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Thread: Inexpensive watch chain?

  1. #11
    Familiar Face
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    There are many vintage chains out there that are gold filled. Most people had gold filled chains anyway back in the day. They are not that expensive.

    You need to worry about how you plan to attach it to your clothing and matching the vintage of the chain to the vintage of your watch. For example, if you plan to wear your watch in a vest, then you want a T-end chain that goes into a button hole. If you plan to wear your watch in pants pockets, then you probably want a spring ring to attach it to a belt loop.

    Early 18 and 16 size pocket watches require a heavier chain. By the 1920s and 30s 12 and 10 size watches were more popular. Lighter chains were used with these smaller watches.

    Those who could not afford a chain, used leather straps. This started with railroad men who cut a piece of leather fringe from the cab. These fringes hung down to warn them from hitting their heads on low edges in the cab. You can get leather watch straps at many places. Just Google search "leather pocketwatch straps" and you will find many sources. Short of that, leather shoe laces will do.

    Can you tell us about your watch? If you have the make and the serial number from the movement (not the case), we can date it. This is assuming it is an American watch.

    Don

  2. #12
    Incurably Addicted John in Covina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fifty150 View Post
    That Tandy has some pretty good stuff. Just don't get sucked into buying more than you need when you're there. I hate it when I go in for one thing, and spend $100 on things I didn't plan on buying.
    My budget will not allow spending much at all and my sense of perceved value often curtails many non-essentials.
    Blue Skies!

  3. #13
    One Too Many dnjan's Avatar
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    Many years ago I made a braided watch "chain". Started with a spool of dark brown 3/32" lace from Tandy (I think the spools are 50 yards)
    Plain, 4-strand round braid for the main chain, with a turks-head at each end to cover the splice where I looped the braid back over itself.
    I had a large loop at one end that I threaded my belt through, and a smaller loop at the other end that was attached to the watch.

    You are enough of a perfectionist, John, that you will have fun with this.
    Don

    Feel younger than you look, and
    Act younger than you feel.

  4. #14
    Practically Family Anthony Jordan's Avatar
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    As some of you may have spotted on another thread, I recently went through a mini-quest to find a chain for an old silver-plated pocket watch that I acquired last year. Via eBay I acquired four chains before I found the one (actually two as it turns out!) I was looking for. I don't know what your budget is but the most I paid for any one was 11.50 shipped.

  5. #15
    Incurably Addicted John in Covina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Jordan View Post
    As some of you may have spotted on another thread, I recently went through a mini-quest to find a chain for an old silver-plated pocket watch that I acquired last year. Via eBay I acquired four chains before I found the one (actually two as it turns out!) I was looking for. I don't know what your budget is but the most I paid for any one was 11.50 shipped.
    Ebay is usually a viable choice but at this time I can't afford trial and error via Ebay. Hoping that the future may be better.
    Blue Skies!

  6. #16
    Incurably Addicted John in Covina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnjan View Post
    Many years ago I made a braided watch "chain". Started with a spool of dark brown 3/32" lace from Tandy (I think the spools are 50 yards)
    Plain, 4-strand round braid for the main chain, with a turks-head at each end to cover the splice where I looped the braid back over itself.
    I had a large loop at one end that I threaded my belt through, and a smaller loop at the other end that was attached to the watch.

    You are enough of a perfectionist, John, that you will have fun with this.
    I will try to visit Tandy in the next few days.
    Blue Skies!

  7. #17
    One Too Many GoldenEraFan's Avatar
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    American vintage has a few watch chains from the '30s-'60s for very low prices.
    http://www.american-vintage.net/maccess.html

  8. #18
    Practically Family Anthony Jordan's Avatar
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    The 16" long gold-tone chain with the squared-off links (Item X2611MA6) looks like an interesting possibility for the right kind of watch. Good luck with your quest John!

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