Antique Railroad Grade Pocket Watches

Railroad grade pocket watches were built to conform to the General Railroad Timepiece Standards specifications, a set of technical requirements designed to ensure that train engineers and other rail company employees would carry timepieces that were accurate, reliable, and durable. The mass production of these precision pocket watches, many with interchangeable parts, movements, cases, and dials, was an amazing feat of industrial engineering at the time, and has left us with a legacy of wonderful pocket watches that keep very good time today. Here collectors can find all the great old American pocketwatches from Waltham, Elgin, Howard, Hamilton, Illinois and others, with a new collection of historic timepieces appearing daily.
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LOT OF 5 ANTIQUE POCKET WATCHES, ELGIN, WALTHAM, FOR PARTS OR REPAIR."NICE LOT" Bid Now »

LOT OF 5 ANTIQUE POCKET WATCHES, ELGIN, WALTHAM, FOR PARTS OR REPAIR."NICE LOT"

Bid: $100.00
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$100.00
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11 mins
ANTIQUE 1917 WALTHAM COLONIAL SERIES 1425 GRADE OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH    07#09 Buy Now »

ANTIQUE 1917 WALTHAM COLONIAL SERIES 1425 GRADE OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH 07#09

Buy: $200.00 Ships:
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$200.00
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13 mins
Antique Illinois Watch Co, Springfield, pocket watch, 12-size, white gold-filled Buy Now »

Antique Illinois Watch Co, Springfield, pocket watch, 12-size, white gold-filled

Buy: $75.00 Ships:
$5.50
$80.50
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14 mins
18 SIZE ELGIN SINGLE SUNK PORCELIAN ROMAN NUMERIAL POCKET WATCH DIAL Buy Now »

18 SIZE ELGIN SINGLE SUNK PORCELIAN ROMAN NUMERIAL POCKET WATCH DIAL

Buy: $2.99 Ships:
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19 mins
 WESTCLOX No. 40047 "THE CONDUCTOR" RAILROAD POCKET WATCH w/ CHAIN with BOX Bid Now »

WESTCLOX No. 40047 "THE CONDUCTOR" RAILROAD POCKET WATCH w/ CHAIN with BOX

Bid: $71.00
Ships:
$4.30
$75.30
20 mins
HAMPDEN POCKET WATCH SERIAL #2794523  YEAR 1910 Bid Now »

HAMPDEN POCKET WATCH SERIAL #2794523 YEAR 1910

Bid: $150.00
Ships:
$5.00
$155.00
23 mins
16 SIZE ELGIN SINGLE SUNK PORCELIAN ROMAN NUMERIAL POCKET WATCH DIAL Buy Now »

16 SIZE ELGIN SINGLE SUNK PORCELIAN ROMAN NUMERIAL POCKET WATCH DIAL

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24 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM POCKET WATCH SILVEROID 7 JEWEL 45MM Bid Now » Buy Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM POCKET WATCH SILVEROID 7 JEWEL 45MM

Bid: $29.99
Buy: $39.99
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24 mins
antique Elgin Napoleon Pocket/Pendent watch illinois watchcase co need repair Bid Now » Buy Now »

antique Elgin Napoleon Pocket/Pendent watch illinois watchcase co need repair

Bid: $16.99
Buy: $22.99
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27 mins
ELGIN VINTAGE POCKET WATCH - 1911 - 18S - GF - 17J GR 349 - RUNS  ~ L@@K ~ BUY! Buy Now »

ELGIN VINTAGE POCKET WATCH - 1911 - 18S - GF - 17J GR 349 - RUNS ~ L@@K ~ BUY!

Buy: $215.00 Ships:
$5.85
$220.85
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27 mins
ELGIN SINGLE SUNK PORCELIAN 16 SIZE ARABIC SCRIPT POCKET WATCH DIAL Buy Now »

ELGIN SINGLE SUNK PORCELIAN 16 SIZE ARABIC SCRIPT POCKET WATCH DIAL

Buy: $2.99 Ships:
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$2.99
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28 mins
VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM H.C POCKET WATCH GRADE 18 FROM 1908 3 OZ STERLING CASE Buy Now »

VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM H.C POCKET WATCH GRADE 18 FROM 1908 3 OZ STERLING CASE

Buy: $275.00 Ships:
$6.95
$281.95
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29 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Grand Island, NY, USA ZIP 14072
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $6.95
  • Expedited Shipping - One-Day Shipping Available
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: diamondhead4   Feedback: 10,852 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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NICE VINTAGE 18S ELGIN 23J VERITAS POCKET WATCH FROM 1905 KEEPING TIME Buy Now »
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NICE VINTAGE 18S ELGIN 23J VERITAS POCKET WATCH FROM 1905 KEEPING TIME

Buy: $575.00 Ships:
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$575.00
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30 mins
KANSAS CITY RAILROAD POCKET WATCH  AS SEEN ON TV NEW SEAL Buy Now »

KANSAS CITY RAILROAD POCKET WATCH AS SEEN ON TV NEW SEAL

Buy: $9.99 Ships:
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$9.99
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39 mins
Vintage Waltham Vanguard 23J Adjusted, 5 Positions Pocket Watch Bid Now »
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Vintage Waltham Vanguard 23J Adjusted, 5 Positions Pocket Watch

Bid: $78.00
Ships:
Free
$78.00
45 mins
Antique Lady Waltham 18 Kt Gold Pocket watch Woman's Serial 10052857 Buy Now »

Antique Lady Waltham 18 Kt Gold Pocket watch Woman's Serial 10052857

Buy: $1,850.00 Ships:
$15.00
$1,865.00
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47 mins
HAMPDEN POCKET WATCH 16 SIZE 11J , HAMPDEN WATCH CO. NICKLE CASE  NO RESERVE Bid Now »

HAMPDEN POCKET WATCH 16 SIZE 11J , HAMPDEN WATCH CO. NICKLE CASE NO RESERVE

Bid: $33.00
Ships:
$7.50
$40.50
48 mins
Elgin Natl Watch Co Mat Laflin Pocket Watch Key Wind Coin Silver Post Civil War Bid Now »

Elgin Natl Watch Co Mat Laflin Pocket Watch Key Wind Coin Silver Post Civil War

Bid: $102.50
Ships:
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$102.50
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1 hr
HAMILTON MODEL 992 RAILROAD POCKET WATCH, 21 JEWEL, 1929 Buy Now »

HAMILTON MODEL 992 RAILROAD POCKET WATCH, 21 JEWEL, 1929

Buy: $299.00 Ships:
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$299.00
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1 hr
Antique Waltham pocket Watch Buy Now »

Antique Waltham pocket Watch

Buy: $100.00 Ships:
$7.00
$107.00
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1 hr
ILLINOIS  POCKET WATCH 14K HT  CASE 8 SIZE 15 JEWEL  VINTAGE 1885 Bid Now » Buy Now »

ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH 14K HT CASE 8 SIZE 15 JEWEL VINTAGE 1885

Bid: $654.48
Buy: $1,098.00
Ships:
$7.50
$661.98
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1 hr
2 mins
VINTAGE 16S ILLINOIS OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 305 FROM 1921 RUNNING Buy Now »

VINTAGE 16S ILLINOIS OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 305 FROM 1921 RUNNING

Buy: $200.00 Ships:
$3.95
$203.95
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1 hr
2 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Grand Island, NY, USA ZIP 14072
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.95
  • Expedited Shipping - One-Day Shipping Available
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: diamondhead4   Feedback: 10,852 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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HAMPDEN 17 JEWEL 18 S DOUBLE HINGE CASE POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

HAMPDEN 17 JEWEL 18 S DOUBLE HINGE CASE POCKET WATCH

Bid: $85.00
Ships:
$5.00
$90.00
1 hr
3 mins
ANTIQUE AMERICAN WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 18 SZ MODEL 1879 Buy Now »

ANTIQUE AMERICAN WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 18 SZ MODEL 1879

Buy: $279.99 Ships:
$8.95
$288.94
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1 hr
4 mins
VINTAGE HOWARD OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH - 17 JEWEL MOVEMENT Bid Now »

VINTAGE HOWARD OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH - 17 JEWEL MOVEMENT

Bid: $61.00
Ships:
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$61.00
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1 hr
5 mins
Circa 1901 14k White Gold Hamilton Railroad Pocket Watch Buy Now »

Circa 1901 14k White Gold Hamilton Railroad Pocket Watch

Buy: $799.99 Ships:
$5.00
$804.99
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1 hr
11 mins
Vintage Womens Elgin Windable Wrist Watch Bid Now »

