Pocket watch chain types - how to choose the perfect Albert

Pocket watch chain types - the Silver2Love Guide to choosing a chain

Pocket watch chain types can be confusing to the new collector or pocket watch wearer, often called Alberts, (after Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria), are often the next purchase after buying a pocket watch. Nearly all pocket watch models come with a chain included in the box, however once you have worn you watch for a while you may wish to choose a chain that better suits your own personal taste. Wearing a pocket watch is a very personal business!

The chain supplied may not be exactly right for you, it may have come with a clip designed for attaching to either waistcoats or trouser belts. However you may wish to purchase one with a traditional T bar fastener.

pocket watch t bar

T Bar fasteners are the traditional way of attaching the chain to the button hole of a waistcoat, the chain simply passes through the button hole. The  T bar remains on the inside of the waistcoat, securing the watch chain.

Some people find the economical chain supplied with the watch to be of a lesser quality than they desire or that they wish to have a heavier weight of link.

So how to you choose the correct pocket watch chain type ? There are a few simple steps to be followed in order to find the perfect chain.

1.  You must first decide whether you wish to have a double chain or a single one.

A popular choice is a Double Albert; a double run of chain travels from the buttonhole to either waistcoat pocket.  This is not to hold two watches, rather the second chain secures a second object; traditionally a small key, smoker knife, or medal/seal of some kind.

Single Alberts have one chain and run from the buttonhole to the pocket.

Both versions often have another short run of chain, to which some wearers have attached a third object, again often a small fob medal - this is entirely optional.

2. The second decision is to choose, the size of the chain link. Generally we have a medium and a large link size.  Our Woodford pocket watches are around 5cm across and sit perfectly well alongside a chain with either medium or large sized links. Chain size is really a matter of personal preference; how heavy you would like the chain to look.

pocket watch chain

If your pocket watch is over 5cm in diameter, then we recommend a chain with large links.

Historically the chain was a demonstration of wealth, to have a solid gold or sterling silver Albert with large links was a show of your status.


3.  Your last choice and decision relates to the material used to make the chain.  It needs to match your watch of course, but there are options.  Gold Alberts can either be Gold Plate, Rolled Gold or 8 Carat Gold.

Gold Plate is a made from a strong base metal, sometimes copper or brass, then electroplated to a heavy depth with gold.

Rolled Gold chains are constructed from sheets of gold rolled in to a tube, then formed into links. Gold is the only metal used.

8 Carat gold is of course solid gold, 8 Carat is used due to its strength over higher Carat gold.

The choice is usually based on your budget.  We supply Solid 8 Carat Alberts to order with a lead-time of about a week. Drop us an E-mail for the latest design and prices.

Silver Alberts are available in either Electro-plated silver, or Sterling Silver (925). Again the ‘look’ is essentially the same, the choice is usually made on budget and preference.

All of our pocket watch Alberts are supplied in a red presentation case.

There is one other choice the wearer may wish to consider and that is the modern ‘snake link’ chain.  This is a sleek modern chain, which gives a wonderful contemporary look to wearing the watch. It is available in either polished stainless steel or gold plate.

Should you ever need any advice on choosing the pocket watch chain type for your pocket watch you can always drop an e-mail to us

All of our products come with a 100% satisfaction guaranteed. If you change your mind or wish to swap it for another model, then that is no problem at all, we are here to help. To view our range of Pocket watch chain types click here.