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 1915 Railroad Pocket Watch for repair Bid Now »

Antique 1915 Railroad Pocket Watch for repair

Bid: $89.99
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$89.99
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1 min
VINTAGE HAMILTON 14K GOLD FILLED 21 JEWEL POCKET WATCH Bid Now »

VINTAGE HAMILTON 14K GOLD FILLED 21 JEWEL POCKET WATCH

Bid: $207.50
Ships:
Free
$207.50
1 min
Waltham 18s  Model 1877 Pocket Watch - Silveroid Case Buy Now »

Waltham 18s Model 1877 Pocket Watch - Silveroid Case

Buy: $175.00 Ships:
$15.99
$190.99
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4 mins
VINTAGE 12SIZE BEAUTIFUL HOWARD POCKETWATCH WITH ORIGINAL BOX AND PAPERS Buy Now »

VINTAGE 12SIZE BEAUTIFUL HOWARD POCKETWATCH WITH ORIGINAL BOX AND PAPERS

Buy: $275.00 Ships:
$7.95
$282.95
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6 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Grand Island, NY, USA ZIP 14072
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $7.95
  • Expedited Shipping - One-Day Shipping Available
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: diamondhead4   Feedback: 12,893 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1882 ELGIN NAT'L WATCH CO.    MODEL 3 WORKING INTERNALS, WITH CRYSTAL Bid Now »

1882 ELGIN NAT'L WATCH CO. MODEL 3 WORKING INTERNALS, WITH CRYSTAL

Bid: $49.50
Ships:
$3.50
$53.00
6 mins
 Illinois Springfield Watch Company Vintage Pocket Watch 1922 17 jewels Buy Now »

Illinois Springfield Watch Company Vintage Pocket Watch 1922 17 jewels

Buy: $500.00 Ships:
$10.00
$510.00
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11 mins
16 sz HAMILTON 992 992E 992B POCKET WATCH - 21j  RR - CROWN BOW BOC  - PART Buy Now »

16 sz HAMILTON 992 992E 992B POCKET WATCH - 21j RR - CROWN BOW BOC - PART

Buy: $50.00 Ships:
Free
$50.00
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15 mins
VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM BROADWAY KW/KS COIN SILVER POCKET WATCH FROM 1877 Buy Now »

VINTAGE 18S WALTHAM BROADWAY KW/KS COIN SILVER POCKET WATCH FROM 1877

Buy: $260.00 Ships:
$7.95
$267.95
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16 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Grand Island, NY, USA ZIP 14072
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $7.95
  • Expedited Shipping - One-Day Shipping Available
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: diamondhead4   Feedback: 12,893 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Antique Rare men's ELGIN 14k Gold Demi half Hunter 12s pocket Watch running Buy Now »

Antique Rare men's ELGIN 14k Gold Demi half Hunter 12s pocket Watch running

Buy: $475.16 Ships:
$12.00
$487.16
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23 mins
VINTAGE 6 SIZE WALTHAM SEASIDE SIDEWINDER POCKET WATCH FROM 1898 RUNNING Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 6 SIZE WALTHAM SEASIDE SIDEWINDER POCKET WATCH FROM 1898 RUNNING

Buy: $130.00 Ships:
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$130.00
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24 mins
RAILROAD POCKET WATCH WALTHAM 16 JEWELS SILVER ROMAN NUMERALS GOLD HANDS WORKING Bid Now »

RAILROAD POCKET WATCH WALTHAM 16 JEWELS SILVER ROMAN NUMERALS GOLD HANDS WORKING

Bid: $199.00
Ships:
Free
$199.00
24 mins
1898 Antique Waltham 15-Jewels 15s 14.83mm #5824 Pocket Watch Serial #13453679 Buy Now »

1898 Antique Waltham 15-Jewels 15s 14.83mm #5824 Pocket Watch Serial #13453679

Buy: $249.99 Ships:
$12.00
$261.99
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27 mins
Illinois "Time King"  Pocket Watch 14K Gold Filled 17 Jewel Philadelphia Case Bid Now »

Illinois "Time King" Pocket Watch 14K Gold Filled 17 Jewel Philadelphia Case

Bid: $119.00
Ships:
$6.95
$125.95
29 mins
ANTIQUE 1904 WALTHAM GOLD FILLED 18 SIZE 7 Jewels POCKETWATCH CANADIAN DIAL Buy Now »

ANTIQUE 1904 WALTHAM GOLD FILLED 18 SIZE 7 Jewels POCKETWATCH CANADIAN DIAL

Buy: $279.00 Ships:
$9.50
$288.50
Buy now
29 mins
Waltham 15j 12size pocket watch Bid Now »

Waltham 15j 12size pocket watch

Bid: $49.00
Ships:
$5.30
$54.30
30 mins
1922  ILLINOIS WATCH CO "Time King"  21 jewel, size 16s, running, excellent cond Buy Now »

