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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Waltham Pocket Watch size 18 Gold Filled Case from 1891 model 1883 Bid Now »

Waltham Pocket Watch size 18 Gold Filled Case from 1891 model 1883

Bid: $183.00
Ships:
$5.95
$188.95
10 mins
Antique 1885 Elgin G.M Wheeler 18s Silver Keywind Pocket NATIONAL Watch Company Bid Now » Buy Now »
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Antique 1885 Elgin G.M Wheeler 18s Silver Keywind Pocket NATIONAL Watch Company

Bid: $189.00
Buy: $349.99
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11 mins
Elgin Nat'l Watch Co.15 jewel Running Silveroid  Pocket Watch Lever 1910 Buy Now »
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Elgin Nat'l Watch Co.15 jewel Running Silveroid Pocket Watch Lever 1910

Buy: $95.00 Ships:
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$95.00
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18 mins
Waltham 14S Movement Starts But Stops Needs A Cleanig Model 13346614 Bid Now »

Waltham 14S Movement Starts But Stops Needs A Cleanig Model 13346614

Bid: $19.95
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27 mins
Antique1873 H.H. Taylor Elgin Pocket Watch Sterling Silver 18S 15 Jewel Adjusted Bid Now »

Antique1873 H.H. Taylor Elgin Pocket Watch Sterling Silver 18S 15 Jewel Adjusted

Bid: $575.00
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$575.00
29 mins
1896 BALL WATCH CO. CLEVELAND GOLD RAILROAD POCKET WATCH Double Roller L@@K! Bid Now » Buy Now »

1896 BALL WATCH CO. CLEVELAND GOLD RAILROAD POCKET WATCH Double Roller L@@K!

Bid: $499.00
Buy: $750.00
Ships:
$6.95
$505.95
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34 mins
Ca 1902 Waltham PW 18s, PS Bartlett, 17j, OF, Mod.1883, Stem Wind & Set, Nickel Bid Now »

Ca 1902 Waltham PW 18s, PS Bartlett, 17j, OF, Mod.1883, Stem Wind & Set, Nickel

Bid: $85.00
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$85.00
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38 mins
Ca 1918 Waltham PW 16s, Model 1908 Gr. 625, 15j, OF, Stem Wind & Set, Art Deco Bid Now »

Ca 1918 Waltham PW 16s, Model 1908 Gr. 625, 15j, OF, Stem Wind & Set, Art Deco

Bid: $48.00
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38 mins
Ca1888 Waltham PW Gilded Mvmnt & Plate for Parts 6s,7j, Mod 1873 GrE, Hunter Bid Now »

Ca1888 Waltham PW Gilded Mvmnt & Plate for Parts 6s,7j, Mod 1873 GrE, Hunter

Bid: $23.00
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38 mins
VINTAGE 16 SIZE BURLINGTON POCKET WATCH GRADE 107 MONTGOMERY DIAL Buy Now »

VINTAGE 16 SIZE BURLINGTON POCKET WATCH GRADE 107 MONTGOMERY DIAL

Buy: $170.00 Ships:
$3.95
$173.95
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49 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: 11,193 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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14K Howard 19 Jewel pocket watch 1913 Bid Now » Buy Now »

14K Howard 19 Jewel pocket watch 1913

Bid: $750.00
Buy: $1,000.00
Ships:
$18.00
$768.00
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52 mins
VINTAGE ~VERY CLEAN~ 18 SIZE ELGIN POCKETWATCH HUNTING GRADE 287!!! Buy Now »

VINTAGE ~ VERY CLEAN ~ 18 SIZE ELGIN POCKETWATCH HUNTING GRADE 287!!!

Buy: $110.00 Ships:
$4.35
$114.35
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53 mins
Antique Open Face Waltham 12 size Pocket Watch Not Wkg. Circa 1901 Bid Now »

Antique Open Face Waltham 12 size Pocket Watch Not Wkg. Circa 1901

Bid: $25.00
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54 mins
1 ELGIN POCKET WATCH WORKING= 1 NOT WORKING =1  REPLACEMENT UNIT IN ORIGNAL CASE Bid Now »

1 ELGIN POCKET WATCH WORKING= 1 NOT WORKING =1 REPLACEMENT UNIT IN ORIGNAL CASE

Bid: $40.00
Ships:
$5.95
$45.95
55 mins
ELGIN NATL. WATCH CO. - OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ELGIN NATL. WATCH CO. - OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH

Bid: $47.99
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56 mins
VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM SWING OUT POCKET WATCH GRADE 15 FROM 1889 DISPLAY BACK CASE Buy Now »

VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM SWING OUT POCKET WATCH GRADE 15 FROM 1889 DISPLAY BACK CASE

Buy: $275.00 Ships:
$6.95
$281.95
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56 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: 11,193 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE HAMILTON OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 974 RUNNING Bid Now »

