Besides telling time, watches have always been on top for fashion enthusiasts. It doesn't matter whether you are using a pocket watch or a wristwatch; it will always enhance the outfit's beauty.

Fob watch is another type of watch, but most of the time it’s not worn by any fashion-cared person. It is a suitable watch for nurses and doctors as they wear it on one side of the chest.

All these three watches have differences, and we'll cover everything about these three different types of watches in this article. Those who are confused about choosing the right type will get the solution here.

Pocket watch vs. Wristwatch vs. Fob watch

What is a pocket watch?

pocket watch image

As the name suggests, a person carries the watch in the pocket. It can be carried in a waistcoat pocket, or pant pocket, depending on the user’s preference. A pocket watch has some distinguishing features.

  • It is carried in the pocket.
  • The watches have a chain for carrying.
  • A T-bar hole, or belt loop, or bolt ring is available in the chains.

The watch dial is similar to the wrist watch dials, but they are not up to the mark in terms of functionalities. One common feature of pocket watch dials is having a chain loop. Moreover, it can come with a hinged case or without one.

Why Fob watch is used for

Fob watch

Don’t mix fob watches with pocket watches, although it’s another version of pocket watches. Fob watches are made especially for doctors and nurses. You need to know the distinguishing features of a fob watch before moving forward.

  • The watch has a one-sided strap.
  • The strap is either made of rubber or leather.
  • There is a safety pin clip on the end of the strap.
  • The strap is removable from the watch dial.

Fob watches are necessary for those who often need washing their hands or coming close to germs. Doctors and nurses are top on the list because they have to keep their wrists free all the time.

Even if they are not wearing the watch on the dominant hand, it still feels disturbing while washing hands or doing other jobs. It is better to attach the watch to the chest area and lift it to watch the time.

There are mainly two types of fob watches available depending on the dial type, which includes –

  • Watch with analog dial window
  • Watch with a digital dial window.

However, you will find two more types of watches in the market.

  • A fob watch with only a one-sided strap for hanging.
  • A fob watch with both one-sided and wristwatch straps.

The second type allows the user to wear it as a wristwatch when the working hours are over. The single-sided strap is easy to remove by sliding. And attach the two straps on two sides to transform it into a wristwatch.

What is a wristwatch?


Whether you want a watch for fashion purposes or for timekeeping that can meet modern needs, a wristwatch is an ideal choice. If you are not amongst, who need washing hands frequently, you should go for a wristwatch.

It’s a multi-purpose watch, which you won’t find either in pocket watches or fob watches. They don’t come with a specific job of time telling; rather complete the costume and enhances the smartness. Here are the distinguishing features of a wristwatch.

  • It has a leather, rubber, or stainless steel strap.
  • Operates through quartz or mechanical movement.
  • Features digital or analog display on the dial window.
  • Has chronograph with sub-dials.

Comparison between wrist, pocket, and fob watches

All watches are made for timekeeping, but there are so many differences in the watches that make one distinguishable from the other. Going through a comparison chart might make it clear.


Pocket watch

Fob watch

Worn around wrist

Kept inside pocket

Hanged on the chest area

Has digital and analog dials

Has only analog dial

Has digital and analog dials

Uses both sided straps or bracelets with a buckle

Uses chains with hook and loop

Uses a one-sided strap with a pin lock

Timekeeping with visible fashion

Traditional fashion more than accurate timekeeping

Specialized for doctors and nurses

Has sub-dials



No hinged cover

Has hinged cover


Types of pocket watches

Depending on the cover or hinged case, there are five different types of pocket watches available.

  • Normal dial window without cover.
  • Dial window with a front cover.
  • Front cover with a small window.
  • Dial window with front and back cover.
  • Small windows in both front and back cover.

The basic design of a pocket watch is having a dial with a chain loop, and that's all. It can either have a cover or not. However, having a cover or hinged case ensures safety to a great extent.

The hinged cover typically has a stainless steel construction. However, there is a drawback to these covers. The user needs to open up the cover every time to check out the time, which is obviously a disturbing thing when you are in a rush.

To solve the problem, the manufacturer has brought a new style on the hinged cover and added a small window. It allows the users to look at the time without lifting the cover.

For an upgraded version, you can go for a double-sided cover on the dial. Moreover, these double-sided covers can also come with two more small windows for convenient timekeeping.

However, depending on the watch movement and timekeeping mechanism, there are four types of pocket watches.

  • Key-wind watch with key-set movement.
  • Stem-wind watch with stem-set movement.
  • Stem-wind watch with lever-set movement.
  • Stem-wind watch with pin-set movement.

Key-wind watch movement is used in the most antique pocket watch pieces. A watch key was necessary to wind up the watch and set it up for telling the time.

How to wear a pocket watch

On occasions or traditional parties, pocket watches are still supposed a valuable addition to the costume. But you might be worried thinking about how to wear a pocket watch. Three different types of chains are used to wear pocket watches.

  • Chain with T-bar or Albert T-bar.
  • Chain with belt loop slides.
  • Chain with bolt ring pocket.

