The Watch Fob

by Richard Paige
 
 

The Jewelers dictionary defines a Fob as a short chain, ribbon or other similar thing, fastened to a watch to aid in withdrawing it from a pocket in clothing.

I don't think this definition does justice to the world of Fob collecting. If I was to define Fob, I would say that it's part of the ritual of using a pocket watch. It's an object which may or may not have, personal meaning to the wearer, and that this object is attached on a watch chain to either anchor the chain into the second pocket of the vest, or to hang off the watch chain as a decorative piece of jewelry.

But how do you identify a fob? It can be something as simple as a thimble or a spool of thread, or a key, or as elaborate as an intricate hand made miniature automobile of precious stones set in gold or platinum. In all honesty, just about anything can be a fob. It's only parameters is that it's not too large for the watch chain or the pocket. It's only function is to add weight or decoration to a watch chain or watch ribbon. I've seen fob chains in gold, platinum, sterling, gold-filled, Boar's hair, leather, string, and even weaved out of human hair. In fact this was very popular in the Victorian times, a wife would use her own hair to make that special chain for her husbands cherished watch.




I'm an avid collector of antique and vintage fobs. The focus of my collecting has been turn of the century fobs.The below pictorial shows some interesting examples of fobs.




Above: Sterling Silver, Key wind ,Pocket watch, circa 1875, with watch chain made of pink gold and platinum, with Victorian Fob, English made, sterling silver and rose gold.


 
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Above: Victorian Cigar Cutter of base metal and steel. 55 mm long.


Victorian presentation medal. Silver and yellow gold. Circa 1907. Hand carved. Made in England.

29 mm x 42 mm.

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Victorian rose gold Masonic's fob.

33 mm.

Turn of the Century Sterling Silver. Made in England.

25 mm x 38 mm.

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Rose gold Victorian. Made in England.

28 mm.

Enamel pen Knife. 42 mm x 7 mm
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Very rare Pink Gold and Platinum Fob. Circa 1915. The Platinum face has genuine sapphire for eyes. The Pink Gold face has genuine diamonds for eyes.

13 mm.

One side is Comedy, the other Tragedy.


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