How to Buy a Silver Plated Pocket Watch

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy a Silver Plated Pocket Watch

While pocket watches have over the last century been supplanted by wristwatches and mobile phones as the timepiece of choice, they still have a place in modern society. Pocket watches are used in a nostalgic sense, by those wanting to recapture a more dignified era, or simply by people who want a unique way to tell what time it is. Pocket watches can be quite expensive, but many buyers have discovered that rather than buy a pocket watch made from gold, or other precious metals, they can save money by buying a silver plated pocket watch.

Not only does a silver plated pocket watch have the appearance of being made from silver, but silver resists dents and scratches in a way that most other metals do not. Older silver plated pocket watches are available in antique shops, and new ones are found in jewellery shops, but both are available from online sellers via eBay. Regardless of where a pocket watch is purchased, there are a few things to keep in mind when buying one. First, a buyer should decide what kind pocket watch best fits their personal sense of style, then factor in the potential hazards in buying a used or antique watch. Doing so makes the buying process much easier and safer.

Choosing a Pocket Watch Style

Silver plating is a popular process for manufacturers of modern pocket watches, just as it was during the peak of the pocketwatch era. For this reason, there are many different silver plated pocket watches available within modern workings and stylings. So many options makes it easy for anyone to find the perfect watch for their needs.

Choose an Open or a Closed Face

Buyers of a pocket watch have an option that those who wear wristwatches usually do not have. Pocket watches come in one of two styles; open faced or closed. An open faced pocket watch does not have any material in between the crystal, the transparent cover over the watch face, and the air. This makes it easier for users to see what time it is without having to open the face. However, an open faced pocket watch is more prone to scratching, especially if it is placed in a pocket along with keys or other rough or hard objects.

A closed face watch, on the other hand, has a cover over the watch crystal, usually attached via hinge that opens with the press of a latch or button. This gives users the ability to protect the crystal when it is in a pocket. The cover often has unique and interesting designs on it as well. The only disadvantage to a close face watch, is that the cover can sometimes becomes tricky to open, and the hinges may become weak over time.

Choose a Chain

Pocket watches can of course be used with a chain but tradition, as well as practicality, dictates that chains are very useful for pocket watches. Chains are used to pull a watch from a deep pocket, purse, or backpack. At the same time, a chain is also attached to clothing or other items, in order to make it harder for the pocket watch to be lost or stolen. In some cases, a chain is not a chain per se, but it is a means of securing, or otherwise attaching, a pocket watch to another object or clothing.

Traditional Chain

A traditional chain for a pocket watch is usually not very long and was originally designed to allow the pocket watch to be attached to a button and then placed into a pocket where the chain could be used to remove the watch for easy viewing. These chains still exist and serve the same purpose, even as clothing styles have changed. Today it is more likely for a pocket watch to be placed in trouser pockets rather than a vest pocket, and the chain is attached to a belt loop. For a silver plated pocket watch, it is easy to find a traditional chain that is either made of silver, silver plated, or silver coloured to match.


In the past, pocket watches were usually worn by men, since women's fashions did not allow for many pockets. Today, however, many pocket watches are made with women in mind and a popular way to wear them is on a necklace. Wearing a pocket watch in such a way is more an expression of personal style than to tell the time, and for this reason, usually only an open faced watch would be worn with a necklace.

Keychain and Carabiner

Some who use a pocket watch prefer to simply clip the watch to a set of keys or to the inside of a handbag or backpack for easy access. The most popular means of doing this is to use a keychain clip of a carabiner. Carabiners are more casual, and are made of aluminium or stainless steel rather than silver. Keychain clips are a bit more casual, but there are some that are silver plated and thus a little more formal.

Battery Powered vs. Mechanical

Like wristwatches, pocket watches are either battery powered or mechanical. Battery powered watches usually use a watch battery and a quartz crystal to keep time, but batteries need to be replaced usually annually. Mechanical watches rely on springs and gears to keep accurate time, and need to be wound fairly regularly in order to keep working. Mechanical watches are quite complex and can run for many years, but when they need repairs, finding a qualified and affordable repair shop is difficult without the right knowledge.

Buying a Used or Antique Pocket Watch

The watchmakers of the past were extremely skilled in their art, and many antique watches are highly sought after. However, the ravages of time can damage a pocket watch, rendering it unable to function properly and therefore less valuable. Even modern watches can be damaged by water and from being dropped. Regardless of how old a watch is, there are a few things that a savvy buyer should be on the lookout for in order to make certain that a transaction is a good one.

Check For Visible Damage

When looking at a silver plated watch, it is fairly easy to see if there is any damage that a buyer should be concerned about. Since the silver is actually in a thin coating over a base metal like copper or steel, it should be easy to see if a scratch is deep enough that it goes through the silver. If there is rust on the outside, it is likely that the interior is rusted and therefore might not be working properly. It should be noted that silver plating is restored through electroplating and silver dipping in cases where the silver plating has been scratched, or rubbed off. This, like all repairs, is potentially a costly venture. Tarnish is not the same as rust, as silver tarnish is easily polished out with the use of the proper materials.

Learn the History of the Watch

When buying a silver plated pocket watch on eBay, or anywhere else, it is always helpful to learn as much as possible about the product history before committing to a purchase. Many antiques come with a history of the item that can detail what repairs it may has encountered over the years, as well as what parts are working. It is always helpful to communicate with a seller, even if it is an online transaction because they can provide more details about a pocket watch. Repairs are expensive and time consuming, and in some cases can cost more than the purchase price of a watch. Unless the watch has sentimental value, this is not a recommended course of action.

Buying a Silver Plated Pocket Watch on eBay

Silver plated pocket watches, like many kinds of watches and jewellery, are available on eBay. Many of these watches are new and in perfect working order. Others are used or antiques and should be examined carefully before making a purchase. The best way to find the perfect silver plated pocket watch is to enter the term, 'Silver Plated Pocket Watch' into the search bar on the eBay home page. This can provide you with a glimpse of every item that fits that description.

A search is narrowed or easily modified, by adding additional words to the search box in order to only focus on the results that are new or for specific kinds of watches. For example, particular antique models or those that have a specific type of chain, can be found by searching for those specific terms. All products sold on eBay should have a helpful product description. Sellers also might have a feedback profile that can make it easier to ensure a safe and mutually acceptable transaction.


A silver plated pocket watch is a classy and elegant way to express oneself without costing as much as a pocket watch made of gold or silver. A silver plating help the watch to resist scratches and dents, although tarnish is always a threat. When buying a silver plated pocket watch, buyers have a number of options as modern pocket watches, as well as antiques, are frequently silver plated. Choosing the right watch involves deciding between options for a watch face, as some are open and some are closed. Along with this, a buyer must choose whether or not a chain is required and if so, what kind of chain is the best fit.

 Finally, the biggest decision to make with any kind of watch, is to choose between a mechanical watch and one that requires batteries. When buying a used or antique watch, it is helpful to determine if the watch is in good working order, or if it requires any costly repairs. Understanding what makes a pocket watch a good fit for an individual, makes it easier to purchase one.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide