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The tiny pockets on jeans and some other pants were designed for pocket watches.

They were first used with the original Levi's "waist overalls" jeans in 1890.

People don't use pocket watches anymore, but the pockets are still around.

Ever notice those little pockets on your jeans?

 

They're pretty much too small to be useless. But in ye olden times, it had an important purpose: The pocket held a pocket watch.

 

The ubiquity of the pockets can be traced back to the design for "waist overalls," the original name for the blue jeans made by Levi Strauss & Co. They appear on the design in the patent Strauss and J.W. Davis received for "Improvement in Fastening Pocket Openings," way back on May 20, 1873, and were first put into mass use in 1890 with the "Lot 501" jeans, the model for Levis 501 jeans today.

 

"The watch pocket was a feature of our first waist overalls," Tracey Panek, the in-house historian at Levi Strauss & Co., told INSIDER in an email. "The oldest pair of waist overalls in the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives [from 1979] includes the watch pocket."

 

Because the small pocket was meant to hold pocket watches, you won't usually find it on suit pants. Suit jackets already have pocket watches, which makes one on the pants superfluous. Levis Strauss himself, for example, kept a pocket watch in the vest of his business suit, according to Panek.

 

Pants with the tiny pocket are called "five-pocket pants," but the tiny pocket isn't actually the fifth one. The fifth pocket is actually on the back-left, added to Levi's 501 jeans in 1901.

 

Here's why your pants have a teeny tiny pocket that's too small to use.

The tiny pockets on jeans and some other pants were designed for pocket watches.

They were first used with the original Levi's "waist overalls" jeans in 1890.

People don't use pocket watches anymore, but the pockets are still around.

Ever notice those little pockets on your jeans?

 

They're pretty much too small to be useless. But in ye olden times, it had an important purpose: The pocket held a pocket watch.

 

The ubiquity of the pockets can be traced back to the design for "waist overalls," the original name for the blue jeans made by Levi Strauss & Co. They appear on the design in the patent Strauss and J.W. Davis received for "Improvement in Fastening Pocket Openings," way back on May 20, 1873, and were first put into mass use in 1890 with the "Lot 501" jeans, the model for Levis 501 jeans today.

 

"The watch pocket was a feature of our first waist overalls," Tracey Panek, the in-house historian at Levi Strauss & Co., told INSIDER in an email. "The oldest pair of waist overalls in the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives [from 1979] includes the watch pocket."

 

Because the small pocket was meant to hold pocket watches, you won't usually find it on suit pants. Suit jackets already have pocket watches, which makes one on the pants superfluous. Levis Strauss himself, for example, kept a pocket watch in the vest of his business suit, according to Panek.

 

Pants with the tiny pocket are called "five-pocket pants," but the tiny pocket isn't actually the fifth one. The fifth pocket is actually on the back-left, added to Levi's 501 jeans in 1901.

 

"Our 19th century overalls had a single back pocket on right side of the pant beneath the leather patch," Panek said. "It was riveted in the top two corners and included our recognizable arch design, called the Arcuate, stitched with a single needle sewing machine."

 

They're all but useless today. Pretty much no one today carries around a pocket watch. People tend to check the time on their phones or wristwatches. Panek told INSIDER that the small pockets are kept on Levi's jeans today to maintain the integrity of the original design.

 

Here's why your pants have a teeny tiny pocket that's too small to use.

 

A pair of Levi's jeans, with a small pocket inside the right side pocket, and a pair of J.Crew corduroys, with a small pocket in front. Jacob Shamsian/INSIDER

The tiny pockets on jeans and some other pants were designed for pocket watches.

They were first used with the original Levi's "waist overalls" jeans in 1890.

People don't use pocket watches anymore, but the pockets are still around.

Ever notice those little pockets on your jeans?

 

They're pretty much too small to be useless. But in ye olden times, it had an important purpose: The pocket held a pocket watch.

 

The ubiquity of the pockets can be traced back to the design for "waist overalls," the original name for the blue jeans made by Levi Strauss & Co. They appear on the design in the patent Strauss and J.W. Davis received for "Improvement in Fastening Pocket Openings," way back on May 20, 1873, and were first put into mass use in 1890 with the "Lot 501" jeans, the model for Levis 501 jeans today.

 

"The watch pocket was a feature of our first waist overalls," Tracey Panek, the in-house historian at Levi Strauss & Co., told INSIDER in an email. "The oldest pair of waist overalls in the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives [from 1979] includes the watch pocket."

 

Because the small pocket was meant to hold pocket watches, you won't usually find it on suit pants. Suit jackets already have pocket watches, which makes one on the pants superfluous. Levis Strauss himself, for example, kept a pocket watch in the vest of his business suit, according to Panek.

 

Pants with the tiny pocket are called "five-pocket pants," but the tiny pocket isn't actually the fifth one. The fifth pocket is actually on the back-left, added to Levi's 501 jeans in 1901.

