Although pocket watches are essentially a single design, there are a few different aesthetic elements that greatly affect the way the pocket watch is used and displayed. These elements can determine the value and age of the watch, as well as being ultimately more or less attractive to each owner.
Collectors tend to stick with one particular design over all others, or one well-known brand that specialised in a certain design. Pocket watches are often classified by the type of face display they are endowed with - there are five main types: open-face, full hunter, half hunter, double hunter and the double half hunter.
Watch Dial With Chain Loop Attachment
The open face pocket watch is one of the oldest design of watch. The style can also be known as the railroaders watch. This is because in the 1880's all railway workers were required to carry a pocket watch of a certain standard to ensure timings were met across the railway networks. These watches would have typically been open face as other types of cases were not yet introduced.
Protective Hinged Cover Over Dial
The full hunter pocket watch features a cover on a hinge opened with a small button in the crown. The porcelain front of early open face pocket watches was easy to break and so the full hunter was created to make the watch more durable. As the design became more popular, manufacturers would create full hunter watches with intricate engravings on the front case. This would make the watch more appealing to people with an eye for detail.
Protective Hinged Cover With Window
The half hunter is a variation on the full hunter. It has a similar feel with a dial protected by a hinged case, however the case has a window in the middle, allowing the user to read the time without having to open the case. The half hunter often has numerals on the case around the window to make it even easier to read the time.
Front And Back Opening Cover
The Double Hunter is typically a larger pocket watch, usually containing a mechanical movement. The watch will have a skeleton dial enabling the user to see the workings around the watch hands. Once the back cover is opened the movement is also visible through a large viewing window, although this can sometimes feature a heartbeat window instead. The double hunter has grown a more popular pocket watch style with its larger dials and visible skeleton movements. The double hunter can also be opened on both sides allowing it to stand as a desk clock.
Front And Back Cover With Window
The Double Half Hunter has all the luxurious features of the double hunter with the added bonus of a viewing window on the front. Much like the half hunter, this allows the user to read the time easily without opening the watch. A double hunter may also have a viewing window or heartbeat window on the back case, giving the watch a more elegant design.