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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Rare Ornate 645 RAILROAD GRADE WALTHAM Pocket Watch 21 Jewels 16s RUNS GREAT  Bid Now »

Rare Ornate 645 RAILROAD GRADE WALTHAM Pocket Watch 21 Jewels 16s RUNS GREAT

Super Low Production Run. MUST SEE THIS GORGEOUS WATCH
Bid: $138.50
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$9.50
$148.00
15 mins
Antique ELGIN Pocket Watch 16S 17J Gold Filled Runs 1913 Bid Now »
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Antique ELGIN Pocket Watch 16S 17J Gold Filled Runs 1913

Bid: $99.99
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$99.99
58 mins
ANTIQUE 6s WALTHAM GF HC POCKET WATCH – ELEGANT INLAID CASE - GREEN ROSE YELLOW Buy Now »
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ANTIQUE 6s WALTHAM GF HC POCKET WATCH – ELEGANT INLAID CASE - GREEN ROSE YELLOW

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1 hr
2 mins
Antique ELGIN Pocket Watch Movement 16S 15J 1887 Bid Now »
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Antique ELGIN Pocket Watch Movement 16S 15J 1887

Bid: $59.99
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$59.99
1 hr
13 mins
Antique Elgin pocket watch with fancy dial Bid Now »

Antique Elgin pocket watch with fancy dial

Bid: $38.99
Ships:
$7.15
$46.14
1 hr
27 mins
Elgin "103" pocket watch in great coindition Buy Now »

Elgin "103" pocket watch in great coindition

Buy: $120.00 Ships:
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2 hrs
8 mins
Roman Retro old railroad style Bronze Octagon Steampunk mechanical Skeleton with Buy Now »
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Roman Retro old railroad style Bronze Octagon Steampunk mechanical Skeleton with

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3 hrs
35 mins
Antique Hamilton Pocket Watch, 17 Jewel, 14k Gold Filled Wadsworth Quality, Case Buy Now »

Antique Hamilton Pocket Watch, 17 Jewel, 14k Gold Filled Wadsworth Quality, Case

Buy: $175.00 Ships:
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4 hrs
48 mins
VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 313 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 313 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT

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5 hrs
19 mins
VINTAGE 12 SIZE GRADE 220 WALTHAM OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 12 SIZE GRADE 220 WALTHAM OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT

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5 hrs
25 mins
VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 92 ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 92 ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT

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5 hrs
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 290 ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 290 ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT

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5 hrs
36 mins
Vintage 14K Yellow Gold Hunter Case American Waltham Pocket Watch #288 Bid Now »

Vintage 14K Yellow Gold Hunter Case American Waltham Pocket Watch #288

Bid: $1,250.00
Ships:
$25.00
$1,275.00
5 hrs
41 mins
Tiffany & Co. Waltham Vintage Platinum Half Hunter 21 Jewels Pocket Watch Buy Now »

Tiffany & Co. Waltham Vintage Platinum Half Hunter 21 Jewels Pocket Watch

Buy: $3,950.00 Ships:
$6.95
$3,956.95
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5 hrs
41 mins
Vintage Art Deco 20s Yellow Gold Filled Elgin 15 Jewels Pocket Watch Buy Now »

Vintage Art Deco 20s Yellow Gold Filled Elgin 15 Jewels Pocket Watch

Buy: $55.25 Ships:
$4.00
$59.25
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5 hrs
43 mins
VINTAGE 14 SIZE GRADE 357 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 14 SIZE GRADE 357 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT

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5 hrs
51 mins
Vintage Elgin Gold Filled Detailed Enamel Face Pocket Watch Buy Now »

Vintage Elgin Gold Filled Detailed Enamel Face Pocket Watch

Buy: $46.75 Ships:
$4.00
$50.75
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5 hrs
51 mins
Elgin Ladies Pocket Watch with Warranted To Wear Case-circa Pre-1920 Buy Now »

Elgin Ladies Pocket Watch with Warranted To Wear Case-circa Pre-1920

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6 hrs
22 mins
VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 357 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 357 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT

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6 hrs
47 mins
C.W.C Co.  Waltham  Coin Silver pocket watch  safety barrel   running Bid Now »

C.W.C Co. Waltham Coin Silver pocket watch safety barrel running

Bid: $44.07
Ships:
$3.00
$47.07
6 hrs
52 mins
Vintage 14KGF Hamilton 992 16 size 21 Jewel Railway, railroad Pocket Watch 1926 Bid Now »
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Vintage 14KGF Hamilton 992 16 size 21 Jewel Railway, railroad Pocket Watch 1926

Bid: $200.00
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$200.00
6 hrs
58 mins
Waltham 38mm Pocket Watch Movement S/N 18837626 Bid Now » Buy Now »

Waltham 38mm Pocket Watch Movement S/N 18837626

Bid: $12.00
Buy: $15.60
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6 hrs
59 mins
VINTAGE  ELGIN SIZE 12 POCKET WATCH 1933 AS IS Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 12 POCKET WATCH 1933 AS IS

Bid: $24.99
Ships:
$3.00
$27.99
7 hrs
5 mins
Large Vintage Lot of Elgin National Watch Co. Pocket Watch Movements & Parts Buy Now »
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Large Vintage Lot of Elgin National Watch Co. Pocket Watch Movements & Parts

