Personalised Pocket Watches
FINE ENGRAVED POCKET WATCHES
ENGRAVERS GUILD OF LONDON
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Classic Personalised Chrome Calendar Pocket Watch
Classic Personalised Gold Calendar Pocket Watch
17 Jewel Skeleton Pocket Watch
Silver Plated Half Hunter Mechanical Pocket Watch
Gold Plated Half Hunter Mechanical Pocket Watch
Silver Plated Double Hunter Skeleton Pocket Watch
Gold Plated Double Hunter Skeleton Pocket Watch
Beautifully finished personalised pocket watches
At Engravers Guild of London, we pride ourselves on offering the best quality engraving in the industry.
All of our personalised pocket watches are finished with diamond-tipped machine engraving cutters. Unlike many other engravers, we cut the full letter in the metal, as opposed to just the outline, ensuring an impression that will keep its clarity indefinitely.
It’s the little details that make the difference with a gift from Engravers Guild of London.
As well as being beautifully presented in signature packaging, each personalised pocket watch is delivered with a custom gift card and either woven silk lining or custom tissue paper.
Every aspect of the gift experience is designed to create a lasting moment that is special for years to come.
Guide To Personalised Pocket Watch Types
Hunter Personalised Pocket Watch
A hunter personalised pocket watch is the most common type of model. More robust than an open-faced pocket watch, the hunter timepiece is characterised by a metal casing with spring-hinged covers to protect the movement, crystal and dial inside.
The design was developed in Britain for gentlemen to carry while hunting foxes on horseback. The rigour of a hunt imposed substantial wear and tear on the timepieces and so the metal casing was introduced to protect against the glass breaking and debris scratching the surface. Often made with the lid hinges at the 9 o’ clock position, this was to be convenient for riders to open the watch with one hand while still holding the reins with the other.
A double hunter personalised pocket watch is where the cover can be opened on the front and the back.
Half-Hunter Engraved Pocket Watch
Later designs to the hunter pocket watch incorporated a small round hole or glass panel in the cover of the case so that the hour and second hand could be visible without needing to open the cover. Often embellishing these cases with marking for the positions of the hours (as they would be on a dial), these personalised pocket watches offered a compromise between accessibility and durability. This style became known as the half-hunter.
While this model of timepiece is most frequently referred to as a hunter personalised pocket watch, they can also be called a “savonnette”, which originate from the French word “savon” (soap) because of its similarity in shape to a circular bar of soap.
Open Face Pocket Watch
An open face engraved pocket watch is where there is no protective casing on either the front or back of the timepiece, thereby exposing the dial and movement. This style of pocket watch was prevalent during the early Victorian period when it started to become more common for gentleman to carry about their person a devise by which they could follow the time. Typically, the chain hangs from a pendant fastening at the 12 o’ clock position.
Often being more delicate than hunter pocket watches, open faced timepieces were designed to be showcased as sartorial accessories which incorporated intricate and elaborate details.
A History of the Engraved Pocket Watch
One of the first recorded mentions of a personalised pocket watch was in 1462 in renaissance Italy. A letter from a clock maker to an aristocrat includes reference to a “pocket clock” that will be “better than the one belonging to the Duke of Modena”.
In the latter past of the 15th century, technology had developed to the extent that horological instruments did not need to be powered by a series of falling weights. New mechanics instead relied on spring devices which could be made small enough to wear about the person. Although large by today’s standards, these were considered neat and portable and often resembled an egg shape when the protective casing had been added to the engraved pocket watch case.
The 16th century heralded a new age where timepieces were able to be worn about the person for the fist time in history. Resembling more of a small clock than a watch as we know them today, these “clock-watches” were usually fastened to clothing or hung around the neck on a chain.
Their designed featured on a heavy drum shaped brass cylinder which was about a dozen centimetres in diameter, around which a single hour hand would turn. The movement, meanwhile, was fashioned out of iron or steel and held together by a series of metal wedges which also supported a number of striking mechanisms.
While these were often simply embellished at the beginning of the century, designs became increasingly elaborate and were the early forebears of today’s personalised pocket watch. Engravings and piercings were made on the protective cases (the dials were not covered by glass), and later there was a trend for unusually shaped timepieces such as animals, household items and even “death skulls”.
