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.
Subcategories:
Auctions Buy It Now All
Enter Zip or Post Code for shipping:
7,874 itemsPriceShippingTotalTime Left
14K Gold 1920's Illinois Watch Co., Springfield collectible pocket watch Bid Now »

14K Gold 1920's Illinois Watch Co., Springfield collectible pocket watch

Bid: $998.00
Ships:
$15.00
$1,013.00
50 mins
BIG VINTAGE 1897 ELGIN 18S POCKET WATCH*RUNS*ROMAN NUMERAL * Buy Now »

BIG VINTAGE 1897 ELGIN 18S POCKET WATCH*RUNS*ROMAN NUMERAL *

Buy: $130.00 Ships:
$3.95
$133.95
Buy now
1 hr
2 mins
WALTHAM "VANGUARD" 23 JEWEL RAILROAD WATCH Bid Now »
Free Shipping

WALTHAM "VANGUARD" 23 JEWEL RAILROAD WATCH

Bid: $299.99
Ships:
Free
$299.99
1 hr
9 mins
WALTHAM 17 JEWELS  WATCH Bid Now »

WALTHAM 17 JEWELS WATCH

Bid: $85.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$85.00
Plus shipping
1 hr
11 mins
Elgin 18S Grade 412 21J Pocket Watch Bid Now »

Elgin 18S Grade 412 21J Pocket Watch

Bid: $100.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$100.00
Plus shipping
1 hr
14 mins
ANTIQUE RARE 1901 HAMILTON 960 "ONE STAR" POCKET WATCH, RUNS GOOD Buy Now »
Free Shipping

ANTIQUE RARE 1901 HAMILTON 960 "ONE STAR" POCKET WATCH, RUNS GOOD

Buy: $1,300.00 Ships:
Free
$1,300.00
Buy now
1 hr
14 mins
Ladies Elgin Sidewinder Pocket Watch, Gold Tone Essex Case With Chain Bid Now »

Ladies Elgin Sidewinder Pocket Watch, Gold Tone Essex Case With Chain

Bid: $152.50
Ships:
$6.25
$158.75
1 hr
43 mins
 Antique  Pre-1920 Gold Filled ELGIN Pocket Watch Grade:344, Full Hunter, J Boss Buy Now »
Free Shipping

Antique Pre-1920 Gold Filled ELGIN Pocket Watch Grade:344, Full Hunter, J Boss

Buy: $300.00 Ships:
Free
$300.00
Buy now
1 hr
44 mins
Hamilton KBTP Bb/C Trumpet Peg - Fits KB1PB, KB5PB, and KB560 Buy Now »
Free Shipping

Hamilton KBTP Bb/C Trumpet Peg - Fits KB1PB, KB5PB, and KB560

Buy: $14.08 Ships:
Free
$14.08
Buy now
1 hr
55 mins
VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 16 POCKET WATCH 1911 Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 16 POCKET WATCH 1911

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
$4.50
$54.49
1 hr
58 mins
VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 12 G.F CASE POCKET WATCH  1903 Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 12 G.F CASE POCKET WATCH 1903

Bid: $34.99
Ships:
$3.50
$38.49
2 hrs
4 mins
Antique Illinois 45mm 17 Jewel 20 Yr Plate Pocket Watch Winds, Sets, Runs Fine Bid Now »

Antique Illinois 45mm 17 Jewel 20 Yr Plate Pocket Watch Winds, Sets, Runs Fine

Bid: $51.00
Ships:
$2.50
$53.50
2 hrs
5 mins
Ball Standard RR Pocket Watch Bid Now » Buy Now »

Ball Standard RR Pocket Watch

Bid: $750.00
Buy: $1,000.00
Ships:
Free
$750.00
Buy now
2 hrs
5 mins
Antique Elgin 1901 Pocket Watch with Dueber Gold Filled Case 15-Jewels ~ 1-K5 Bid Now »

Antique Elgin 1901 Pocket Watch with Dueber Gold Filled Case 15-Jewels ~ 1-K5

Bid: $79.99
Ships:
Based on Zip
$79.99
Plus shipping
2 hrs
5 mins
Antique Waltham 1904 Pocket Watch with Gold Filled Case 17-Jewels ~ 1-K6 Bid Now »

Antique Waltham 1904 Pocket Watch with Gold Filled Case 17-Jewels ~ 1-K6

Bid: $129.99
Ships:
Based on Zip
$129.99
Plus shipping
2 hrs
9 mins
VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 12 POCKET WATCH LARGE INITALED BACK NICE 1902 Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 12 POCKET WATCH LARGE INITALED BACK NICE 1902

Bid: $34.99
Ships:
$3.50
$38.49
2 hrs
11 mins
Antique Hampden Pocket Watch 18s Lever Set 756572 Running 58mm Timepiece Bid Now »

Antique Hampden Pocket Watch 18s Lever Set 756572 Running 58mm Timepiece

Bid: $53.00
Ships:
$4.00
$57.00
2 hrs
13 mins
New Retro Crystal Ball Pendant Pocket hand-wind Mechanical Watch Antique Gift US Buy Now »
Free Shipping