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7 hrs
12 mins
3 Vintage Hampden Watch Co. Pocket Watch Parts Buy Now »
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3 Vintage Hampden Watch Co. Pocket Watch Parts

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7 hrs
12 mins
VINTAGE  ELGIN SIZE 12 POCKET WATCH 1922 AS IS Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 12 POCKET WATCH 1922 AS IS

Bid: $19.99
Ships:
$3.00
$22.99
7 hrs
16 mins
VINTAGE 1923 HAMILTON 21 JEWELS POCKET WATCH - 10K GOLD FILL - RAILROAD APPROVED Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 1923 HAMILTON 21 JEWELS POCKET WATCH - 10K GOLD FILL - RAILROAD APPROVED

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7 hrs
17 mins
VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 382 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT FOR PARTS Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 382 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT FOR PARTS

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7 hrs
23 mins
Antique 1904 ELGIN Pocket Watch -- 15 Jewels -- Size 16 -- w/ Chain Buy Now »
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Antique 1904 ELGIN Pocket Watch -- 15 Jewels -- Size 16 -- w/ Chain

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7 hrs
23 mins
Antique 1888 WALTHAM A.W.W. Co. Size 18 Silver-tone Pocket Watch Buy Now »

Antique 1888 WALTHAM A.W.W. Co. Size 18 Silver-tone Pocket Watch

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7 hrs
26 mins
Antique Elgin  Ladies Multi-Color 14k Gold Hunter Diamond Pocket Watch Stunning Bid Now » Buy Now »

Antique Elgin Ladies Multi-Color 14k Gold Hunter Diamond Pocket Watch Stunning

Bid: $600.00
Buy: $1,000.00
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7 hrs
27 mins
NEW ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING Buy Now »
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NEW ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING

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7 hrs
28 mins
VINTAGE  ELGIN SIZE 18 POCKET WATCH HUNTER MOVEMENT & DIAL 1885  AS IS Bid Now »

VINTAGE ELGIN SIZE 18 POCKET WATCH HUNTER MOVEMENT & DIAL 1885 AS IS

Bid: $13.95
Ships:
$3.00
$16.95
7 hrs
28 mins
NEW HAMILTON 992B POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING Buy Now »
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NEW HAMILTON 992B POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING

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7 hrs
32 mins
VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 247 ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 16 SIZE GRADE 247 ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT

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7 hrs
34 mins
REDUCED - ANTIQUE MEN’S ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH  ENGRAVED, WORKS, ESTATE Bid Now »
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REDUCED - ANTIQUE MEN’S ELGIN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH ENGRAVED, WORKS, ESTATE

Bid: $99.00
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$99.00
7 hrs
35 mins
VINTAGE 6 SIZE GRADE 286 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 6 SIZE GRADE 286 ELGIN OPENFACE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT

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7 hrs
42 mins
Vintage authentic Waltham gold filled pocket watch Bid Now »

Vintage authentic Waltham gold filled pocket watch

Montre de poche Waltham antique authentique
Bid: $317.36
Ships:
$31.74
$349.10
7 hrs
43 mins
NEW HAMILTON 992 POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING Buy Now »
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NEW HAMILTON 992 POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING

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7 hrs
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NEW HAMILTON POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING Buy Now »
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NEW HAMILTON POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING

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7 hrs
44 mins
NEW WALTHAM P S BARTLETT POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING Buy Now »
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NEW WALTHAM P S BARTLETT POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING

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7 hrs
46 mins
NEW ELGIN B W RAYMOND POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING Buy Now »
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NEW ELGIN B W RAYMOND POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING

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7 hrs
47 mins
Brand New Silver Tone Railroad Pocket Watch with Chain - Free Shipping Buy Now »
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Brand New Silver Tone Railroad Pocket Watch with Chain - Free Shipping

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7 hrs
47 mins
VINTAGE 12 SIZE GRADE 301 ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 12 SIZE GRADE 301 ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKETWATCH MOVEMENT

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7 hrs
49 mins
NEW E. HOWARD POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING Buy Now »
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NEW E. HOWARD POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING

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7 hrs
50 mins
NEW BALL POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING Buy Now »
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NEW BALL POCKET WATCH POUCH FREE SHIPPING

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7 hrs
51 mins
Hamilton 992B. 24 HR. Dial Pocket-Watch... "Running Perfectly" Nice Watch   L@@K Buy Now »

Hamilton 992B. 24 HR. Dial Pocket-Watch... "Running Perfectly" Nice Watch L@@K

Buy: $475.00 Ships:
$6.80
$481.80
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7 hrs
51 mins
FANCY 1925 VINTAGE ELGIN 345 STEM SET SUB SECOND 17J OCTAGONAL POCKET WATCH MIB Buy Now »

FANCY 1925 VINTAGE ELGIN 345 STEM SET SUB SECOND 17J OCTAGONAL POCKET WATCH MIB

Buy: $388.00 Ships:
$10.00
$398.00
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7 hrs
51 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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