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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Illinois Springfield 19j Pocket Watch S/N 4965306 1927 Buy Now »

Illinois Springfield 19j Pocket Watch S/N 4965306 1927

Buy: $649.00 Ships:
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17 mins
VTG ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH 2.25" POLISHED ILLIONOIS POCKET WATCH - WORKS FINE Buy Now »

VTG ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH 2.25" POLISHED ILLIONOIS POCKET WATCH - WORKS FINE

Buy: $174.99 Ships:
$3.99
$178.98
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29 mins
WALTHAM POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

WALTHAM POCKET WATCH

Bid: $26.00
Ships:
$4.00
$30.00
42 mins
Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch Movement - 1935 7 Jewels For Parts or Repair Bid Now »

Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch Movement - 1935 7 Jewels For Parts or Repair

Bid: $24.99
Ships:
Free
$24.99
1 hr
23 mins
Freshly Serviced Vintage/Antique Hamilton Railroad Pocket Watch - 992! - 50mm! Buy Now »
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Freshly Serviced Vintage/Antique Hamilton Railroad Pocket Watch - 992! - 50mm!

Buy: $449.95 Ships:
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$449.95
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2 hrs
25 mins
Super Rare Solid 14K White Gold Vintage Fancy Case Elgin Pocket Watch & Chain Buy Now »
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Super Rare Solid 14K White Gold Vintage Fancy Case Elgin Pocket Watch & Chain

Buy: $1,699.99 Ships:
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2 hrs
26 mins
Antique 1910 Elgin Gold Filled Grade 288 Size 18s Pocket Watch As Is V15 Buy Now »

Antique 1910 Elgin Gold Filled Grade 288 Size 18s Pocket Watch As Is V15

Buy: $199.99 Ships:
$10.00
$209.99
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4 hrs
Howard Pocketwatch with original case Buy Now »

Howard Pocketwatch with original case

Buy: $300.00 Ships:
$10.00
$310.00
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4 hrs
18 mins
1912 Burlington Special and 1900 Elgin Open face Bid Now » Buy Now »

1912 Burlington Special and 1900 Elgin Open face

Bid: $125.00
Buy: $200.00
Ships:
$15.00
$140.00
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4 hrs
48 mins
Hamilton 940 21 j. 5 adj. 18s Open Face double sunk Dial Motor Barrel Buy Now »

Hamilton 940 21 j. 5 adj. 18s Open Face double sunk Dial Motor Barrel

Buy: $325.00 Ships:
$7.00
$332.00
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4 hrs
50 mins
Elgin pocket watch Bid Now »
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Elgin pocket watch

Bid: $60.00
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$60.00
4 hrs
56 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1919 M -2019 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1919 M -2019

Bid: $9.99
Ships:
$5.80
$15.79
5 hrs
9 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1904 15 JEWELS M -2020 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1904 15 JEWELS M -2020

Bid: $12.99
Ships:
$5.80
$18.79
5 hrs
14 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1915  M -2021 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1915 M -2021

Bid: $12.99
Ships:
$5.80
$18.79
5 hrs
17 mins
 ANTIQUE red & black  WALTHAM  MASS. 1900  M -2025 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE red & black WALTHAM MASS. 1900 M -2025

Bid: $12.99
Ships:
$5.80
$18.79
5 hrs
20 mins
elgin ladies watch running 14kgf USA made 30's  40's vintage Bid Now » Buy Now »

elgin ladies watch running 14kgf USA made 30's 40's vintage

Bid: $9.99
Buy: $40.00
Ships:
$4.50
$14.49
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5 hrs
21 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1908   M -2023 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1908 M -2023

Bid: $6.99
Ships:
$5.80
$12.79
5 hrs
24 mins
Elgin Napoleon Pocket/Pendent watch. #509867 Illinois watchcase co. Bid Now » Buy Now »

Elgin Napoleon Pocket/Pendent watch. #509867 Illinois watchcase co.

