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Inexpensive watch chain?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by John in Covina, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. I have my old pocket watch but don't have a chain for it. My budget is not going to allow me to get a gold chain. Is there something that might not look bad but fit the bill that you can think of? i might try to make a leather braided section but have no clue how to braid anything.
  2. Gin&Tonics

    Gin&Tonics Practically Family

    www.pocketwatchcentral.com has a wide variety of watch chains of various types at various price points. Might be a good stepping off point for you.

    Haven't yet had occasion to buy from them.
  3. Hmm, I am actually thinking of something along the lines of a key fob.
  4. I suggest buying a watch-chain made of brass. They're strong and sturdy, and if you polish it up and keep it clean, it'll look close enough to gold, at a casual glance, that nobody will be able to tell the difference.

    Also, they cost a pittance.

    Or, you could buy a gold-filled watch-chain. They're gold, but without the heavy price.
  5. That is a good idea. eBay has plenty of affordable versions.
  6. I would only suggest a watch-fob (like a leather strap or something), if you're wearing your watch in your trousers pocket, where there's not much chance of it falling out.

    If you're wearing your watch in your waistcoat or jacket pocket, then a chain is best. Or you could get one of those old leather watch-straps for your coat-lapel and breast pocket.
  7. You don't need to buy a watch chain, per se. You can buy any chain, and then buy the clasp separately, and then attach it to he end of the chain. That allows you lots more leeway in selecting a chain.
  8. Braiding your own would be a great way to personalize the watch.
    Braiding isn't too hard to learn. You can find patterns/techniques online.
  9. Thanks for all the info. I see there is a Tandy leather store in Baldwin Park someplace.
  10. Fifty150

    Fifty150 A-List Customer

    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.
  11. 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.

  12. My budget will not allow spending much at all and my sense of perceved value often curtails many non-essentials.
  13. dnjan

    dnjan One Too Many

    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.
  14. Anthony Jordan

    Anthony Jordan Practically Family

    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.
  15. 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.
  16. I will try to visit Tandy in the next few days.
  17. Anthony Jordan

    Anthony Jordan Practically Family

    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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