How to Convert a Pocket Watch to a Wristwatch

An assortment of old antique pocket and wrist watches
Gail Shotlander/Getty Images
  • 01 of 03

    Is a Conversion Right for You?

    Tiffany & Co. Pocket Watch Converted to Wrist Watch
    Second Time Around Watch Company

    With many antique pocket watches languishing unused, could a conversion to a wrist model be the right move? Since both men and women are sporting larger wristwatches these days, so it’s certainly worth considering. You can probably tell by your reaction to seeing one, especially when it comes to high-end brands like Tiffany and Omega, whether or not you can live with the idea.

    If you look at these conversions and think being able to show off your great-grandfather’s open-faced pocket watch on a regular basis is ultra cool, then it might be something to consider. Just be sure to check the value of the pocket watch as is, and compare that to what the finished watch will be worth before having a skilled jeweler tackle the task. You might still decide to have them follow through with the project, but it’s better to make an informed decision.

    On the other hand, if you can’t stand the thought of modifying an antique from its original state, then this type of transformation probably isn’t for you. The higher the value and the more artistry that went into crafting the piece, the harder it is for a purist to buy into a conversion of this nature even though they probably won’t deny that they look fantastic when done properly.  

    On the fence? Consider the value of your watch as it is, how much a proper conversion will cost, and whether or not you’ll regret changing the piece when it comes time to pass it down in the family. If it means more to you to enjoy wearing the watch during your lifetime than to pass it on in its original state, go for it.

    About the Example Shown Above

    This 1921 vintage Tiffany & Co. pocket watch has been converted to a driver’s style wrist watch. The Art Deco case is 14 karats yellow gold with black enamel inlay and it has a unique silver dial with black Breguet Arabic numbers. It is offered for sale at $7,850 by Second Time Around Watch Company in Beverly Hills, California.

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  • 02 of 03

    Converted Howard Pocket Watch

    Howard Pocket Watch Converted to a Wrist Watch
    Second Time Around Watch Company

    Watches needn’t be karat gold to accomplish a pocket to wrist conversion. The model shown here is a 1930s vintage Howard pocket watch converted to a driver’s style wrist watch. The case, turned on an angle, is nickel silver with handsome Art Deco styling. The conversion was completed in a way to allow the originally engraved monogram on the back to be left intact, which may be important if you plan on passing a watch like this on to another family member later on. This watch is being offered for sale at $2,950 by Second Time Around Watch Company in Beverly Hills, California.

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Converted Omega Pocket Watch

    Omega Pocket Watch to Wrist Watch Conversion
    Second Time Around Watch Company

    Many pocket to wrist watch conversions requires the case to be angled to fit properly on the band (as with those shown in the two previous slides in this show). In this instance, the watch was modified so that it sits traditionally as you would expect to view a pocket watch. The 1911 vintage Omega sterling silver case with black 'California' style Roman Arabic dial contrasts sportingly with the tan leather band. The asking price of this timepiece is $2,200 by Second Time Around Watch Company in Beverly Hills, California.