Threads of connection
Original pocket watch owned by William Charles Wentworth.  Vaucluse House Collection, Historic Houses Trust of NSW. Photograph (c) Rob Little/RLDI.

Keeping time

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries watches were designed to carried on the person, attached to a waist hook, looped over a belt or as part of a chatelaine in the case of women, and dropped into the pocket of a waistcoat when worn by a man. They were usually cased in gold or silver, often engraved with the owner’s monogram, and sometimes a crest or inscription. The pocket watches in the collections of Sydney Living Museums range in date from a late eighteenth century watch that once belonged to Governor Lachlan Macquarie, to a watch presented to a police inspector on his retirement in 1935. By that time the pocket watch had become old-fashioned, superseded by the wristwatch.

'Bunny’ Shepherd’s cycling trophy
An article of finery
Edwin Stephen Rouse’s pocket watch
Hugo Youngein’s pocket watch
Inspector Ruffels’ retirement watch
Lieutenant Watts’ watch
Magistrate Jennings’ retirement watch
The Bong Bong Picnic Races pocket watch
Trooper Walker’s reward
William Bucknell’s watch