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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Super! WW2 15 j Hampden Pocket Watch USMC ID'd Bid Now »

Super! WW2 15 j Hampden Pocket Watch USMC ID'd

Bid: $81.99
Ships:
$3.00
$84.99
10 mins
VINTAGE 1911 HAMILTON  21 JEWEL RAILROAD 992 CHRONOMETER POCKET WATCH Bid Now » Buy Now »

VINTAGE 1911 HAMILTON 21 JEWEL RAILROAD 992 CHRONOMETER POCKET WATCH

Bid: $450.00
Buy: $775.00
Ships:
$20.00
$470.00
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11 mins
WALTHAM WATCH CO 6 SIZE STEM WIND LEVER SET HUNTING POCKET WATCH--RUNNING!  #507 Bid Now » Buy Now »

WALTHAM WATCH CO 6 SIZE STEM WIND LEVER SET HUNTING POCKET WATCH--RUNNING! #507

Bid: $108.99
Buy: $142.99
Ships:
$3.99
$112.98
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17 mins
E, HOWARD 14K WHITE GOLD 12S  19J GOLD CHAIN&KNIF POCKET WATCH Buy Now »

E, HOWARD 14K WHITE GOLD 12S 19J GOLD CHAIN&KNIF POCKET WATCH

Buy: $1,250.00 Ships:
$7.00
$1,257.00
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24 mins
#926,Vintage 4J,GF Ingersoll Radiolite Pocket Watch in Seldom Seen Elgin Case Buy Now »

#926,Vintage 4J,GF Ingersoll Radiolite Pocket Watch in Seldom Seen Elgin Case

Buy: $50.59 Ships:
$4.00
$54.59
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36 mins
Antique 18s T. Eaton - Gallet  Pocket Watch Steam Railroad Case 24 Hour Dial NR Bid Now » Buy Now »

Antique 18s T. Eaton - Gallet Pocket Watch Steam Railroad Case 24 Hour Dial NR

Bid: $98.00
Buy: $149.00
Ships:
$6.00
$104.00
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40 mins
Antique 23 Jewel 16 Size 10K Gold Filled Railroad Pocket Watch Waltham Vanguard Buy Now »
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Antique 23 Jewel 16 Size 10K Gold Filled Railroad Pocket Watch Waltham Vanguard

Buy: $375.00 Ships:
Free
$375.00
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41 mins
Illinois Pocket Watch Dial Bid Now »

Illinois Pocket Watch Dial

Bid: $17.25
Ships:
$3.00
$20.25
44 mins
14k Yellow Gold American Waltham Watch Co. Pocket Watch Bid Now »

14k Yellow Gold American Waltham Watch Co. Pocket Watch

Bid: $559.98
Ships:
$7.00
$566.98
46 mins
1917 Dueber Hampden Paul Revere 12S OF 17j Ps 14kgf Pocket Watch Canton Ohio nr Bid Now »

1917 Dueber Hampden Paul Revere 12S OF 17j Ps 14kgf Pocket Watch Canton Ohio nr

Bid: $102.50
Ships:
Based on Zip
$102.50
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47 mins
ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH 1910  CLEVELAND TRACTOR CO  50 YEAR AWARD  RARE COLLECTOR Buy Now »

ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH 1910 CLEVELAND TRACTOR CO 50 YEAR AWARD RARE COLLECTOR

NICE 1910 ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH 50 YEAR AWARD
Buy: $399.00 Ships:
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$399.00
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48 mins
1919 Illinois 12S 17j OF Double Roller Ps Bold Face Pocket Watch nr Bid Now »

1919 Illinois 12S 17j OF Double Roller Ps Bold Face Pocket Watch nr

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
Based on Zip
$49.99
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57 mins
1888 Waltham Pocket Railroad Watch in Perfect Condition Bid Now » Buy Now »
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1888 Waltham Pocket Railroad Watch in Perfect Condition