Bid: $30.00
Buy: $45.00
Ships:
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5 hrs
26 mins
WW Co.Waltham , Mass . 18s ,Model 77 ,15 Jewels , Good  American Watch Co. Dial Bid Now »

WW Co.Waltham , Mass . 18s ,Model 77 ,15 Jewels , Good American Watch Co. Dial

Bid: $99.99
Ships:
$5.00
$104.99
5 hrs
44 mins
RARE Waltham 8 Days Clock ,Property of New England Telephone & Telegraph Co. Buy Now »

RARE Waltham 8 Days Clock ,Property of New England Telephone & Telegraph Co.

Winding Indicator & Rare Dial , 2 3/4 in. Dia.
Buy: $249.00 Ships:
$4.00
$253.00
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5 hrs
44 mins
Waltham Size 18 ,  Model 83 , Grade 18  , 7 Jewel Watch  Movement  ,Made in 1900 Bid Now »

Waltham Size 18 , Model 83 , Grade 18 , 7 Jewel Watch Movement ,Made in 1900

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
$5.00
$54.99
5 hrs
44 mins
1937 Hamilton Watch Time Book , Conductor & Engineer`s  Hours & Pay Rates Bid Now »

1937 Hamilton Watch Time Book , Conductor & Engineer`s Hours & Pay Rates

Bid: $79.99
Ships:
$2.00
$81.99
5 hrs
44 mins
Elgin ,G M Wheeler ,  18s Watch  Movement  , Bid Now »

Elgin ,G M Wheeler , 18s Watch Movement ,

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
$5.00
$54.99
5 hrs
44 mins
Waltham Size 18 ,  Model 83 , Grade 18  , 7 Jewel Watch  Movement  ,Made in 1900 Bid Now »

Waltham Size 18 , Model 83 , Grade 18 , 7 Jewel Watch Movement ,Made in 1900

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
$5.00
$54.99
5 hrs
44 mins
AWW Co.Waltham , Mass . 16s ,Good Staff Bid Now »

AWW Co.Waltham , Mass . 16s ,Good Staff

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
$5.00
$54.99
5 hrs
44 mins
Waltham ,Royal  ,  12s Watch  Movement  , Bid Now »

Waltham ,Royal , 12s Watch Movement ,

Bid: $39.99
Ships:
$5.00
$44.99
5 hrs
44 mins
Waltham 18s Watch 1883 No1-7  Movement  Bid Now »

Waltham 18s Watch 1883 No1-7 Movement

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
$5.00
$54.99
5 hrs
44 mins
Plymouth Watch Co 17j Pocket Watch 16s by Illinois Bid Now » Buy Now »

Plymouth Watch Co 17j Pocket Watch 16s by Illinois

Bid: $125.00
Buy: $162.50
Ships:
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$125.00
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6 hrs
1 min
Elgin No. 280 17j Pocket Watch 16s Bid Now » Buy Now »

Elgin No. 280 17j Pocket Watch 16s

Bid: $180.00
Buy: $234.00
Ships:
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$180.00
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6 hrs
12 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1901   M -2026 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1901 M -2026

Bid: $10.99
Ships:
$5.80
$16.79
6 hrs
15 mins
Illinois Bunn Special 60 Hour Buy Now »

Illinois Bunn Special 60 Hour

Buy: $495.00 Ships:
$12.00
$507.00
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6 hrs
15 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1900   M -2025 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1900 M -2025

Bid: $15.99
Ships:
$5.80
$21.79
6 hrs
24 mins
HAMILTON 992 950 TWO CASE SCREWS RAILROAD POCKET WATCH PARTS Buy Now »

HAMILTON 992 950 TWO CASE SCREWS RAILROAD POCKET WATCH PARTS

Buy: $19.00 Ships:
$2.95
$21.95
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6 hrs
33 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  SWISS  17 JEWELS M 2026- A Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM SWISS 17 JEWELS M 2026- A

Bid: $15.99
Ships:
$5.80
$21.79
6 hrs
36 mins
Vintage Solid 14k ELGIN Pocket watch size 13 c.1900s 49.5 mm* EXCELLENT COND Buy Now »

