I have a very nice antique pocket watch that I'm fond of (it was an anniversary gift, so it has sentimental value in addition to being a cool watch). It is open-faced, that is, it lacks the hinged lid that many pocket watches have to protect the face of the watch. I was wearing it at a wedding recently, and the glass got cracked somehow. I can't figure out what happened--no memorable bumps, falls, etc...and no strenuous activities--which frustrates me somewhat, as I cannot figure out what I did wrong or differently than other times I had worn it. Fortunately, the mechanics are unharmed and it still kept perfect time, but I have had to stop using it until I can get it repaired.
I would like to protect the watch better when I start using it again. I think that a sort of sheath that could discreetly fit inside a pocket (whether vest or trouser) would work well, but I haven't seen anything like that in a brief online search (I'm picturing something like an exterior of stiff leather with a soft lining). Does anyone know of something like that, or will I have to make it myself?
I wear a pocket-watch every day (literally. I hate wristwatches). Here's a few tips...
1. Always have a dedicated pocket for it. Your waistcoat watch-pocket, your breast-pocket of your jacket, your trousers watch-pocket. Somewhere smallish and snug where it can sit in comfort and not be knocked around. DO NOT put your watch into one of those big, floppy, open pockets on your trousers or inside your jacket - all that extra space will make it roll and flop around like a ping-pong ball inside a wind-tunnel.
2. NEVER put ANYTHING else into your watch-pocket other than your watch. No keys, coins, cards, rings...anything.
3. If you are worried about the crystal (that's the glass thing over the watch-dial) getting scratched - get a clean handkerchief and unfold it ONCE. Refold it over the watch and put it in your pocket. The padding of the clean, folded hanky will protect it from any scratches and dings.
4. ALWAYS put your watch back into your pocket with the crystal TOWARDS your body, and the caseback towards the front of your pocket. This protects the crystal from any bumps or bonking around that might happen if something (say, a swinging door) hits you in the abdomen, against your waistcoat.
Advice given from a daily pocket-watch wearer with three antique watches, I hope this helps...
Thanks to everyone who responded. When I get the watch fixed I'll look into making or having made a suitable pouch (I've done a little work in leather, and my wife sews, but I might be better off having a real craftsman make it). The handkerchief suggestion is also one I will bear in mind.
Just remember: No matter what solution you choose, keep in mind that pocket watches of this vintage do NOT have shock-protection. So if you do decide to make a protective pouch for it, make sure that the pouch isn't somewhere where it can be knocked and banged around. If you're making the pouch to be strapped to your belt, make sure that the belt-loops on the pouch are nice and snug so that the pouch doesn't hang and dangle and jerk around.
Best of luck, and perhaps show us a few photos of your watch?
Liam, you stole my thunder! Many trousers have these inner pockets for just such things as pocket watches. If you are a jeans kind of guy, most *real* jeans have a small fifth pocket for - you guessed it - a pocket watch. My young sister-in-law was kind of dumbfounded when I showed her what it was there for. Kids there days...
Nathanael, that is a fine timepiece, take good care of it.
"I think my coworkers are probably getting grossed out by me walking around barefoot all day. It grosses me out to walk on the company carpet barefoot. But I have the ice pack tied around the ankle and can't put socks or shoes on over it."