VINTAGE 16 SIZE HAMILTON OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 974 RUNNING

Bid: $55.00
Ships:
$9.00
$64.00
57 mins
16s Waltham No. 625 Pocket Watch 17 Jewel, Bid Now »

16s Waltham No. 625 Pocket Watch 17 Jewel,

Bid: $40.00
Ships:
$7.50
$47.50
57 mins
VINTAGE 18S HAMILTON 21J GRADE 940 SWING OUT DISPLAY BACK POCKET WATCH FROM 1905 Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 18S HAMILTON 21J GRADE 940 SWING OUT DISPLAY BACK POCKET WATCH FROM 1905

Buy: $350.00 Ships:
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$350.00
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1 hr
1 min
ELGIN NATIONAL WATCH CO. 1896 RAILROAD POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ELGIN NATIONAL WATCH CO. 1896 RAILROAD POCKET WATCH

Bid: $175.00
Ships:
$7.95
$182.95
1 hr
4 mins
21 Jewel Size 16 ELGIN B.W. RAYMOND with UP/DOWN WIND INDICATOR Bid Now »

21 Jewel Size 16 ELGIN B.W. RAYMOND with UP/DOWN WIND INDICATOR

Includes a Handsome 12 inch Watch Fob With Design
Bid: $825.00
Ships:
$8.00
$833.00
1 hr
5 mins
HAMILTON 12 SIZE 17 JEWEL (MODEL 914) POCKET WATCH    RUNNING!!!      N30 Buy Now »

HAMILTON 12 SIZE 17 JEWEL (MODEL 914) POCKET WATCH RUNNING!!! N30

Buy: $225.00 Ships:
$6.90
$231.90
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1 hr
9 mins
vitage elgin watch Bid Now »

vitage elgin watch

Bid: $19.00
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$19.00
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1 hr
10 mins
VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN POCKETWATCH GRADE 303!!! 14K GOLD FILLED CASE! Buy Now »

VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN POCKETWATCH GRADE 303!!! 14K GOLD FILLED CASE!

Buy: $100.00 Ships:
$4.35
$104.35
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1 hr
12 mins
VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN POCKETWATCH GRADE 344!!!  SUBSECONDS AT 3! Buy Now »

VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN POCKETWATCH GRADE 344!!! SUBSECONDS AT 3!

Buy: $60.00 Ships:
$4.35
$64.35
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1 hr
17 mins
VINTAGE 18S ELGIN POCKET WATCH GRADE 335 FROM 1912 KEEPING TIME Buy Now »

VINTAGE 18S ELGIN POCKET WATCH GRADE 335 FROM 1912 KEEPING TIME

Buy: $175.00 Ships:
$3.95
$178.95
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1 hr
21 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: 11,193 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1920 ~ ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD POCKET WATCH ~19 JEWELS ~ Gold Plated Buy Now »
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1920 ~ ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD POCKET WATCH ~ 19 JEWELS ~ Gold Plated

Buy: $374.99 Ships:
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$374.99
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1 hr
27 mins
Kansas City Railroad Pocket Watch Quartz Movement Never Needs Winding NIP Buy Now »

Kansas City Railroad Pocket Watch Quartz Movement Never Needs Winding NIP

Buy: $9.99 Ships:
$3.00
$12.99
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1 hr
28 mins
Ca 1891 Waltham PW Mvmnt, 6s, OF, 7j, Stem Wind & Set, Seaside Grade, Mod 1889 Bid Now » Buy Now »

Ca 1891 Waltham PW Mvmnt, 6s, OF, 7j, Stem Wind & Set, Seaside Grade, Mod 1889

Bid: $24.00
Buy: $32.00
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1 hr
33 mins
NICE VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 315 FROM 1925 KEEPS TIME Buy Now »

NICE VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 315 FROM 1925 KEEPS TIME

Buy: $160.00 Ships:
$3.95
$163.95
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1 hr
33 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: 11,193 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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2 POCKET WATCHES 1 ELGIN 1 WALTHAM FOR PARTS OR REPAIR Bid Now »
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2 POCKET WATCHES 1 ELGIN 1 WALTHAM FOR PARTS OR REPAIR

Bid: $27.66
Ships:
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$27.66
1 hr
34 mins
MENS ELGIN NATIONAL WATCH CO GOLD FILLED FAHYS MONTAUK POCKET WATCH 45mm Bid Now »
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MENS ELGIN NATIONAL WATCH CO GOLD FILLED FAHYS MONTAUK POCKET WATCH 45mm

Bid: $129.00
Ships:
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$129.00
1 hr
35 mins
WALTHAM 1902 Antique USA Goldplated Hunter Pocket Watch Enamel Dial *Serviced Buy Now »

