Early Edition - 20 November 2017
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What is on the end of that chain?
What is on the end of that chain?
Ladies have many ways to accessorise, with men having distinctly fewer options. One of the most popular options is the pocket watch.

Worn since the 1700s by the wealthy, the pocket wacth was in common use by the end of the 19th century. Pocket watches were the primary form of personal time keeping until the wristwatch was developed just prior to the first World War. Sales in wristwatches gradually increased until they finally overtook the pocket variety in 1933.

These days the time is available everywhere so these items are now a pure indulgence, and why not? A watch chain completes any waistcoat look and combined with a suitable hat can transform even the newest clothes into a vintage style.
If you only need a one-off item, you can get very cheap working pocket watches with chains from eBay. If you are buying cheap but would like it to last for a while, I would recommend battery over wind-up.

The ones we found on eBay worked out about 12-16 (with delivery) which is roughly what you will pay for one at a mall stall or trinket outlet.
This is my favourite of the ebay selection.
The front glass opens up to be a magnifying glass.
Quality modern units come in around 40 as a start point. If you want one for common usage, get a wind up as it has the additional charm of needing you to tend to it. The modern piece I have ended up with is a beautiful Rotary (left and right), but alas it is nearly impossible to read at night.
I favour the non-hunter style (without a hinged cover) as even if you can pull it out of your pocket and press the open button to pop the cover, there is always the possibility you'll have it the wrong way up. I have tried them and found it to be too much of a faff to be usable.
The chain (left) as with the pictures above, is a single 'Albert' chain. The single chain can be worn in most combinations including with a waistcoat, or in a trouser pocket with the hook through a belt loop. Another option is to wear it attached to a lapel button hole and stowed in the top pocket, this does effectively remove the option of a flower or pocket square though.
You have to be careful of old pocket watches
You can pick up a silver working pocket watch for about 50 although the more serviceable ones may set you back 120 or more. If you get one, ask about its last service, and be prepared for up to 100 to have one serviced somewhere in its future. Several I have purchased worked for about a week and then jammed up. Dropping them is also an issue I have learned! We are all used to indestructible pens, phones, glasses etc. - an antique pocket watch is not one of those things.
If you're a waistcoat fan then you will probably want to go for a double Albert chain which commonly have some form of fob at the midpoint. A nicely graduated silver chain may set you back 70 on a good day, look for a nickel one if this is getting a little pricey.
Then your choice is what to put on the other end?
I have a propelling pencil. I have also purchased a tiny fountain pen, but I fear on its side in a pocket is asking for trouble...