Vintage Womens Elgin Windable Wrist Watch

Bid: $9.00
Ships:
$4.95
$13.95
1 hr
14 mins
Illinois Pocket Watch 17j Enamel Face Working Silver Tone Case Buy Now »

Illinois Pocket Watch 17j Enamel Face Working Silver Tone Case

Buy: $100.00 Ships:
$7.00
$107.00
Buy now
1 hr
18 mins
WALTHAM 18S 1883 BARTLETT HUNTING GOLD FILLED CASE ANTIQUE  POCKET WATCH  RUNS Bid Now »

WALTHAM 18S 1883 BARTLETT HUNTING GOLD FILLED CASE ANTIQUE POCKET WATCH RUNS

Bid: $249.00
Ships:
$6.50
$255.50
1 hr
19 mins
VINTAGE 16 SIZE WALTHAM OPEN FACE ROYAL MOVEMENT FOR REPAIRS Buy Now »

VINTAGE 16 SIZE WALTHAM OPEN FACE ROYAL MOVEMENT FOR REPAIRS

Buy: $80.00 Ships:
$3.95
$83.95
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1 hr
22 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Grand Island, NY, USA ZIP 14072
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.95
  • Expedited Shipping - One-Day Shipping Available
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: diamondhead4   Feedback: 10,852 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
  • See other items for sale from diamondhead4
  • See more items like this one
ANTIQUE  AMERICAN WALTHAM 14k ESSEX SUPERIOR HUNTER CASE POCKET WATCH 1892-83 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE AMERICAN WALTHAM 14k ESSEX SUPERIOR HUNTER CASE POCKET WATCH 1892-83

Bid: $399.99
Ships:
$12.00
$411.99
1 hr
25 mins
Vintage 1940 Hamilton G.C.T. 4992B 22jewels Pilots Pocket Watch Bid Now »

Vintage 1940 Hamilton G.C.T. 4992B 22jewels Pilots Pocket Watch

Bid: $399.99
Ships:
Free
$399.99
1 hr
26 mins
Vintage Hamilton Railroad 10K G. F. Open Face Pocket Watch Buy Now »

Vintage Hamilton Railroad 10K G. F. Open Face Pocket Watch

Buy: $399.99 Ships:
$6.00
$405.99
Buy now
1 hr
37 mins
1918 Hampden Pocket Watch #109 ~Open Face~15 Jewels - 16 Size ~ Gold Filled Bid Now »

1918 Hampden Pocket Watch #109 ~ Open Face ~ 15 Jewels - 16 Size ~ Gold Filled

Bid: $37.50
Ships:
$6.50
$44.00
1 hr
41 mins
1903 15 Jewel Elgin Masonic Watch 10900211 Buy Now »

1903 15 Jewel Elgin Masonic Watch 10900211

Buy: $300.00 Ships:
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$300.00
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1 hr
44 mins
new Kansas City Railroad pocket watch limited ed includes chain as seen on TV Bid Now » Buy Now »

new Kansas City Railroad pocket watch limited ed includes chain as seen on TV

Bid: $7.49
Buy: $9.99
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1 hr
50 mins
1921 Elgin 10kt Gold Filled 12 Size 17 Jewel Grade 384 Pocket Watch-Running Bid Now »

1921 Elgin 10kt Gold Filled 12 Size 17 Jewel Grade 384 Pocket Watch-Running

Bid: $30.30
Ships:
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$30.30
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1 hr
50 mins
14k Yellow Gold Ruby Waltham Pocket Watch Pendant Open Face Engraved Bid Now »

14k Yellow Gold Ruby Waltham Pocket Watch Pendant Open Face Engraved

Bid: $320.00
Ships:
Free
$320.00
1 hr
53 mins
 12 SIZE ILLINOIS  BALL 19 JEWELS WRIST WATCH  CUSTOM MADE Bid Now »

12 SIZE ILLINOIS BALL 19 JEWELS WRIST WATCH CUSTOM MADE

Bid: $600.00
Ships:
$8.00
$608.00
1 hr
53 mins
Vintage 1900 Waltham Ladies Pendant Watch Serviced Bid Now »

Vintage 1900 Waltham Ladies Pendant Watch Serviced

Bid: $25.00
Ships:
$11.00
$36.00
1 hr
56 mins
WALTHAM 17 JEWEL POCKET WATCH NO 28745357 RUNS Bid Now »