New Retro Crystal Ball Pendant Pocket hand-wind Mechanical Watch Antique Gift US

Buy: $13.99 Ships:
Free
$13.99
Buy now
2 hrs
13 mins
Antique Elgin 1920 Pocket Watch with 25 Year Gold Filled Case 17-Jewels ~ 1-K7 Bid Now »

Antique Elgin 1920 Pocket Watch with 25 Year Gold Filled Case 17-Jewels ~ 1-K7

Bid: $149.99
Ships:
Based on Zip
$149.99
Plus shipping
2 hrs
14 mins
Antique 1918 Elgin Pocket Watch Movement & Dial ~ Size 12 ~ 15-Jewels ~ 1-K8 Bid Now »

Antique 1918 Elgin Pocket Watch Movement & Dial ~ Size 12 ~ 15-Jewels ~ 1-K8

Bid: $19.99
Ships:
Based on Zip
$19.99
Plus shipping
2 hrs
17 mins
VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 0 CARVED HUNTER  G.F CASE LADY POCKET WATCH  1903 Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 0 CARVED HUNTER G.F CASE LADY POCKET WATCH 1903

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
$3.50
$53.49
2 hrs
24 mins
Antique 1911 Hampden Pocket Watch Movement & Dial ~ 17-Jewels ~ 1-K10 Bid Now »

Antique 1911 Hampden Pocket Watch Movement & Dial ~ 17-Jewels ~ 1-K10

Bid: $89.99
Ships:
Based on Zip
$89.99
Plus shipping
2 hrs
27 mins
VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 18 POCKET WATCH LARGE NO DIAL NICE 1921 Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 18 POCKET WATCH LARGE NO DIAL NICE 1921

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
$4.50
$54.49
2 hrs
30 mins
VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 18  POCKET WATCH  1908 Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 18 POCKET WATCH 1908

Bid: $49.99
Ships:
$3.50
$53.49
2 hrs
36 mins
Very Nice Elgin - B.W. Raymond Pocket Watch in 18SZ Gold Filled Case Buy Now »

Very Nice Elgin - B.W. Raymond Pocket Watch in 18SZ Gold Filled Case

Buy: $189.95 Ships:
$8.00
$197.95
Buy now
2 hrs
41 mins
pocket watch movements for parts or repair LOT OF 6 ELGIN AND OTHERS Bid Now »

pocket watch movements for parts or repair LOT OF 6 ELGIN AND OTHERS

Bid: $30.00
Ships:
$4.00
$34.00
2 hrs
43 mins
VINTAGE HAMPDEN 15 JEWEL SIZE 18 POCKET WATCH 1896 Bid Now »

VINTAGE HAMPDEN 15 JEWEL SIZE 18 POCKET WATCH 1896

Bid: $74.99
Ships:
$4.50
$79.49
2 hrs
43 mins
Very Nice Elgin - B.W. Raymond Pocket Watch in Beauitful Cond. 21Jewel-Railroad Buy Now »

Very Nice Elgin - B.W. Raymond Pocket Watch in Beauitful Cond. 21Jewel-Railroad

Buy: $349.95 Ships:
$8.00
$357.95
Buy now
2 hrs
44 mins
HAMILTON 992 16 SIZE RAILROAD WATCH CIRCA 1916 EARLY MODEL PERF DIAL GOOD RUNNER Bid Now »

HAMILTON 992 16 SIZE RAILROAD WATCH CIRCA 1916 EARLY MODEL PERF DIAL GOOD RUNNER

Bid: $134.51
Ships:
$8.50
$143.01
2 hrs
46 mins
VINTAGE 18S ELGIN B.W RAYMOND POCKET WATCH UP + DOWN WIND INDICATOR FROM 1910 Buy Now »
Free Shipping

VINTAGE 18S ELGIN B.W RAYMOND POCKET WATCH UP + DOWN WIND INDICATOR FROM 1910

Buy: $1,650.00 Ships:
Free
$1,650.00
Buy now
2 hrs
49 mins
VINTAGE WALTHAM  SIZE 18  POCKET WATCH  1912 Bid Now »

VINTAGE WALTHAM SIZE 18 POCKET WATCH 1912

Bid: $74.99
Ships:
$4.50
$79.49
2 hrs
50 mins
LOT OF 5 NEW KANSAS CITY RAILROAD POCKET WATCH W/ 26" CHAIN AND FOB JESSE JAMES Bid Now »

LOT OF 5 NEW KANSAS CITY RAILROAD POCKET WATCH W/ 26" CHAIN AND FOB JESSE JAMES

Bid: $35.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$35.00
Plus shipping
2 hrs
55 mins
Centennial Exhib Business Card of Elgin National Watch Co. Buy Now »

Centennial Exhib Business Card of Elgin National Watch Co.

