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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14K Solid Gold ELGIN  Lady Pocket Watch,Hunter Case,31 Grams,SEV'D & RUN ! Buy Now »

14K Solid Gold ELGIN Lady Pocket Watch,Hunter Case,31 Grams,SEV'D & RUN !

Buy: $695.00 Ships:
$11.95
$706.95
Buy now
1 min
ANTIQUE HAMILTON GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE HAMILTON GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS

Bid: $51.00
Ships:
$12.00
$63.00
1 min
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS

Bid: $20.50
Ships:
$12.00
$32.50
4 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS

Bid: $43.00
Ships:
$12.00
$55.00
7 mins
ANTIQUE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH

Bid: $40.00
Ships:
$12.00
$52.00
10 mins
1886 WALTHAM MODEL 1883 APPLETON TRACY 15J ADJ 18S - RUNNING - OWNER IDENTIFIED Bid Now »

1886 WALTHAM MODEL 1883 APPLETON TRACY 15J ADJ 18S - RUNNING - OWNER IDENTIFIED

Bid: $112.50
Ships:
$7.50
$120.00
12 mins
VINTAGE ART DECO 12S GOLD FILLED ILLINOIS RITETIME 17J POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

VINTAGE ART DECO 12S GOLD FILLED ILLINOIS RITETIME 17J POCKET WATCH

Bid: $72.00
Ships:
$4.00
$76.00
12 mins
ANTIQUE 16S WALTHAM 15J COIN SILVER POCKET WATCH PARTS REPAIR Bid Now »

ANTIQUE 16S WALTHAM 15J COIN SILVER POCKET WATCH PARTS REPAIR

Bid: $67.00
Ships:
$5.00
$72.00
13 mins
VINTAGE 12S ILLINOIS THE GOVERNOR 19 JEWEL POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

VINTAGE 12S ILLINOIS THE GOVERNOR 19 JEWEL POCKET WATCH

Bid: $34.78
Ships:
$4.00
$38.78
16 mins
ANTIQUE ELGIN VERITAS 18S PORCELAIN POCKET WATCH DIAL PARTS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE ELGIN VERITAS 18S PORCELAIN POCKET WATCH DIAL PARTS

Bid: $34.00
Ships:
$3.00
$37.00
17 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS

Bid: $48.00
Ships:
$12.00
$60.00
17 mins
RARE COLLECTOR GRADE - 19th Century ELGIN COWBOY DIAL and CASE - XNICE!! Buy Now »

RARE COLLECTOR GRADE - 19th Century ELGIN COWBOY DIAL and CASE - XNICE!!

Buy: $248.00 Ships:
$5.95
$253.95
Buy now
18 mins
WORKING Watch Elgin 1910 Pocket Case Antique Gold Filled 12s Vintage 15 Jewels Bid Now »
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WORKING Watch Elgin 1910 Pocket Case Antique Gold Filled 12s Vintage 15 Jewels

Bid: $69.99
Ships:
Free
$69.99
18 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH

Bid: $35.87
Ships:
$12.00
$47.87
19 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH

Bid: $20.68
Ships:
$12.00
$32.68
20 mins
ANTIQUE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH

Bid: $11.50
Ships:
$12.00
$23.50
23 mins
ANTIQUE 14S WALTHAM RIVERSIDE 15J OPENFACE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT PARTS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE 14S WALTHAM RIVERSIDE 15J OPENFACE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT PARTS

Bid: $19.13
Ships:
$4.00
$23.13
23 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $23.48
Ships:
$12.00
$35.48
23 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $25.00
Ships:
$12.00
$37.00
25 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM NICKEL SILVER POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM NICKEL SILVER POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $17.50
Ships:
$12.00
$29.50
26 mins
14K SOLID GOLD HAMILTON 992 RAILROAD GRADE POCKET WATCH 21J WORKING STAG DEER Buy Now »

14K SOLID GOLD HAMILTON 992 RAILROAD GRADE POCKET WATCH 21J WORKING STAG DEER

Buy: $1,099.00 Ships:
$15.00
$1,114.00
Buy now
28 mins
ANTIQUE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 21 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 21 JEWELS

Bid: $66.00
Ships:
$12.00
$78.00
28 mins
American Waltham Watch Co 17 jewels gold fill pocket watch Bid Now »

American Waltham Watch Co 17 jewels gold fill pocket watch

Bid: $75.00
Ships:
$5.80
$80.80
28 mins
ANTIQUE ELGIN SILVERODE POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE ELGIN SILVERODE POCKET WATCH