Charles II of England is credited with the emergence of the new style to wear timepieces in pockets as opposed to on chains hanging from the neck (though ladies continued to wear pendant watches till well into the 20th century). In 1675, the English king started to sport waistcoats, and timepieces were developed to fit in the pocket of the wearer.
This meant engraved pocket watch designs had to be more streamlined so as to be more easily concealed, and glass was introduced over the dial to help protect the time – hence becoming the pocket watch as we know them today.
The 18th century saw the proliferation of pocket watches to the masses. So expensive were personalised pocket watches before this time that adverts regularly ran in British newspapers offering rewards of up to five guineas for information pertaining to the recovery of a stolen timepiece – that is approximately £1,250 in today’s money. However, in the latter part of the 1700s, engraved pocket watches became more attainable and cheap watches (albeit still handmade) were being sold to sailors with colourful nautical illustrations.
The most significant development in the century, though, was the introduction of the cylinder escapement movement. This superseded the verge escapement which did not house any jewels at the point of contact within the movement and so resulted in considerable friction – which often resulted in the best timepieces gaining or losing an hour every day. The cylinder escapement, however, was incorporated by the British pocket watch maker George Graham and kept much more accurate time.
The 1800s were perhaps the Golden Age of the personalised pocket watch. New technology in the form of the lever escapement enabled the timepieces to keep accuracy within one minute per day. This became almost universal in pocket watches from 1820 and continues to be the most common form of mechanical movement to this day. The advent of steam trains also required smarter timekeeping so as to mange national timetables.
The 19th century also saw the dawn of mass production in the new American watch industry. The improvement of manufacturing process in Europe were adopted by the American Watch Company so that they could produce 50,000 dependable timepieces per annum. This achievement drove the Swiss manufacturers out of mass produced timepieces and pushed them into more precision and high-value pocket watches instead.
The 20th century witnessed the demise of the pocket watch as a common accessory. In World War I a new style was introduced for soldiers fighting on the front line known as “trench watches”. These were designed to be less cumbersome than the traditional personalised pocket watch which were liable to be caught up on other things.
After the Great War, watches on straps and fixed to the wrist became almost instantly ubiquitous. While enjoying somewhat of a small renaissance in the 1970s when pocket watches were often accessorised with three-piece suits, the engraved pocket watch became a largely commemorative item for special occasions by the end of the century.
Engraved Pocket Watches
Engravers Guild of London is pleased to present this custom selection of gold, silver and rose gold coloured pocket watches, to be personalised with custom inscription. An appropriate gift to mark a special moment, the engraved timepieces are fitted with a range of movements including Quartz, mechanical, Japanese and Swiss, ensuring precise accuracy and reliability. These are housed in engineered metal casings and each fob watch is supplied with a chain for attaching on to the lining of jackets and waistcoats.
The Engraving Process
We use only the finest diamond-tipped machine cutters for engraving. Up to four lines of 18 characters each can be engraved, with the message being previewed before purchase using our proprietary Online Engraving Tool. To ensure only the very best quality engraving, we infill the full letter on custom messages so that the clarity and lustre of the engraving will last a lifetime and make an impression when opened. Our engravers are some of the most experienced in the industry and have the strictest quality checks so that your gift hits exactly the right note.
Personalised Pocket Watch Selection
Our pocket watch selection offers a range of models to suit any budget and occasion. The most popular model, the Classic Personalised Engraved Pocket Watch, boasts a simple design and clean lines; meanwhile, for more statement pieces, the Mechanical and Stop Watch Style Pocket Watches are guaranteed to always make an impact. Meanwhile, the Ravel pocket watches offer more design options with features such as a moonphase dial, a calendar window and a skeleton case with mechanical movement. Beyond the Ravel models sit both the premium Woodford and Mount Royal collections which impress which their beautiful craftsmanship and excellent finish.
Engravers Guild of London was founded to create to best gifting experiences and each personalised pocket watch is delivered in beautiful packaging. Our value range of Alpine and Ravel pocket watches are presented in a luxury Engravers Guild black gift box with a white ribbon tie, while the Mount Royal and Woodford watches come in bespoke leatherette boxes with flock foam interiors. And, as with all purchases from Engravers Guild, each gift arrives in a branded black and white transit box complete with a personal message in the gift card.