Pocket Watch Fobs
What is a pocket watch fob you may ask? A pocket watch fob is a medallion or an ornamental object that is attached onto a pocket watch. It can be a chain or leather strap that fastens the watch to the second vest pocket, or an object that suspends from the chain for decoration. Some fobs could have special meaning for the wearer; others use it for adornment or securing the watch within the fob pocket. Some of the original pocket watch fobs were coded or numbered to help in returning the fob to its owner.
The tradition of wearing a pocket watch with a chain and fob was developed in Europe around the 16th century. Men carried pocket watches with fobs in each waist coat fob pocket. One of the watches would usually be a fake; this was thought to be for security purposes. The fashion spread to America where it became fashionable around the middle of the 18th century. When the wrist watch was invented at about the time of World War I, it canceled the need for watches to be worn in pockets. By the turn of the 19th century, the trend for the pocket watch fobs and chains had passed.
The fob can be fashioned from any type of material. In the Victorian Era, husbands received fobs as presents from their wives made from braided locks of her hair. Ribbon, gold, thread and leather can also be used to make fobs. They can be emblems or charms; for example, a thimble, or a key. Stop-watches have been known to be used as watch fobs; as have precious stones set in platinum or gold.
Watch fobs are still worn to this day; particularly by medical professionals who tend to use Fobs for obtaining respiration and pulse rates. You might see them at a costume party on anyone dressed as Sherlock Holmes or Dr. Who.
Fobs from the turn of the century seem to be the most popular among collectors. Examples of some collector watch fobs are: A Victorian Cigar Cutter made from base metal and steel; A Victorian Presentation Medal hand carved from silver and yellow gold. One very rare collectible fob is made of Pink Gold; with a face of Platinum has genuine sapphire eyes. One side of the face is of Comedy; the other is of Tragedy. This piece was constructed in 1915, and called the “Pink Gold and Platinum Fob”. Finding an antique or vintage fob causes excitement and wonder in collectors. They tend to get a feeling of accomplishment when they obtain an addition to their pocket watch fob collection.