Vintage Solid 14k ELGIN Pocket watch size 13 c.1900s 49.5 mm* EXCELLENT COND

Buy: $1,999.00 Ships:
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$1,999.00
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6 hrs
38 mins
Hampden Watch Co Antique Pocket Watch made in 1882 works perfect Bid Now »

Hampden Watch Co Antique Pocket Watch made in 1882 works perfect

Bid: $199.99
Ships:
$20.00
$219.99
6 hrs
42 mins
Hamilton 16s 992 Vintage 21J American Railroad Watch  ( Parts Or Repair) Bid Now »

Hamilton 16s 992 Vintage 21J American Railroad Watch ( Parts Or Repair)

Bid: $104.00
Ships:
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$104.00
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6 hrs
54 mins
Vintage Wavy Damascene Model 6 17J Bunn Double Roller Pocket Watch Railroad Bid Now »

Vintage Wavy Damascene Model 6 17J Bunn Double Roller Pocket Watch Railroad

Bid: $137.50
Ships:
$6.50
$144.00
6 hrs
59 mins
Waltham pocket watch Model 1883 Bid Now »

Waltham pocket watch Model 1883

Bid: $148.50
Ships:
$7.50
$156.00
7 hrs
22 mins
hampden pocket watch 18 Bid Now »

hampden pocket watch 18

Bid: $78.75
Ships:
Based on Zip
$78.75
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7 hrs
23 mins
waltham antique pocket watches Bid Now »

waltham antique pocket watches

Bid: $79.75
Ships:
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$79.75
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7 hrs
24 mins
antique hamilton pocket watch Bid Now » Buy Now »

antique hamilton pocket watch

Bid: $44.10
Buy: $340.00
Ships:
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$44.10
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7 hrs
26 mins
Vintage Illinois Pocket Watch Dial Buy Now »

Vintage Illinois Pocket Watch Dial

Buy: $12.00 Ships:
$5.80
$17.80
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7 hrs
26 mins
Elgin 14k Solid Gold US Assay  Antique Pocket Watch 12s Double Hunter Reduced Bid Now » Buy Now »
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Elgin 14k Solid Gold US Assay Antique Pocket Watch 12s Double Hunter Reduced

Bid: $975.00
Buy: $2,070.00
Ships:
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$975.00
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7 hrs
33 mins
Waltham 14kt Yellow Gold Tricolor pckt watch w/14kt g anchor chain & Chai Charm Bid Now » Buy Now »

Waltham 14kt Yellow Gold Tricolor pckt watch w/14kt g anchor chain & Chai Charm

Bid: $2,395.00
Buy: $3,895.00
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$2,395.00
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7 hrs
35 mins
Legendary Flying ball necklace steampunk pocket watch gsr pgt Buy Now »

New Legendary Flying ball necklace steampunk pocket watch gsr pgt for saleLegendary Flying ball necklace steampunk pocket watch gsr pgt

Buy: $21.44 Ships:
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7 hrs
38 mins
American Waltham Watch Co. Silverine Non-Running Pocket Watch Bid Now »

American Waltham Watch Co. Silverine Non-Running Pocket Watch

Bid: $31.00
Ships:
$3.50
$34.50
7 hrs
39 mins
VINTAGE 16 SIZE ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT GRADE 127 FOR REPAIR Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT GRADE 127 FOR REPAIR

Buy: $45.00 Ships:
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$45.00
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7 hrs
43 mins
VINTAGE 6 SIZE ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT GRADE 67 FOR REPAIRS Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 6 SIZE ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT GRADE 67 FOR REPAIRS

Buy: $65.00 Ships:
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$65.00
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7 hrs
45 mins
Antique Elgin Gold Filled Non-Running Women's Pocket Watch Bid Now »

Antique Elgin Gold Filled Non-Running Women's Pocket Watch

Bid: $16.65
Ships:
$3.00
$19.65
7 hrs
48 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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