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Did you know that pocket watches were already in use more than three centuries before the world saw the first-ever wristwatch? Let me repeat – 3 centuries.
The debut pocket watch model was released as early as 1510. That year, a German watchmaker named Peter Henlein utilized the recent advancements in mainsprings to produce the debut timekeeper.
Pocket watches were all the rage until the release of the first official wristwatch by a popular-to-this-day Swiss watchmaker, Patek Philippe, in 1968. The debut model was created for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. The release sparked the foundation of many watch brands, plenty of which still exist and do brilliantly to this day. It was also the beginning of the end of the popularity of pocket watches.
Believe it or not, though, the demand for pocket timepieces has been on the constant rise for the past 5-10 years. It’s not unusual for folks to crave something that’s not so readily available anymore, is it?
Naturally, their popularity isn’t anywhere near the level of regular wristwatches – which is the main reason why many of the best watchmakers tend to give them a miss.
Nevertheless, there are some excellent brands that focus solely on pocket watches. One of such is an American-based watchmaker, Gotham Watch. In this article, I will focus strongly on the Gotham pocket watch review to prove that pocket watches can still be an excellent, yet affordable, accessories in 2021.
Introduction to Gotham Pocket Watches
For obvious reasons stated above, there are not many who are familiar with the brand.
Nevertheless, it’s hardly a freshman when it comes to the watchmaking industry as the Gotham Watch Company has been around since 2011. It was started by a New York-based watchmaker, Dave Robbins, who until that year was mainly selling wholesale watches to large chain stores in the US, as well as dealing on Amazon.
Since the introduction of his own brand, Mr. Robbins has enjoyed major success with his pocket watches, scoring over 2000 positive feedback ratings and selling thousands of models more to vintage-craving customers.
Even though all Gotham pocket watch models are available at low price margins, they’re made from high-quality materials and use accurate movements. Depending on your taste, you can select either quartz or mechanical watch.
Design-wise, you can pick from either a standard-looking analog watch (most often a quartz model) or go for a mechanical pocket watch that’s often equipped with a beautiful skeletonized dial.
Crucially, the brand offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty on all Gotham pocket watches sold on Amazon or the company’s official website. Unlike many other watchmakers, Gotham doesn’t limit the guarantee to movement defects alone but also accepts issues related to any other part of the watch.
Apart from pocket timepieces, the brand also offers pendant watches and dual timezone timepieces.
Thanks to the brand, the rich history of pocket watches lives to this day.
3 Best Gotham Pocket Watches Reviewed
At the time of writing, there are 51 quartz and 62 mechanical models offered by Gotham.
To make the decision of picking just one (or a few!) easier, I have narrowed the list by selecting the three best models currently on offer. The first model is a mechanical watch, the second is powered by a quartz movement, and the third, also battery-powered, was picked for those that don’t want to spend more than $50 but still get a reliable pocket timepiece.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at all three below.
If you’re a mechanical watch aficionado, there’s no model worthy of your attention more than Gotham GWC18800S.
The pocket watch boasts a vintage, silver-tone look. The case of this watch measures 54mm in diameter and is made from highly durable brass material. Protecting the watch face from cracks and scratches is a highly durable mineral crystal glass. The same type of glass is used at the back of the watch.
If you’re a fan of skeleton watches (timepieces with see-through dials), you will love this one. Apart from the transparent front side, the model also has a skeleton caseback, allowing you to marvel at the intricate workings of the mechanical movement from all angles. The predominantly white dial features two dark blue, arrow-shaped hands pointing to Roman numerals. At 12 o’clock there’s a Gotham logo.
The watch is powered by a 17-jewel mechanical movement that is unlikely to lose more than one minute daily.
Additionally, Gotham GWC18800S comes with a 14-inch steel curb chain which you can attach to your belt loop.
Unfortunately, none of the Gotham mechanical pocket watches are water-resistant. If that’s an attribute you consider mandatory, continue reading to get familiar with the best quartz model.
Do you value precision above the more complex and unique-looking mechanical movements? You might have won a watch (pun intended) with this battery-powered Gotham model.
Although like any other pocket watch it’s still a retro-themed timepiece, it definitely has a more modern feel to it than the mechanical model discussed above.
Since quartz movements usually don’t require as much space as mechanical counterparts, it’s only natural that this Gotham pocket watch comes with a smaller case. In contrast to the previous model, it’s made from stainless steel and measures 49mm. It’s also gold-plated. The dial window is again made from mineral crystal glass.
The watch features a military-style black ceramic dial with 12/24 time-telling. The white Arab numerals blend neatly with the black background and gold-tone hour hands which are luminescent. Since the Gotham Sport line is all about precision and results, there’s also a third hand measuring seconds. Additionally, at three o’clock you will find a date window.
The watch also includes a deluxe curb chain.
Gotham GWC14109GB is run on precise Japanese quartz movement, delivering an accuracy of around +/- 30 seconds/month. Furthermore, the model is water-resistant up to 30m.
There’s no Gotham pocket watch we could classify as “expensive”. Nevertheless, if the two models above are asking too much of your current budget, Gotham GWC15044BBK provides further food for thought.
Similar to the last model we discussed, this one is also battery-powered (quartz). Precision-wise, it’s also on par with the Gotham Sport watch. It belongs to the Railway Classic collection, paying homage to old-school timekeepers that were used by locomotive drivers at the beginning of the 19th century.
The watch features the smallest case from all three models, measuring 47mm in diameter and 14mm in thickness. Because of the bargain-basement price, instead of the mineral crystal glass used in both models above, this one comes with an acrylic window. Durability-wise, it’s not as good as the mineral type but if you use the watch carefully, you shouldn’t worry too much about it.
Again, the analog dial features a military time function. It’s equipped with three hands, two in white color for hours and minutes, as well as the red one for seconds. The Arab numerals are also white. Unlike the previous quartz model, it doesn’t have any luminescent elements.
Unfortunately, the budget model doesn’t come with any water-resistance capabilities. What it does include, though, is a 14-inch watch chain with a belt clip attachment.