Just about everyone has a favorite pair of blue jeans. What wardrobe would be complete without a great pair of jeans? Most of us rarely notice that “extra pocket” on the right side of our jeans. Since it has always been there, we don’t give it a second thought. How many of us really know what it was designed for??

The fifth pocket was introduced in the 1800s as a protective sleeve for a cowboy’s pocket watch. Although the pocket is rarely used for watches today, standard jeans are still being produced in a way that can hold a size 16 pocket watch.

Over the past couple of years, it has become an increasingly popular spot to store technology devices such as phones. It is also used to hold coins, lighters or a pack of gum.

What is a Vest Pocket?

A watch pocket is a pocket sewn into a garment, typically a vest, intended for use as a carrier for a watch. Pocket watches were made to fit into a person’s pocket and are attached to a length of chain that can then be fastened to a waistcoat or belt loop. Such watches were especially popular among men wearing three-piece suits that consisted of pants, a coat and a vest. The suit’s vest would typically have a small pocket on one or both sides at about the midsection that was intended to be a watch pocket.

What is a Watch Fob?

A fob is a short strap attached to a pocket watch to make it easier to handle. Today, small devices attached to keys are sometimes called fobs.

Before World War I, watches were carried in pockets. They were attached to short straps that could be leather, ribbon, or metal chain. The strap made it easier to remove the watch from the pocket and handle it securely.

Men usually carried their watch in a small pocket on the waistcoat, called a fob pocket. Around 1775, waistcoats had several pockets. The fobs hanging from each pocket became quite elaborate, and small personal seals were often attached to the free end.

Pocket watch chain

As chain-style fobs began to be made of jewelry quality metal such as gold, silver or even platinum, they began to be called watch chains or fob chains. During the Victorian period, fob chains of human hair were quite popular. Many Victorian wives were happy to braid a lock of their own hair into a fob for their husband’s prized watch.

Railroad conductor with a pocket watch and vest chain

Mark Sirianni
25 Fraley St.
Kane, PA. 16735
[email protected]
1-814-558-4818 Cell

Charley photo of the week: Charley has two modes: Waiting for French fries and making snow angels.