WALTHAM 1902 Antique USA Goldplated Hunter Pocket Watch Enamel Dial *Serviced

Buy: $365.00 Ships:
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1 hr
37 mins
1882 SUPER RARE ELGIN  DUEBER COIN SILVER POCKET WATCH (1-3) Buy Now »

1882 SUPER RARE ELGIN DUEBER COIN SILVER POCKET WATCH (1-3)

Buy: $399.99 Ships:
$2.99
$402.98
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1 hr
38 mins
fine antique Hampden pocket watch GF hunter case Buy Now »

fine antique Hampden pocket watch GF hunter case

Buy: $385.00 Ships:
$2.75
$387.75
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1 hr
40 mins
Beautiful 1911 Ladies 3/0S Hampden Molly Stark 14k GF Pendant Pocket Watch RUNS Buy Now »

Beautiful 1911 Ladies 3/0S Hampden Molly Stark 14k GF Pendant Pocket Watch RUNS

Buy: $99.99 Ships:
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1 hr
40 mins
Waltham Crescent Street 1900 Railroad Pocket Watch 21j 18s Fahys Pat 1884 case Buy Now »

Waltham Crescent Street 1900 Railroad Pocket Watch 21j 18s Fahys Pat 1884 case

Buy: $279.99 Ships:
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1 hr
41 mins
Vintage Waltham 19 jewels in good 14k GF case Bid Now »

Vintage Waltham 19 jewels in good 14k GF case

Bid: $379.00
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$379.00
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1 hr
41 mins
1896 Elgin 18s G M Wheeler 17 j  Pocket Watch Railroad Train Silverode Case Runs Buy Now »

1896 Elgin 18s G M Wheeler 17 j Pocket Watch Railroad Train Silverode Case Runs

Buy: $179.99 Ships:
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1 hr
41 mins
1892 HAMPDEN JOHN C. DUEBER RAILROAD GRADE 18s ADJ POCKET WATCH RUNS Buy Now »

1892 HAMPDEN JOHN C. DUEBER RAILROAD GRADE 18s ADJ POCKET WATCH RUNS

Buy: $299.99 Ships:
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1 hr
43 mins
Rockford Illinois Low Serial Key Wind Pocket Watch 1876 Fahys Coin Silver Runs Buy Now »

Rockford Illinois Low Serial Key Wind Pocket Watch 1876 Fahys Coin Silver Runs

Buy: $259.99 Ships:
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1 hr
44 mins
Vintage Waltham Pocket Watch w/ Recessed Second Hand Movement Working Bid Now »

Vintage Waltham Pocket Watch w/ Recessed Second Hand Movement Working

Bid: $36.00
Ships:
$5.00
$41.00
1 hr
44 mins
VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM P.S BARTLETT MOVEMENT FROM 1889 FANCY DEMASKEEN Buy Now »

VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM P.S BARTLETT MOVEMENT FROM 1889 FANCY DEMASKEEN

Buy: $200.00 Ships:
$3.95
$203.95
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1 hr
44 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: 11,193 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM GRADE 25 CHECKERBOARD MOVEMENT DISPLAY BACK FROM 1887 Buy Now »

VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM GRADE 25 CHECKERBOARD MOVEMENT DISPLAY BACK FROM 1887

Buy: $275.00 Ships:
$6.95
$281.95
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1 hr
46 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: 11,193 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Antique Elgin Running Pocket Watch 15 jewels 1919 Serialin go number 22930538 Bid Now »

Antique Elgin Running Pocket Watch 15 jewels 1919 Serialin go number 22930538

Bid: $65.99
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$65.99
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1 hr
47 mins
VINTAGE 16S ILLINOIS HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT 3 FINGER BRIDGE RUNNING! Buy Now »

VINTAGE 16S ILLINOIS HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT 3 FINGER BRIDGE RUNNING!

Buy: $135.00 Ships:
$3.95
$138.95
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1 hr
48 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: 11,193 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton 950B Railway Special Pocket Watch Buy Now »
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Hamilton 950B Railway Special Pocket Watch

Buy: $1,800.00 Ships:
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1 hr
50 mins
KEYSTONE WALTHAM Silveroid Pocket watch in display glass globe Bid Now » Buy Now »

KEYSTONE WALTHAM Silveroid Pocket watch in display glass globe

Bid: $99.00
Buy: $169.99
Ships:
$11.00
$110.00
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1 hr
51 mins
Elgin 12s 17J thin model movement running Buy Now »
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Elgin 12s 17J thin model movement running

Buy: $39.99 Ships:
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$39.99
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1 hr
52 mins
ELGIN 12S 17J STEEL FACE POCKET WATCH GOLD FILLED CASE CIRCA 1923 RUNNING Bid Now »
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ELGIN 12S 17J STEEL FACE POCKET WATCH GOLD FILLED CASE CIRCA 1923 RUNNING

Bid: $50.00
Ships:
Free
$50.00
1 hr
59 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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