Historical information

Fob (or pocket) watches were developed in Europe in the 16th century and gained wide usage during the mid 18th century until World War 1 when the wristwatch was invented. These watches were designed to be carried in a small pocket and attached through the means of a 'fob' which could be a chain or made from a variety of materials such as leather. Their popularity peaked in the nineteenth century where they were an important part of middle and lower class society as well.


This item is of social significance as fob / pocket watches were valued as an essential object in all levels of society. For some occupations, such as the railroads, it was a necessary tool of the job.

Physical description

Steel York Lever open face pocket / fob watch dated between 1940-1960. The dial has an inner pewter circle, outer minute divisions and a circular insert and hand to show the seconds. The numbers are finely edged with a black line and the hands are two coloured. The back of the watch is patterned with fine lines and three rectangle shapes. The words 'ANTIMAGNETIC' are on the front of the watch. Anti-magnetic watches began to be made at the beginning of the 20th century as mechanical watches were affected by magnetic fields. The 'lever' set on watches was a requirement for railroad watches. It required a two step process for the hands to be adjusted.

Inscriptions & markings

The front dial of the watch has the words 'YORK LEVER', 'ANTIMAGNETIC' and 'MADE IN GERMANY'.