Buy: $30.00 Ships:
$2.50
$32.50
Buy now
2 hrs
55 mins
VINTAGE BIG ELGIN HUNTER CASE POCKET WATCH 4U2FIX Buy Now »
Free Shipping

VINTAGE BIG ELGIN HUNTER CASE POCKET WATCH 4U2FIX

Buy: $94.99 Ships:
Free
$94.99
Buy now
3 hrs
Waltham 1912 Jewel Size Ruby Grade 14K Solid Gold Open Face 17 Jewel Runs Buy Now »

Waltham 1912 Jewel Size Ruby Grade 14K Solid Gold Open Face 17 Jewel Runs

Buy: $499.99 Ships:
$4.99
$504.98
Buy now
3 hrs
6 mins
14K Gold Elgin Lapel Watch Yellow Gold 6-Size Hunter Case Box Hinge Antique 1889 Buy Now »

14K Gold Elgin Lapel Watch Yellow Gold 6-Size Hunter Case Box Hinge Antique 1889

Buy: $1,225.00 Ships:
Free
$1,225.00
Buy now
3 hrs
8 mins
Illinois Bunn Special 21J Rail Road grade Antique (pre 1920) Bid Now »

Illinois Bunn Special 21J Rail Road grade Antique (pre 1920)

Bid: $289.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$289.00
Plus shipping
3 hrs
8 mins
14K Gold Elgin Pocket Watch with Ornate Gold Metal Dial Antique from 1905 Buy Now »

14K Gold Elgin Pocket Watch with Ornate Gold Metal Dial Antique from 1905

Buy: $1,525.00 Ships:
Free
$1,525.00
Buy now
3 hrs
10 mins
VINTAGE 16S HAMILTON 21J POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT GRADE 9992B FROM 1948 KEEPS TIME Buy Now »

VINTAGE 16S HAMILTON 21J POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT GRADE 9992B FROM 1948 KEEPS TIME

Buy: $222.00 Ships:
$7.95
$229.95
Buy now
3 hrs
14 mins
Antique1920 Elgin Grade 291 7 jewel 16s  Pocket Watch Bid Now »

Antique1920 Elgin Grade 291 7 jewel 16s Pocket Watch

Bid: $21.00
Ships:
$5.00
$26.00
3 hrs
18 mins
Waltham Size 18 Pocket Watch  Open Face Case running   No Reserve Bid Now »

Waltham Size 18 Pocket Watch Open Face Case running No Reserve

Bid: $53.52
Ships:
$5.00
$58.52
3 hrs
18 mins
VINTAGE 18 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 317 FROM 1911 Buy Now »

VINTAGE 18 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 317 FROM 1911

Buy: $160.00 Ships:
$3.95
$163.95
Buy now
3 hrs
19 mins
Antique Lady Elgin 14kGF Watch Working Bid Now »

Antique Lady Elgin 14kGF Watch Working

Bid: $20.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$20.00
Plus shipping
3 hrs
20 mins
1910 Illinois Bunn Special 21 Ruby Jeweled Movement-- Swing- Out Case. Bid Now »

1910 Illinois Bunn Special 21 Ruby Jeweled Movement-- Swing- Out Case.

Bid: $199.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$199.00
Plus shipping
3 hrs
21 mins
14K Hampden Pendant  Watch with Enamel Case,  Blue Porcelain Dial, Antique 1904 Buy Now »

14K Hampden Pendant Watch with Enamel Case, Blue Porcelain Dial, Antique 1904

Buy: $1,550.00 Ships:
Free
$1,550.00
Buy now
3 hrs
23 mins
14K Multitone Gold Waltham Pocket Watch Large 18 Size Box Hunter Case from 1898 Buy Now »

14K Multitone Gold Waltham Pocket Watch Large 18 Size Box Hunter Case from 1898

Buy: $4,200.00 Ships:
Free
$4,200.00
Buy now
3 hrs
25 mins
Finest Art Nouveau Antique Elgin 1902 Huge 14k Gold Ladies Pocket Watch Bid Now »

Finest Art Nouveau Antique Elgin 1902 Huge 14k Gold Ladies Pocket Watch

Bid: $410.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$410.00
Plus shipping
3 hrs
26 mins
Hamilton 940 TWO TONE 1 star rare Buy Now »

Hamilton 940 TWO TONE 1 star rare

Buy: $395.00 Ships:
$12.00
$407.00
Buy now
3 hrs
26 mins
1920 ILLINOIS 17 JEWEL ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD ANTIQUE RAILROAD POCKET WATCH -WORKS Buy Now »
Free Shipping

1920 ILLINOIS 17 JEWEL ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD ANTIQUE RAILROAD POCKET WATCH -WORKS

Buy: $99.00 Ships:
Free
$99.00
Buy now
3 hrs
30 mins
Antique Waltham 14kt Yellow Gold Double Hunter Pocket Watch Circa 1880's Bid Now »

Antique Waltham 14kt Yellow Gold Double Hunter Pocket Watch Circa 1880's

Bid: $799.99
Ships:
$12.95
$812.94
3 hrs
30 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.

 Search eBay 
Search For In Category Min.
Price
Max.
Price
# Items
Per Page