1922 ILLINOIS WATCH CO "Time King" 21 jewel, size 16s, running, excellent cond

Buy: $499.99 Ships:
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$499.99
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34 mins
1900 Elgin Grade 250 Model 5 Class 64 Size 18, 17 Jewels Buy Now »
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1900 Elgin Grade 250 Model 5 Class 64 Size 18, 17 Jewels

Buy: $99.99 Ships:
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$99.99
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39 mins
1951 Elgin B W Raymond 16S 21J 10K G/F Pocket Watch Good Working Condition Bid Now »

1951 Elgin B W Raymond 16S 21J 10K G/F Pocket Watch Good Working Condition

Bid: $128.49
Ships:
$6.80
$135.29
42 mins
Antique Illinois Railroad Pocket Watch Sangamo Cannon Pinion Buy Now »

Antique Illinois Railroad Pocket Watch Sangamo Cannon Pinion

Buy: $9.50 Ships:
$6.50
$16.00
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42 mins
Hamilton Watch Lancaster Pa 17 Jewels 892 Registered Edition Buy Now »
Free Shipping

Hamilton Watch Lancaster Pa 17 Jewels 892 Registered Edition

Buy: $289.36 Ships:
Free
$289.36
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43 mins
1898 Vict Waltham Pocket Watch Diam Ruby Sapph American Flag Special RARE EP823 Buy Now »

1898 Vict Waltham Pocket Watch Diam Ruby Sapph American Flag Special RARE EP823

Buy: $595.00 Ships:
$18.95
$613.95
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46 mins
VINTAGE 12S ELGIN GREEN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH FROM 1926 GRADE 315 RUNNING Buy Now »
Free Shipping

VINTAGE 12S ELGIN GREEN GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH FROM 1926 GRADE 315 RUNNING

Buy: $130.00 Ships:
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$130.00
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48 mins
U.S. WATCH CO OF WALTHAM MASS GOLD PLATED POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT #42725 SIZE 16S Buy Now »
Free Shipping

U.S. WATCH CO OF WALTHAM MASS GOLD PLATED POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT #42725 SIZE 16S

Buy: $260.00 Ships:
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$260.00
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50 mins
vtg ELGIN keystone silveroid 5661978 pocket watch 3241492 silver finish Buy Now »

vtg ELGIN keystone silveroid 5661978 pocket watch 3241492 silver finish

Buy: $110.00 Ships:
Based on Zip
$110.00
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57 mins
AMERICAN WALTHAM OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH MODEL 1891 7 JEWEL SEASIDE SIZE 0s AS IS Buy Now »

AMERICAN WALTHAM OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH MODEL 1891 7 JEWEL SEASIDE SIZE 0s AS IS

Buy: $100.00 Ships:
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$100.00
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58 mins
14k Vintage 1924 Illinois Pocket Watch - Gold Filled Buy Now »

14k Vintage 1924 Illinois Pocket Watch - Gold Filled

Buy: $299.99 Ships:
Based on Zip
$299.99
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59 mins
Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch Parts Bid Now » Buy Now »

Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch Parts

Bid: $45.99
Buy: $59.99
Ships:
$10.00
$55.99
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1 hr
5 mins
 RARE 1877 ELGIN NAT'L WATCH CO.Pocket Watch 18s HUNTER Case 559489  / KEY WIND Bid Now »

RARE 1877 ELGIN NAT'L WATCH CO.Pocket Watch 18s HUNTER Case 559489 / KEY WIND

Bid: $195.00
Ships:
$5.95
$200.95
1 hr
9 mins
1906-A MA,Waltham-Middlesex County,Waltham Colonial Series Pocket Watch Buy Now »
Free Shipping

1906-A MA,Waltham-Middlesex County,Waltham Colonial Series Pocket Watch

Buy: $295.00 Ships:
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$295.00
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1 hr
9 mins
1919 WALTHAM 620, Model 1908, 15j, 16s, 14K Yellow Gold Full Hunter Pocket Watch Buy Now »
Free Shipping

1919 WALTHAM 620, Model 1908, 15j, 16s, 14K Yellow Gold Full Hunter Pocket Watch

Buy: $1,500.00 Ships:
Free
$1,500.00
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1 hr
10 mins
Illinois12S Pocket Watch Hard Running. Great GF Hunting Case Bid Now » Buy Now »

Illinois12S Pocket Watch Hard Running. Great GF Hunting Case

Bid: $51.00
Buy: $155.00
Ships:
$6.00
$57.00
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1 hr
11 mins
Large-18SZ Elgin Pocket Watch + Fob-in Heavy 4 OZ Coin Silver Case - 7 Jewel Buy Now »

Large-18SZ Elgin Pocket Watch + Fob-in Heavy 4 OZ Coin Silver Case - 7 Jewel

Buy: $184.95 Ships:
$9.00
$193.95
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1 hr
11 mins
14k Vintage 1900s E. Howard Pocket Watch - White Gold Buy Now »