Bid: $139.99
Buy: $239.99
Ships:
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$139.99
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57 mins
ILLINOIS 14K SOLID GOLD HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH 19 JEWELS 16 SZ WORKING 107.6G Buy Now »
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ILLINOIS 14K SOLID GOLD HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH 19 JEWELS 16 SZ WORKING 107.6G

Buy: $3,568.82 Ships:
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$3,568.82
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1 hr
1 min
Antique Ball Hamilton 999P 16s 21 jewels high grade Rail Road pocket watch. 1925 Bid Now »
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Antique Ball Hamilton 999P 16s 21 jewels high grade Rail Road pocket watch. 1925

Runs great and keeps good time. Original Ball case
Bid: $401.00
Ships:
Free
$401.00
1 hr
10 mins
vintage Elgin Military Timer - World War 2 - runs great - fully funtional -clean Bid Now »

vintage Elgin Military Timer - World War 2 - runs great - fully funtional -clean

Bid: $24.95
Ships:
$7.50
$32.45
1 hr
11 mins
Waltham 14k Gold Tri Color Hunter Case Diamond 17J #12513143  1903  sz16 Buy Now »
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Waltham 14k Gold Tri Color Hunter Case Diamond 17J #12513143 1903 sz16

Buy: $1,900.00 Ships:
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$1,900.00
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1 hr
11 mins
Antique Vintage Gold Filled Pocket Watch Elgin National Watch Co Buy Now »

Antique Vintage Gold Filled Pocket Watch Elgin National Watch Co

Buy: $320.00 Ships:
Based on Zip
$320.00
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1 hr
14 mins
Antique Hamilton 992 16s 21 jewel Rail Road pocket watch. Amazing case. 1914 Bid Now »
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Antique Hamilton 992 16s 21 jewel Rail Road pocket watch. Amazing case. 1914

Runs great and keeps good time. Amazing case!
Bid: $303.06
Ships:
Free
$303.06
1 hr
21 mins
Antique 14K Gold Filled Ladies ELGIN  Pocket Pendant Watch15J Hunter Case Runs! Buy Now »
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Antique 14K Gold Filled Ladies ELGIN Pocket Pendant Watch15J Hunter Case Runs!

Buy: $359.40 Ships:
Free
$359.40
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1 hr
22 mins
Vintage Waltham Pendant Watch 17 Jewel Runs Great W/24" Rope Chain, EX Cond.!! Buy Now »

Vintage Waltham Pendant Watch 17 Jewel Runs Great W/24" Rope Chain, EX Cond.!!

Buy: $37.71 Ships:
$5.50
$43.21
Buy now
1 hr
27 mins
ANTIQUE RAYMOND ELGIN 18S 19J POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE RAYMOND ELGIN 18S 19J POCKET WATCH

Bid: $250.00
Ships:
$40.00
$290.00
1 hr
28 mins
Antique Elgin Gold Filled Pocket Watch Working Condition Buy Now »

Antique Elgin Gold Filled Pocket Watch Working Condition

Buy: $999.00 Ships:
Based on Zip
$999.00
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1 hr
32 mins
Hamilton Movement Pocket Watch 992E (Elinvar) Railroad grade watch. 21 jewels, Bid Now »

Hamilton Movement Pocket Watch 992E (Elinvar) Railroad grade watch. 21 jewels,

Bid: $399.99
Ships:
$15.95
$415.94
1 hr
40 mins
BEAUTIFUL 1888 MASSIVE 18s WALTHAM MODEL 1883 w/FROSTED DAMASKEENING! Bid Now »

BEAUTIFUL 1888 MASSIVE 18s WALTHAM MODEL 1883 w/FROSTED DAMASKEENING!