Without having one of these chains, you can’t wear a pocket watch properly. The choice of these chains depends on the type of costume you are wearing. T-bar chains are good for wearing a pocket watch in the waistcoat.

The T-style bar is attached at the end of the watch, and you need to feed it inside the buttonhole of the coat. It will stay there letting you keep the watch in one pocket of the waistcoat.

On the other hand, belt loop chains are ideal for wearing pocket watches in jeans. One needs to attach clip ends on the chain to on belt loop and carry the watch into the jeans pocket.

The last one is applicable for both types of costumes as it has a bolt ring designed. Now, you can wear a pocket watch with a waistcoat and without a waistcoat. Wearing it with a waistcoat brings a more traditional style, where wearing without it is for casual use.

With waistcoat

You can put the watch in the waistcoat pocket or the blazer pocket when you are wearing it with a waistcoat. Both T-bar chains and bolt ring chains are suitable for waistcoat wearing.

  • Choose the middle buttonhole on the waistcoat.
  • Feed the chain through the buttonhole.
  • Keep the fed chain end inside one pocket.
  • The watch will remain in the opposite pocket.
  • The T-bar can remain on the buttonhole or in the pocket.

However, there is something you need to know while keeping the watch inside a pocket. Always choose the opposite pocket of the dominant watch to keep the watch. It will ensure your hands remain free even while watching the time.  

While choosing the buttonhole, one must decide whether he wants to keep the watch on the top pocket of the waistcoat or not. Choose a higher buttonhole near the top pocket and a lower one for the pocket on the waist area.

Without waistcoat

Wearing a pocket watch without a waistcoat means carrying it inside a jeans pocket. The belt loop slide chains are ideal for this, and bolt ring chains can also go well for the same purpose.

  • Feed one end of the slide through the belt loop.
  • Clip and secure the attachment.
  • Keep the watch inside the pocket, and that's it.

You should also choose the opposite pocket of the dominant hand while carrying the watch in the jeans pocket.

Wearing a Fob watch

If you own a fob watch, you should know how to wear it. Users wear fob watches on the chest area and lift them to see the time. Before moving on to the wearing process, you need to know that there are two types of straps used in these watches.

  • Rubber
  • Leather.

The rubber strap is the most common type of hanging strap used in fob watches. On the other hand, leather straps are only part of a high-end fob watch. However, quality rubber straps can serve as long as a leather strap, and they are also water-resistant.

Now, follow the below steps to wear a fob watch successfully.

  • Choose left or right chest area.
  • Open the safety pin lock on the strap.
  • Feed the pin through the shirt or apron.
  • Secure the connection by pressing the locking mechanism.

It is better to hang the watch on the left side of the chest if you are a right-hander. And hang it on the right side if you are a left-hander.

Difference between a pocket watch and Fob watch

Both pocket watch and fob watches are not worn around the wrist. However, if the fob watch has extra straps for wrist wearing, it can serve in that way too.

Now, check out the below chart that shows the differences between pocket watches and fob watches.

Pocket watch

Fob watch

It comes with an analog dial

Offers both analog and digital dials

Carried inside a pocket

Hanged on a chest area

Wears through three different types of chains

Wears through two different types of straps

Supports both waistcoat and jeans wearing

It doesn't support jeans-wearing

Has hinged cover

It doesn't have any cover

Can’t be worn around the wrist

Can be worn around the wrist using the additional straps

An ideal choice for fashion purpose

Specially made for the doctors and nurses

Types of wristwatch

While talking about the wristwatch types, there are several sectors to categorize it. The first category contains digital and analog dial windows.

  • The time is shown in digits in the digital watch.
  • The Analog watch has a dial with Roman numerals or Arabic numbers or markers.

However, there are three more types of wrist watches, depending on the strap types.

  • Leather strap
  • Rubber strap
  • Stainless steel bracelet.

A leather strap provides the most traditional feel, and it mostly comes with analog dials. However, digital watches typically have rubber straps. These watches are highly water-resistant, and rubber straps will support in a better way than leather here.

Stainless steel bracelets are available in luxurious wristwatches. However, some affordable watch brands like Seiko also use these bracelets in some models.

Why wristwatch and pocket watch are different

If you know wristwatches are worn around the wrist, and pocket watches are kept inside the pocket, you should sense the difference between these two watch types. Look at the chart below that shows the difference between these watches.


Pocket watch

Wears around the wrist 

Keeps inside the pocket

Has both digital and analog dials

Has only analog dial

Operates through quartz movement

Doesn’t have quartz movement

Has leather, rubber & stainless steel straps

Uses T-bar, belt loop, bolt ring chains  

Doesn’t have any hinged cover

Have hinged cover

Offers visible fashion

Doesn’t offer visible fashion

Easy to see time

Need to take out of the pocket to see time

Final words

When you are confused about whether to wear a wristwatch or pocket watch at the party, you might have already taken a decision. Moreover, you have already known why fob watches are important.

  • Wristwatches provide accurate timekeeping than a pocket watch.
  • Pocket watches are good for a traditional look.
  • Nurses and doctors fancy using fob watches.
  • Pocket watches are the safest option for thieves.
  • Wristwatches are best for visible fashion.

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