Pocket watches are mainly a thing of the past as most people today wear smartwatches or other convenient wristwatches. However, pocket watches do make a statement and you could wear them for fun. Watch parts of pocket watches are collectibles in their own right. Watch fobs belong among the most beautiful parts available and can serve as beautiful collectibles, investments or decorative accessories.Basics of Watch Fobs
Watch fobs could have either one of the two functions when it comes to pocket watches. They could be purely decorative or useful accessories that allow you to wind or seal a watch. Typically, the fobs hang from the watch chain. Originally, when they hit the market back in 1770's, both men and women wore them attached to the belt or at the waist. In the 19th century, mostly men wore them. However, once pocket watches were no longer fashionable, many ladies started wearing the fobs on necklaces or charm bracelets.Watch Fob Materials
Metal alloys are common materials for watch fobs as these materials are widely available and easy to process. Steel is another widespread material, which could work well as steampunk fobs. More precious watch fobs are from gold or sterling silver. Gold comes in several finish variations, so you can come across with rose gold, yellow gold or white gold, for instance.Precious Metal Authenticity
Should you select a watch fob from gold, silver or maybe even platinum, you obviously want to make sure it is authentic and not just gold or silver plating. This is especially important, if you want the fob to serve as an investment. Precious metals should have official markings indicating their proof. Anything less than 10 K is fake gold to most people, so real gold fobs should have an engraving stating that the gold is 10 K, 14 K, 18 K, 22 K or 24 K. Noticeable discolouration can indicate that the gold is not real. Sterling silver should have the marking 925, while pure silver should have 999 somewhere on it, referring to the silver percentage in the fob.Condition
Watch fobs that have been parts of real pocket watches may be quite old as most of such watches are antique as well. If kept well, even antique watch fobs look good and can serve as family heirlooms in the future. Always check the condition of old watch parts before purchasing any and learn how to take care of precious metals and other materials to maintain their pristine condition.