch so dependable; hence, the question on pocket watches’ accuracy.

Should I Wear a Pocket Watch?

You don’t need to wear a pocket watch. Most people wear pocket watches because of their particular love for it or to complement their dressing to a formal occasion.

In short, the decision lies in your hands. If you’d love to wear a pocket watch, there are various brands of pocket watches with beautiful designs. Do well to do your research and select the one that best suits you.

Can You Turn a Pocket Watch into a Wristwatch?

Yes, you can convert a pocket watch into a wristwatch. But not all pocket watches can undergo the conversion process.

Today, several companies specialize in the restoration, design, and conversion of pocket watches to wristwatches.

The conversion process is delicate, and it requires some level of expertise. Depending on the type of pocket watch, the stem and the crown are modified so that the watch face can fit in a pre-made case.

Another modification method includes welding lugs on the watch case. Wristwatch lugs are watch parts that connect the watchband, strap, or metal bracelet to the watch case.

Should I Buy a Wristwatch or a Pocket Watch?

The type of watch you decide to buy depends on your taste and the aim of the timepiece.

If you’re looking for something comfortable that blends with every outfit, you should consider a wristwatch. However, if you aim to own a stylish and classy watch – one that is a valuable investment and can be passed on to your loved ones or a timepiece for special occasions – a pocket watch is the ideal choice.

Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the co-founder of Uberwrists and has gotten into watches from his father from a young age. His first watch was a black G Shock that was comedically large for his wrist. He appreciates watches from Seiko to a Patek Philippe.

Leave a Comment