Popular during the Victorian Era, watch fobs were medallions or ornaments attached to a pocket watch by a strap, chain, or ribbon to help the wearer locate and retrieve their timepiece. Similar to key chains, watch fobs came in a variety of types, each with its own style and function. Fobs could be decorative, informative, and functional, all at the same time. Created largely for men, today they are considered "mantiques."

While many fobs were purely decorative, the rest were divided into three major categories: simple (the watch-owner's initials, state seals), fraternal (unions and organizations, including the military), and advertising (personal-sized billboard proclaiming everything from one's political allegiances to their local bank).

In the advertising category, patriotic and political fobs featured such nationalistic emblems as Miss Liberty, a shamrock, or national crests and flags, as well as campaign slogans and images. General advertising fobs touted such products as clothing (the Adamant Suit Co.) and food (Heinz Ketchup, Coca-Cola).

Some collectors focus their collections on fobs that advertised industrial products, from tractors to oil-field equipment and materials. Others seek out local fobs produced in relatively limited numbers for such events and organizations as the State Fair of Texas, the Glen Lumber Co. of Kansas City, and the Wichita Commercial Club.

While fobs were made from a variety of materials, brass or nickel-plated brass fobs are most common. Collectors should know that most advertising fobs stamped “sterling silver” are not authentic period pieces, although there are exceptions. Celluloid fobs are also rare. More common are brass and nickel-plated fobs. Rarer are ones that incorporate compasses and celluloid buttons, and old ones that use colorful enamelwork into their designs.


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Superb 34.9g English Antique 1910 Solid 9ct Gold Double Albert Watch Chain & Fob 1880s 9ct Solid Gold Ornate Vintage Trench Fob Watch Engraved Dial Serviced Gwo24iinch Victorian 1898 Sterling Silver Double Albert Watch Chain Blood Stone FobVictorian Compass Fob 1896 Sterling Silver Fancy Coil Link Pocket Watch Chain Superb Antique Waltham 18 Ct Solid Gold Ladies Half Hunter Pocket/fob Watch.1890 Silver Cased Full Hunter Lever Pocket Watch / Fob Watch In Working OrderRare** Victorian 18ct Rose Gold Rg Belcher Watch Chain & Huge Amethyst Paste Fob13.5iinch Antique 1903 Sterling Silver Albert Watch Chain South Africa Lion FobAntique Vintage Victorian & Edwardian Jewelry & Watch Fobs Lot, 28 PiecesLovely Hand Chased Antique Solid Silver Fob Pocket Watch In Working OrderVintage Masonic Jewel Pin Lot Freemasonry Gf Watch Fob Scottish Rite Blue LodgeC1919 Antique English Hallmarked Solid Silver Albert Watch Chain Coin/fobVintage Graduated Sterling Silver Albert Pocket Watch Chain & Rose Gold On FobC1913 Antique English Hallmarked Solid Silver Albert Watch Chain Coin/fobAntique 9ct Rose Gold Double Albert Watch Chain, Double Swivel Fob And T Bar 41gEdwardian Solid Silver Double Albert Watch Chain Shield Fob 1908/09 Vintage/antique Silver Fob/p0cket Watches Key Wind X 12 Job Lot Spares/scrap6 Fantastic Vintage Sterling Silver Fob Watches – Not Working . For SparesAntique 14k Yellow Gold & 0.20 Ct Diamond Brooch Pin Watch Fob No ReserveAntique 9ct Yellow Gold, Fancy Link, Watch Chain, Necklace Fob 17.85gr Not ScrapAntique Victorian Solid Silver 1870 Fusee Fob Pocket Watch Fancy DialNo Res C1890 Victorian 9ct Gold Lord's Prayer Charm Or Watch Fob Vintage Antique1881 Silver Cased English Lever Pocket Watch / Fob Watch In Working OrderAntique Victorian Gold Filled Pocketwatch Chain With Crescent Moon Locket Fob Rare Lot Of Antique 1900-1950 Gold Filled Watch Fobs W/ 2 Silver Plate BucklesAntique Solid 9ct Gold Citrine Spinner Victorian Pocket Watch Chain Fob PendantAntique Victorian 1897 Sterling Silver Figaro Link Pocket Watch Chain & Fob 34grAntique Victorian Sterling Silver Enamel Watch Chain Fob Slide Charm BraceletHuge Sharp 18s Gold F 17j Illinois Rail Road Pocket Watch Gun Knife Fob ChainAntique 14ct Gold Fob Watch Top Wind 14k Gold Pocket Watch C1900 - Engraved CaseAntique Albert / Albertina Pocket Watch Chain - T-bar Dog Clip & Tassel FobAntique Victorian Large Silver Gold Pocket Watch Chain Claw Garnet Orb Fob CharmAntique 1894 Full English Hallmark Silver Albert Pocket Watch Chain & Fob ChainBeautiful English Sterling Silver Graduated Link Albert Fob Watch Chain 39 GramsSterling Silver Antique Pocket Watch And Royal Albert Chain With Keys And FobRare Lot Of Antique 1900-1950 Gold Filled Watch Fobs And Chains And PartsRare Lot Of Antique 1900-1950 Gold Filled Watch Fobs And Chains Old KeysAntique Welsh Or Scandinavian Folk Art Chip Carved Watch Chain Key & Fob C1830Antique 9ct 9k Solid Gold Pocket / Fob Watch With Finely Engraved Case - WorkingAntique Silver Pocket Watch Fob And ChainAntique 1902 Full English Hallmark Silver Albert Pocket Watch Chain Fob MedalAntique Solid Silver Pocket Watch Chain Fob Tassel Victorian Silver Bracelet Minty Dbl Strand Gold Filled Pocket Watch Chain W/locket Fob No Scrap 32.41gDelightful Victorian/edwardian Elegant Beveled Carnelian Stone Watch Fob GfHandsome Sterling Silver Albert Pocket Watch Chain With Fob 1925Antique 1904 Full Hmark Silver Graduated Albert Pocket Watch Chain & Fob ChainAntique (1930's)~morris Feeding Yards~advertising Watch Fob~morris, Kansas~nr1900s Antique Kingman Implements Wagons Buggies Plows Advertising Watch FobAntique Solid 9ct Gold Spinner Pocket Watch Fob Agate Bloodstone SetSuperb Antique 14 Ct Solid Gold Ladies Fob Watch For Repair.Antique Victorian Etched Banded Agate Double Sided Watch Fob Locket4 Antique Vintage Gold Filled Pocket Watch Chains, Fob&pieces~57.8g~scrap/useAntique 9ct Rolled Gold Albert Double Watch Chain Spinny Fob T-bar Dog ClaspsNo Reserve C1890 Chunky Solid Silver Pocket Watch Chain Vintage Antique FobAntique Victorian Silver Fancy Colume Link Albert Pocket Watch Chain & Two Fobs.Antique Gold Gf Watch Chain Bracelet C1900 3 Double Chains & Fob FabulousAntique Watch Fob-pendant-gold Filled-5 Inch-old-brooch-nr!Large Antique Georgian 15k 15ct Gold Split Ring For Seal Watch Key FobLovely Ww1 Trench Art Brass The Royal Highlanders Black Watch 1915 Pigeon Fob Solid Silver Figaro Link Pocket Watch Chain C.1920 With Rare Four Stone Fob. 43g