Bid: $21.50
Ships:
$12.00
$33.50
28 mins
Antique Elgin gold fill pocket watch Bid Now »

Antique Elgin gold fill pocket watch

Bid: $75.00
Ships:
$5.80
$80.80
28 mins
Antique Elgin gold fill pocket watch Bid Now »

Antique Elgin gold fill pocket watch

Bid: $100.00
Ships:
$5.80
$105.80
29 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM SILVERODE POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM SILVERODE POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $8.50
Ships:
$12.00
$20.50
30 mins
POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT HAMILTON "912" 17 JEWELS OPEN FACE SIZE 12s Bid Now »

POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT HAMILTON "912" 17 JEWELS OPEN FACE SIZE 12s

Bid: $5.00
Ships:
$3.80
$8.80
31 mins
AMERICAN WALTHAM POCKET WATCH- 1906- 15 Jewels Bid Now »

AMERICAN WALTHAM POCKET WATCH- 1906- 15 Jewels

Bid: $50.00
Ships:
$7.40
$57.40
36 mins
ANTIQUE ILLINOIS GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE ILLINOIS GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH

Bid: $41.00
Ships:
$12.00
$53.00
40 mins
Vintage Working Elgin IWCCO Pocket Watch With 7" Sterling Watch Chain Bid Now »
Free Shipping

Vintage Working Elgin IWCCO Pocket Watch With 7" Sterling Watch Chain

Bid: $54.95
Ships:
Free
$54.95
40 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $8.50
Ships:
$12.00
$20.50
41 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $12.50
Ships:
$12.00
$24.50
42 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH

Bid: $20.50
Ships:
$12.00
$32.50
42 mins
 Antique Men's Mechanical Illinois Alfha Wrist Watch Bid Now »
Free Shipping

Antique Men's Mechanical Illinois Alfha Wrist Watch

Bid: $12.00
Ships:
Free
$12.00
42 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $39.00
Ships:
$12.00
$51.00
44 mins
ELGIN 0Sz LADIES POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ELGIN 0Sz LADIES POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $100.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$100.00
Plus shipping
44 mins
Antique ELGIN Grade 44, 15J, 18s, Open Face Oresilver Pocket Watch Buy Now »
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Antique ELGIN Grade 44, 15J, 18s, Open Face Oresilver Pocket Watch

Buy: $150.00 Ships:
Free
$150.00
Buy now
44 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $9.50
Ships:
$12.00
$21.50
45 mins
Card of Brand New Antique Hamilton 6/0 Watch Hands (Blued) Bid Now »
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Card of Brand New Antique Hamilton 6/0 Watch Hands (Blued)

Bid: $12.00
Ships:
Free
$12.00
45 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $19.50
Ships:
$12.00
$31.50
48 mins
Elgin  15J Pocket Watch Display Runs 10k filled Buy Now »

Elgin 15J Pocket Watch Display Runs 10k filled

Buy: $95.00 Ships:
$6.00
$101.00
Buy now
48 mins
Card of Brand New Antique Hamilton 21/0 Watch Hands (yellow) Bid Now »
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Card of Brand New Antique Hamilton 21/0 Watch Hands (yellow)

Bid: $12.00
Ships:
Free
$12.00
48 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS

Bid: $34.00
Ships:
$12.00
$46.00
49 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM SILVER POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM SILVER POCKET WATCH

Bid: $85.00
Ships:
$12.00
$97.00
49 mins
Flying ball necklace Vintage Retro Angel Wing Necklace Steampunk Pocket Watch... Buy Now »
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Flying ball necklace Vintage Retro Angel Wing Necklace Steampunk Pocket Watch...

Buy: $18.57 Ships:
Free
$18.57
Buy now
50 mins
VTG Hampden Watch Co. 17 Jewel Open Face Pocket Watch Works Bid Now »

VTG Hampden Watch Co. 17 Jewel Open Face Pocket Watch Works

Bid: $89.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$89.00
Plus shipping
50 mins
ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS

Bid: $10.50
Ships:
$12.00
$22.50
50 mins
ESTATE Early 1900s Vintage RARE Elgin Size 18 Pocket Watch 7 Seven Jewel Buy Now »
Free Shipping

ESTATE Early 1900s Vintage RARE Elgin Size 18 Pocket Watch 7 Seven Jewel

Buy: $233.99 Ships:
Free
$233.99
Buy now
51 mins
ANTIQUE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS Bid Now »

ANTIQUE ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS

Bid: $104.50
Ships:
$12.00
$116.50
52 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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