14k Vintage 1900s E. Howard Pocket Watch - White Gold

Buy: $1,399.99 Ships:
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$1,399.99
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1 hr
20 mins
Waltham Pocket Watch Model 1891 from 1899 in 14 Karat Gold Buy Now »

Waltham Pocket Watch Model 1891 from 1899 in 14 Karat Gold

Buy: $950.00 Ships:
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$950.00
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1 hr
21 mins
Elgin Grade 117 Pocket Watch Buy Now »
Free Shipping

Elgin Grade 117 Pocket Watch

Buy: $200.00 Ships:
Free
$200.00
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1 hr
21 mins
14KT Illinois Watch Co.1923 OF PW 21 Jewels Roy engraved Deer casing runs well Buy Now »

14KT Illinois Watch Co.1923 OF PW 21 Jewels Roy engraved Deer casing runs well

Buy: $510.00 Ships:
Free
$510.00
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1 hr
23 mins
Ladies Pocketwatch - Waltham - Size 0 - 1900. Buy Now »

Ladies Pocketwatch - Waltham - Size 0 - 1900.

Buy: $40.00 Ships:
$3.00
$43.00
Buy now
1 hr
25 mins
Elgin 4 Color Scalloped Case Pocket Watch in 14K White, Rose, Green ,Yellow Gold Bid Now »

Elgin 4 Color Scalloped Case Pocket Watch in 14K White, Rose, Green ,Yellow Gold

Bid: $1,800.00
Ships:
$25.00
$1,825.00
1 hr
28 mins
1938 Hamilton 14K White Gold Filled Pocket Watch Running Buy Now »

1938 Hamilton 14K White Gold Filled Pocket Watch Running

Buy: $190.00 Ships:
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$190.00
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1 hr
30 mins
Hampden Molly Stark Pocket Watch Buy Now »
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Hampden Molly Stark Pocket Watch

Buy: $150.00 Ships:
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$150.00
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1 hr
31 mins
WALTHAM RAILRODE GRADE16 SIZE 21 RUBY JEWELS POCKET WATCH/WATCH BOB & FOB Buy Now »

WALTHAM RAILRODE GRADE16 SIZE 21 RUBY JEWELS POCKET WATCH/WATCH BOB & FOB

Buy: $197.00 Ships:
$6.00
$203.00
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1 hr
32 mins
*Old Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch Gold Filled Watch Lessing Lodge WJP1 0001 Buy Now »

*Old Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch Gold Filled Watch Lessing Lodge WJP1 0001

Buy: $300.00 Ships:
$5.00
$305.00
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1 hr
34 mins
ANTIQUE 1887 ELGIN POCKET WATCH SWING OUT MOVEMENT 18 SIZE WORKING Buy Now »

ANTIQUE 1887 ELGIN POCKET WATCH SWING OUT MOVEMENT 18 SIZE WORKING

Buy: $550.00 Ships:
$9.15
$559.15
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1 hr
35 mins
VINTAGE 3/0 SIZE HAMPDEN MOLLY STARK POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT FANCY DIAL Buy Now »

VINTAGE 3/0 SIZE HAMPDEN MOLLY STARK POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT FANCY DIAL

Buy: $70.00 Ships:
$4.65
$74.65
Buy now
1 hr
36 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Grand Island, NY, USA ZIP 14072
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.65
  • Expedited Shipping - One-Day Shipping Available
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: diamondhead4   Feedback: 12,893 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
  • See other items for sale from diamondhead4
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VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 303 RUNNING FOR REPAIRS Buy Now »
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VINTAGE 12 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH GRADE 303 RUNNING FOR REPAIRS

Buy: $110.00 Ships:
Free
$110.00
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1 hr
37 mins
VINTAGE 14 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT GRAE 358 FROM 1912 Buy Now »

VINTAGE 14 SIZE ELGIN OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT GRAE 358 FROM 1912

Buy: $80.00 Ships:
$4.65
$84.65
Buy now
1 hr
38 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Grand Island, NY, USA ZIP 14072
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.65
  • Expedited Shipping - One-Day Shipping Available
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: diamondhead4   Feedback: 12,893 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
  • See other items for sale from diamondhead4
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vintage 0s English market Waltham 25yr GF OF PW w ALD Waltham signed case Buy Now »
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vintage 0s English market Waltham 25yr GF OF PW w ALD Waltham signed case

Buy: $69.95 Ships:
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$69.95
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1 hr
42 mins
1919 to 1922  Dueber Hampden 17 Jewel Open Face Railroad Grade Gold Watch Bid Now »
Free Shipping

1919 to 1922 Dueber Hampden 17 Jewel Open Face Railroad Grade Gold Watch

Bid: $89.99
Ships:
Free
$89.99
1 hr
48 mins
21J Railroad Illinois Burlington Antique Montgomery Dial Pocket Watch to Fix Bid Now »

21J Railroad Illinois Burlington Antique Montgomery Dial Pocket Watch to Fix

Bid: $83.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$83.00
Plus shipping
1 hr
48 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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