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?

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You might get lucky and find a leather compass case that would work.
There are leather pouch/sheaths that can found (on occasion). May be easier to commission one from a leatherworker than to track it down though.

That is odd. I have only had a glass crack once, when I was knocked into a lightpost.

I normally wear my pocketwatches in my front pocket, with the glass facing in (against my thigh). I don't know if that's actually better or not, but have been crack free for years.
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...
I made such a pouch out of 8oz leather for mine. I added a belt loop to the back that allows it to be worn snuggly on my belt.
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.
Hey Nathan, glad I could help.

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?
Here's a picture, you can clearly see the cracks in the glass.
Actually, a movado of this era may have an incabloc style device in it for some shock protection. But good tips to keep in mind, for sure.

Many of my nicer trousers have a smallish inner pocket divider in the right front pocket - which holds my watches steady nicely. That may be something your wife can devise for you fairly easily.
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.
Unfortunately it was in one of those pockets when it got damaged, hence my search for more substantial protection for it.


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