126 YEAR OLD ANTIQUE POCKET WATCH WOW! MINTY L@@K!
Bid: $117.50
Ships:
$9.00
$126.50
1 hr
41 mins
BEAUTIFUL VINTAGE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH WITH CHAIN Bid Now »

BEAUTIFUL VINTAGE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH WITH CHAIN

Bid: $66.00
Ships:
$6.99
$72.99
1 hr
43 mins
VINTAGE ANTIQUE HAMILTON POCKET WATCH SAIL BOAT DIAL 17J OF GF NEEDS SERVICE Buy Now »
Free Shipping

VINTAGE ANTIQUE HAMILTON POCKET WATCH SAIL BOAT DIAL 17J OF GF NEEDS SERVICE

Buy: $449.00 Ships:
Free
$449.00
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1 hr
44 mins
1908 17-jewel E. HOWARD 16s MODEL 1905 SERIES 9 ANTIQUE POCKET WATCH!! Bid Now »

1908 17-jewel E. HOWARD 16s MODEL 1905 SERIES 9 ANTIQUE POCKET WATCH!!

ORIGINAL E. HOWARD SIGNED GOLD FIL CASE IN EXCELLENT CO
Bid: $227.50
Ships:
$9.00
$236.50
1 hr
44 mins
SUPER CHOICE SELECT & VERSATILE ILLINOIS 16S DRESS-RR DIAL DS ENAM ALL MOD 7-14! Bid Now »

SUPER CHOICE SELECT & VERSATILE ILLINOIS 16S DRESS-RR DIAL DS ENAM ALL MOD 7-14!

Bid: $35.75
Ships:
$3.95
$39.70
1 hr
46 mins
WHITE GOLD FIL 1908 ART DECO FANCY ELGIN MODEL 3 NO Reserve! BEAUTIFUL WATCH! Bid Now »

WHITE GOLD FIL 1908 ART DECO FANCY ELGIN MODEL 3 NO Reserve! BEAUTIFUL WATCH!

FANTASTIC DIAL GRADE 303 ANTIQUE POCKET WATCH!
Bid: $74.55
Ships:
$9.00
$83.55
1 hr
47 mins
 WALTHAM 6S 1899 MULTICOLORED GOLD FILLEED HUNTER CASE ANTIQUE  POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

WALTHAM 6S 1899 MULTICOLORED GOLD FILLEED HUNTER CASE ANTIQUE POCKET WATCH

Bid: $95.00
Ships:
$5.00
$100.00
1 hr
48 mins
Antique Atlas Watch Company Chicago Illinois 6 Size Huntcase Pocket Watch Bid Now »

Antique Atlas Watch Company Chicago Illinois 6 Size Huntcase Pocket Watch

Bid: $125.00
Ships:
$3.00
$128.00
1 hr
49 mins
ELGIN 'DIRECTOR' MODEL 17 JEWEL VINTAGE ART DECO OPEN FACE 12S POCKET WATCH-1927 Bid Now » Buy Now »

ELGIN 'DIRECTOR' MODEL 17 JEWEL VINTAGE ART DECO OPEN FACE 12S POCKET WATCH-1927

VERY RARE CUSTOM MADE FOR JEWELRY CO.-GOLD-FILLED
Bid: $41.00
Buy: $165.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$41.00
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1 hr
50 mins
NICELY CRANKING ILLINOIS 16S BRIDGE MODEL 7 MVMT 17J ADJ'D DR RUNS & LOOKS GREAT Bid Now »

NICELY CRANKING ILLINOIS 16S BRIDGE MODEL 7 MVMT 17J ADJ'D DR RUNS & LOOKS GREAT

Bid: $21.05
Ships:
$3.95
$25.00
1 hr
55 mins
 HAMILTON 16S CASE - CROSS BAR STYLE SCARCE Bid Now »

HAMILTON 16S CASE - CROSS BAR STYLE SCARCE

Bid: $84.55
Ships:
$3.95
$88.50
1 hr
55 mins
Hamilton Men's dPocket Watch Bid Now »

Hamilton Men's dPocket Watch

Bid: $49.00
Ships:
$6.00
$55.00
1 hr
56 mins
1889 Waltham Pocket Watch Working Silveroid 15J 18s Adjusted Open Face Bid Now »
Free Shipping

