Many watch collectors (and readers of this site) have undoubtedly run across the segment of watches known as trench watches. In short, it’s a pocket watch (or pocket-watch style case) that has had lugs added to it (often of the wire sort) so that a strap can be added to wear the watch on the wrist.
Of course, if you’re searching the ‘bay for these sorts of watches, there’s no telling what you might end up with. It could be the real deal that has seen some time in the trenches, or it might be some frankenmonster that the seller has slapped together, billing it as the “real” deal.
On the other hand, the DoughBoy Watch Co looks to occupy a sort of middle ground. While these aren’t necessarily watches that sat on the wrist of a GI, they follow the same formula. An older pocketwatch (averaging around 80 years old) is sourced, cleaned up and brought to working order, modified, and then made available to purchase.
For me, it’s an interesting proposition. First off, you’ve got an older watch (and movement, particularly) that may otherwise never see the light of day (or get sent to the dump) having new life breathed into it. Sure, an older movement may have it’s quirks, but they’ve lasted this long – no reason not to expect them to continue on if well maintained.
Second, you’re getting into a unique style of watch, without any of the murkiness that you may find online with this type of watch. DBWC is very upfront that these are pocket watches they find and modify, turning them into the creations available on their site (some can be seen here).
It’s an intriguing product and business, and we’ve contacted them for more information. Although the current stock is sold out, it looks like they were selling for $500 and up, which seems appropriate for the vintage and effort involved. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, a trench watch could definitely be the way to go.