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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 ANTIQUE red & black  WALTHAM  MASS. 1900  M -2025 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE red & black WALTHAM MASS. 1900 M -2025

Bid: $12.99
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$18.79
12 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1915  M -2021 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1915 M -2021

Bid: $12.99
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$18.79
13 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1908   M -2023 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1908 M -2023

Bid: $6.99
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$12.79
16 mins
Vintage Antique Waltham Pocket watch movement 0 size 35mm Balance is good LS Buy Now »

Vintage Antique Waltham Pocket watch movement 0 size 35mm Balance is good LS

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17 mins
Vintage "Elgin" Open Face Pocket Watch    N/R Bid Now »

Vintage "Elgin" Open Face Pocket Watch N/R

Bid: $30.00
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$34.37
49 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
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58 mins
American Waltham Watch Co. Model 1883 Pocket Watch Size 18 Runs Good Bid Now »

American Waltham Watch Co. Model 1883 Pocket Watch Size 18 Runs Good

Bid: $99.50
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59 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1901   M -2026 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1901 M -2026

Bid: $10.99
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$16.79
1 hr
7 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  MASS. 1900   M -2025 Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM MASS. 1900 M -2025

Bid: $15.99
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$21.79
1 hr
16 mins
 ANTIQUE  WALTHAM  SWISS  17 JEWELS M 2026- A Bid Now »

ANTIQUE WALTHAM SWISS 17 JEWELS M 2026- A

Bid: $15.99
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$21.79
1 hr
28 mins
VINTAGE AMERICAN WALTHAM POCKET WATCH 18s RUNS GREAT 19.4mm THICKNESS NO RESERVE Bid Now »

VINTAGE AMERICAN WALTHAM POCKET WATCH 18s RUNS GREAT 19.4mm THICKNESS NO RESERVE

Bid: $58.00
Ships:
$2.99
$60.99
1 hr
46 mins
Grade 912 Hamilton 17 Jewel 14K Gold Filled Pocket Watch 12S Bid Now »
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Grade 912 Hamilton 17 Jewel 14K Gold Filled Pocket Watch 12S

Bid: $67.67
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1 hr
49 mins
1887 6s Elgin Grade 95 7J Hunter Style Pocket Watch Movement & Dial !! look! Buy Now »

1887 6s Elgin Grade 95 7J Hunter Style Pocket Watch Movement & Dial !! look!

Buy: $26.99 Ships:
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2 hrs
4 mins
A.W. Co. American Waltham Pocket Watch 1886 18s 7j Sterling Grade Bid Now » Buy Now »

A.W. Co. American Waltham Pocket Watch 1886 18s 7j Sterling Grade

Bid: $399.99
Buy: $599.99
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2 hrs
12 mins
ANTIQUE SWISS SYSTEME ROSKOPF RAILROAD EISENBAHN POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

ANTIQUE SWISS SYSTEME ROSKOPF RAILROAD EISENBAHN POCKET WATCH

Bid: $80.00
Ships:
$6.00
$86.00
2 hrs
13 mins
WALTHAM Base Metal Pocket Watch, Manual Wind, 48mm Case Buy Now »
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WALTHAM Base Metal Pocket Watch, Manual Wind, 48mm Case

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2 hrs
15 mins
hampden pocket watch 18 Bid Now »

hampden pocket watch 18

Bid: $75.00
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2 hrs
15 mins
waltham antique pocket watches Bid Now »

waltham antique pocket watches

Bid: $75.01
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2 hrs
16 mins
SCARCE VINTAGE 12 SIZE HAMPDEN "VIKING" POCKET WATCH FOR REPAIRS Buy Now »

SCARCE VINTAGE 12 SIZE HAMPDEN "VIKING" POCKET WATCH FOR REPAIRS

Buy: $90.00 Ships:
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2 hrs
16 mins
antique hamilton pocket watch Bid Now » Buy Now »

antique hamilton pocket watch

Bid: $108.50
Buy: $340.00
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2 hrs
18 mins
VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 303 Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 303

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2 hrs
19 mins
Vintage Swiss Bulova 17AH Railroad Type Open Face Pocket Watch Gold Plate Sz 14 Buy Now »
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Vintage Swiss Bulova 17AH Railroad Type Open Face Pocket Watch Gold Plate Sz 14

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2 hrs
22 mins
Elgin Nat'l Watch Co Pocket Watch ~Open Face~ Silverode Buy Now »

Elgin Nat'l Watch Co Pocket Watch ~ Open Face ~ Silverode

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2 hrs
28 mins
Elgin Pocket Watch ~Open Face~ 15 Jewels ~Double Roller~ Silverode Buy Now »

Elgin Pocket Watch ~ Open Face ~ 15 Jewels ~ Double Roller ~ Silverode

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2 hrs
28 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 hrs
28 mins
VINTAGE 16 SIZE WALTHAM OPEN FACE MOVEMENT GRADE 636 FROM 1913 FOR REPAIRS Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE WALTHAM OPEN FACE MOVEMENT GRADE 636 FROM 1913 FOR REPAIRS

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2 hrs
52 mins
Antique 1907 Elgin Man's Pocket Watch Mermod-Jaccard & King Co. Bid Now » Buy Now »

Antique 1907 Elgin Man's Pocket Watch Mermod-Jaccard & King Co.