1889 Waltham Pocket Watch Working Silveroid 15J 18s Adjusted Open Face

Bid: $89.99
Ships:
Free
$89.99
2 hrs
1 min
Waltham 16s 15J  Stem Wind & Set  Open Face  Pocket Watch Bid Now »
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Waltham 16s 15J Stem Wind & Set Open Face Pocket Watch

Bid: $24.99
Ships:
Free
$24.99
2 hrs
6 mins
Ball watch Co.  "Commercial Standard" Open Face Bid Now »

Ball watch Co. "Commercial Standard" Open Face

Bid: $71.00
Ships:
$6.00
$77.00
2 hrs
6 mins
1900 American Waltham Watch Co Pocket Watch Bid Now »

1900 American Waltham Watch Co Pocket Watch

Bid: $25.00
Ships:
$6.75
$31.75
2 hrs
6 mins
1899 Elgin Pocket watch- Nice Bid Now »

1899 Elgin Pocket watch- Nice

Bid: $125.00
Ships:
$6.75
$131.75
2 hrs
6 mins
XF CONDITION WALTHAM 18S SLENDER BLUE MATCHING SPADE HANDS FIT ALL 18S WALTHAMS Bid Now »

XF CONDITION WALTHAM 18S SLENDER BLUE MATCHING SPADE HANDS FIT ALL 18S WALTHAMS

Bid: $11.47
Ships:
$2.96
$14.43
2 hrs
8 mins
1927 ELGIN 17 J 14 KT GF POCKET WATCH KEYSTONE CASE NICE INTERNATIONAL SALE Buy Now »

1927 ELGIN 17 J 14 KT GF POCKET WATCH KEYSTONE CASE NICE INTERNATIONAL SALE

Buy: $99.99 Ships:
$9.10
$109.09
Buy now
2 hrs
10 mins
1870's 17 Jewel 14 K Gold Hampden Pocket Watch Diamond & Ruby Case RARE! Buy Now »
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1870's 17 Jewel 14 K Gold Hampden Pocket Watch Diamond & Ruby Case RARE!

Buy: $2,400.00 Ships:
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$2,400.00
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2 hrs
10 mins
NO.5 ELGIN 16 SIZE 7 JEWEL OPEN FACE MOVEMENT FOR PARTS OR RESTORATION Bid Now »

NO.5 ELGIN 16 SIZE 7 JEWEL OPEN FACE MOVEMENT FOR PARTS OR RESTORATION

Bid: $5.00
Ships:
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$5.00
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2 hrs
10 mins
VINTAGE POCKET WATCH @ 1 - WALTHAM WATCH COMPANY - VERY NICE -  (JT562) Bid Now »

VINTAGE POCKET WATCH @ 1 - WALTHAM WATCH COMPANY - VERY NICE - (JT562)

Bid: $5.99
Ships:
$4.99
$10.98
2 hrs
10 mins
HAMILTON 16s - #950  HANDS - PLUM - EXCELLENT CONDITION Bid Now »

HAMILTON 16s - #950 HANDS - PLUM - EXCELLENT CONDITION

Bid: $44.99
Ships:
$3.75
$48.74
2 hrs
11 mins
Antique  Elgin Pocket Watch Bid Now »

Antique Elgin Pocket Watch

Bid: $69.99
Ships:
Based on Zip
$69.99
Plus shipping
2 hrs
11 mins
Serviced~1887 Elgin~18s~11J~G.74~55MM Gold Fill Watch Case,Chain & Photo Locket Bid Now »
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Serviced ~ 1887 Elgin ~ 18s ~ 11J ~ G.74 ~ 55MM Gold Fill Watch Case,Chain & Photo Locket

Bid: $455.00
Ships:
Free
$455.00
2 hrs
11 mins
ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH - NOT RUNNING - C.W.C. CO. TRADE MARK Bid Now »
Free Shipping

ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH - NOT RUNNING - C.W.C. CO. TRADE MARK

ESTATE FRESH - FREE SHIPPING LOWER 48
Bid: $27.00
Ships:
Free
$27.00
2 hrs
11 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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