 

They're all but useless today. Pretty much no one today carries around a pocket watch. People tend to check the time on their phones or wristwatches. Panek told INSIDER that the small pockets are kept on Levi's jeans today to maintain the integrity of the original design.

 

"The watch pocket was an original element of our blue jeans, like the rivets on our pockets, button fly, arched back pocket stitching and leather patch," Panek said. "To preserve the integrity of the early design, Levi Strauss & Co. maintains the watch pocket."

 

Other pants have the pocket as an homage to the pocket watch. The style gives pants a more casual look because they don't look like they're meant to be matched with a jacket.

 

But for Levi's jeans, they've remained essentially unchanged since the 19th century. One exception, Panek told INSIDER, was during World War II.

 

"One interesting fact about the watch pocket is that during WWII the two corner rivets were removed as a way to conserve metal for the war effort," Panek said. "The rivets returned to the watch pocket after the war."

 

Today, there isn't much you can do with the tiny pocket. Some people suggest using them to keep coins or keys, but they tend to dig into your hip. Others recommend them for matches, condoms, and tickets, but those are difficult to extract if your fingers aren't similarly tiny. The pockets are somewhat helpful for carrying small pieces of hand jewelry for a few moments — like if you plan to propose to your significant other, or if someone else is washing their hands and wants you to hold on to their rings — but that's pretty much it.

 

For the most part, it's best to ignore them and think about the pockets as a piece of history that's still with us.

 

Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk

 

 

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I've found that the watch pocket is just about perfect for my little Kershaw folding knife. Been carrying it that way for years. At one time I did routinely carry a pocket watch, but that was many years ago. 

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I've found that the watch pocket is just about perfect for my little Kershaw folding knife. Been carrying it that way for years. At one time I did routinely carry a pocket watch, but that was many years ago. 

I carry them to test them after repair. Best method following regulation. And that little pocket is perfect.


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Back in the late 1990s I worked in the Northern Territory of Australia and from the heat and humidity I developed a bad skin allergy to wrist watches and could not wear one until I had been living in Glasgow Scotland for about 3 years (Heat is not an issue in Glasgow), as this was before smart phones I used to wear a pocket watch and can confirm I did indeed use that little pocket for my pocket watch during that time.

WHat Pocket watch did I use as my daily watch for 4 years, A Waltham of course. (Which unfortunately got stolen in Glasgow when my apartment got broken into)

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"little watch pocket size"  in the chineze made jeans,  all the pocket sizes are SCREWED UP!  pocket watches  are still the mark of a working man OR  best  place for very  valuable watch,  vin

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23 hours ago, vinn3 said:

"little watch pocket size"  in the chineze made jeans,  all the pocket sizes are SCREWED UP!  pocket watches  are still the mark of a working man OR  best  place for very  valuable watch,  vin

   I have  had a seemstress   install  the watch pockets on new jeans - any watch size you want.

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What about these Victorinox dress-pants? I saw them on a sale rack at Sports Chalet about 15 years ago. They have a clip for something attached inside the pocket. For pocket-watch? Pocket-knife?  On the inside at the belt-line there is another pocket that has a nylon loop not too far away. So many choices...I might just have to try them on. If I remember correctly, they were fairly snug last time I did. Maybe they've grown a bit by now. :D

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I used the small jean pocket to clip my pocket knife to. Interesting story though. Too bad watches aren't as popular add they should be here in the states, except smartwatches. I don't think I've seen anyone with a pocket watch here actually. 

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   I have  had a seemstress   install  the watch pockets on new jeans - any watch size you want.

That is very committed. Costco Jeans have a really good pocket watch mini pocket.

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What about these Victorinox dress-pants? I saw them on a sale rack at Sports Chalet about 15 years ago. They have a clip for something attached inside the pocket. For pocket-watch? Pocket-knife?  On the inside at the belt-line there is another pocket that has a nylon loop not too far away. So many choices...I might just have to try them on. If I remember correctly, they were fairly snug last time I did. Maybe they've grown a bit by now.
DSC06098.thumb.JPG.6af4e1539e9afdd9c2c99bd5c52f0eb8.JPG
DSC06099.thumb.JPG.421187aae7e1b7098728a30f8680d438.JPG

You could pack 4 watches in those pants and walk around ticking all day.

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the vest;  don't wear mine much any more, but have a gold "double breasted"  rig,  complete with a fob and a $5 gold coin.  jeans are the thing now.  the watch pocket must be big enough for the watch to be pulled out "without a strain"   on the bail.  vin

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the vest;  don't wear mine much any more, but have a gold "double breasted"  rig,  complete with a fob and a $5 gold coin.  jeans are the thing now.  the watch pocket must be big enough for the watch to be pulled out "without a strain"   on the bail.  vin

It’s all about the discussion once someone sees the Pocket watch come out of that small pocket


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