Bid: $11.50
Buy: $129.95
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3 hrs
10 mins
VINTAGE ELGIN, STANDARD, WESTCLOX SCOTTY & WESTCLOX BULLSEYE POCKET WATCHES Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN, STANDARD, WESTCLOX SCOTTY & WESTCLOX BULLSEYE POCKET WATCHES

Bid: $60.00
Ships:
$7.50
$67.50
3 hrs
15 mins
ANTIQUE GOLD HAMILTON RAILROAD POCKET WATCH RUNNING 1914 Buy Now »
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ANTIQUE GOLD HAMILTON RAILROAD POCKET WATCH RUNNING 1914

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3 hrs
18 mins
 VINTAGE ELGIN   MOV. HI GRADE  YR. 1930  M 2034 Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN MOV. HI GRADE YR. 1930 M 2034

Bid: $11.99
Ships:
$5.80
$17.79
3 hrs
18 mins
 WALTHAM MASS. 15 JEWELS double roller POCKET WATCH WORKING ORDER Bid Now »

WALTHAM MASS. 15 JEWELS double roller POCKET WATCH WORKING ORDER

Bid: $99.00
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3 hrs
22 mins
UNTIED STATES WATCH CO. USA AT WALTHAM EST'D 1885  17 JEWELS 0PEN GLASS BACK Bid Now »

UNTIED STATES WATCH CO. USA AT WALTHAM EST'D 1885 17 JEWELS 0PEN GLASS BACK

Bid: $179.00
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3 hrs
22 mins
 WALTHAM  double roller POCKET WATCH supreme gold filled working order Bid Now »

WALTHAM double roller POCKET WATCH supreme gold filled working order

Bid: $99.00
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3 hrs
22 mins
 WALTHAM 15 JEWELS double roller POCKET WATCH DEFIANCE CASE  working order Bid Now »

WALTHAM 15 JEWELS double roller POCKET WATCH DEFIANCE CASE working order

Bid: $99.00
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3 hrs
22 mins
 WALTHAM 15 JEWELS double roller philadelphia case co. working order Bid Now »

WALTHAM 15 JEWELS double roller philadelphia case co. working order

Bid: $99.00
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3 hrs
22 mins
Vintage Hamilton Lady's Watch, 14K Filled Bid Now » Buy Now »

Vintage Hamilton Lady's Watch, 14K Filled

Bid: $19.99
Buy: $29.99
Ships:
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$22.94
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3 hrs
23 mins
HAMILTON RAILROAD SPECIAL POCKET WATCH 992B 21J 10K ROLLED GOLD PA. Bid Now »

HAMILTON RAILROAD SPECIAL POCKET WATCH 992B 21J 10K ROLLED GOLD PA.

Bid: $265.00
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3 hrs
24 mins
Elgin Pocket Watch Double Roller Works 17 Jewels NEW YORK STATUE OF LIBERTY  Bid Now »

Elgin Pocket Watch Double Roller Works 17 Jewels NEW YORK STATUE OF LIBERTY

Bid: $127.00
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3 hrs
24 mins
HAMILTON RAILROAD SPECIAL POCKET WATCH 992 LANDCASTER PA. 21J,B&O RAILROAD CASE Bid Now »

HAMILTON RAILROAD SPECIAL POCKET WATCH 992 LANDCASTER PA. 21J,B&O RAILROAD CASE

Bid: $225.00
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3 hrs
24 mins
Elgin Pocket Watch double roller working order c.w.c. case co. 25 years   Bid Now »

Elgin Pocket Watch double roller working order c.w.c. case co. 25 years

Bid: $125.00
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3 hrs
26 mins
 Elgin  Pocket Watch Double Roller 14 k  Gold Filled Case-Works -17 Jewels Bid Now »

Elgin Pocket Watch Double Roller 14 k Gold Filled Case-Works -17 Jewels

Bid: $105.00
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3 hrs
26 mins
1925 Elgin Pocket Watch Bid Now »

1925 Elgin Pocket Watch

Bid: $50.00
Ships:
$5.75
$55.75
3 hrs
26 mins
 15 jewel Elgin Nat'l watch co. pocket watch. double roller, working order Bid Now »

15 jewel Elgin Nat'l watch co. pocket watch. double roller, working order

Bid: $99.00
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3 hrs
27 mins
VINTAGE 3/0 SIZE ELGIN HUNTING CASE MOVEMENT GRADE 417 MILITARY DIAL Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 3/0 SIZE ELGIN HUNTING CASE MOVEMENT GRADE 417 MILITARY DIAL

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3 hrs
34 mins
VINTAGE 4 PCS WALTHAM & ELGIN & OTHER POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT & DIAL 1900S Bid Now »

VINTAGE 4 PCS WALTHAM & ELGIN & OTHER POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT & DIAL 1900S

Bid: $19.99
Ships:
$3.00
$22.99
3 hrs
36 mins
VINTAGE WALTHAM 16 SIZE 15J POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT #21106575 O/F - 2 FIX Buy Now »

VINTAGE WALTHAM 16 SIZE 15J POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT #21106575 O/F - 2 FIX

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3 hrs
36 mins
Elgin National Watch Co. Keywind Pocket 1879 w/ Key ~WINDS & WORKS~ Buy Now »

Elgin National Watch Co. Keywind Pocket 1879 w/ Key ~ WINDS & WORKS ~

~No Crystal~ Keystone Key Wind Leader Coin Case Vintage
Buy: $175.99 Ships:
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3 hrs
38 mins
VINTAGE ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS RUNS Buy Now »

VINTAGE ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH 17 JEWELS RUNS

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3 hrs
41 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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