WALTHAM 17 JEWEL POCKET WATCH NO 28745357 RUNS

Bid: $89.99
Ships:
$4.99
$94.98
2 hrs
1 min
Waltham 15 Jewel #13877783 Pocket Watch Item#275S Bid Now »

Waltham 15 Jewel #13877783 Pocket Watch Item#275S

Bid: $39.99
Ships:
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$39.99
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2 hrs
4 mins
1894 Waltham Men's 14K Yellow Gold Pocket Watch Buy Now »

1894 Waltham Men's 14K Yellow Gold Pocket Watch

Buy: $3,750.00 Ships:
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$3,750.00
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2 hrs
5 mins
Prestige by Waltham Quartz Pocket Watch Item#247S Bid Now »

Prestige by Waltham Quartz Pocket Watch Item#247S

Bid: $7.99
Ships:
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$7.99
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2 hrs
5 mins
Vintage Timex Railroad Pocket Watch Train Engine Design Bid Now »

Vintage Timex Railroad Pocket Watch Train Engine Design

Bid: $8.95
Ships:
$3.95
$12.90
2 hrs
9 mins
Elgin Illinois Watch  Ramona Unique Detail Double Stock Pocket Watch- It Works! Bid Now »

Elgin Illinois Watch Ramona Unique Detail Double Stock Pocket Watch- It Works!

Bid: $33.17
Ships:
$3.49
$36.66
2 hrs
13 mins
VINTAGE WALTHAM POCKET WATCH --DOESN'T WORK -HAS CHAIN AND KNIFE Buy Now »

VINTAGE WALTHAM POCKET WATCH --DOESN'T WORK -HAS CHAIN AND KNIFE

Buy: $95.00 Ships:
$5.00
$100.00
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2 hrs
13 mins
1936 HAMILTON SOLID 14K GOLD POCKET WATCH SZ 10 BOX CHAIN GRADE 917 17 JEWELS Buy Now »

1936 HAMILTON SOLID 14K GOLD POCKET WATCH SZ 10 BOX CHAIN GRADE 917 17 JEWELS

Buy: $725.00 Ships:
$10.00
$735.00
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2 hrs
15 mins
Elgin 17 Jewels Pocket Watch Item#325S Bid Now »

Elgin 17 Jewels Pocket Watch Item#325S

Bid: $44.99
Ships:
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$44.99
Plus shipping
2 hrs
17 mins
RARE Illinois 23J. Sangamo Special HC Red Lettering 100 made Buy Now »

RARE Illinois 23J. Sangamo Special HC Red Lettering 100 made

Buy: $6,595.00 Ships:
$35.00
$6,630.00
Buy now
2 hrs
17 mins
Some sources of information on the history of railroad grade pocket watches and other topics of interest to watch and clock collectors and horology enthusiasts.

The place to start is Horology - The Index, the website of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, or NAWCC. There you can find horological organizations, information on horological science and the development of timekeeping devices, and useful tips on antique pocket watch repair and restoration as well as buying, selling, appraisal and collecting antique watches and clocks. They also have a very nice virtual watch and clock museum tour with all kinds of interesting horological information and pictures.

To get a quick overview of the development of portable timepieces, from clock-watches of the 16th century to the railroad grade pocket watches of the late 19th century, see wiki's watch page.

To find definitions of words used for the various parts of watch movements and other technical terms used in horology, see Barry Goldberg's watch information page.

If you would like to understand the intricacies of how things like balance wheels and lever escapements work, check out The Horologium.

Some interesting perspectives from noted collectors of antique pocket watches:

Tom McIntyre talks about collecting American Watch Co. products of the Waltham Watch Company, including lots of historical details about watch companies, watch movements, and informed antique "railroad" watch collecting.

Vintage watch and clock expert Jonathan Snellenburg talks about the societal forces driving watch and clock technology and the historic cultural changes that resulted from better timepieces, as well as technical details of the progression from the verge escapement through pocket watches to wrist watches.

Horologist Barry S. Goldberg gives advice on collecting antique American made pocket watches, including great tips for beginners on things like gold-filled and silveride cases, two tone watch movements, and how the original authenticity of railroad grade pocketwatches can be compromised.

The Ohio jeweler and watchmaker Webb Ball led the commission that established the General Railroad Timepiece Standards, standardizing railroad chronometer specifications.

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