Railroad Grade Pocket Watches

By the middle of the 19th century, American life and commerce had become increasingly dependent on railroads, and in the years following the Civil War the tracks became congested with train traffic. Trains needed to run on tight timetables so that all could share the available rails, and the need became evident to agree on a standard time. There were no time zones as we know them back then -- it was noon when the sun was high, which depends on your longitude. With rail lines spanning the North American continent, there were hundreds of definitions of "noon" spanning many hours, usually relying on the largest or most accurate clock in the area.

The railroad-grade pocket watch was developed to meet to make sure everyone operating the trains knew what time it was. To ensure that, the standards specified that a railroad grade pocket watch must contain a minimum number of jewels for bearings, pallets, and pins, must be lever set and have a lever type escapement with a safety wheel to ensure it would restart if stopped, must keep accurate time in several different positions and across a range of temperatures, regardless of how tightly the main spring was wound. Trainmen's pocket watches also had to be easily read in poor lighting, so they required a minimum size watch movement with Arabic numbers, a white dial, and contrasting spade hands.

Read more about railroad pocket watches, or browse the listings below to find one for your railroad memorabilia collection.
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Ball Waltham 1902 17j 16s Pocket watch Railroad Grade Adj 5 Pos View Back Buy Now »

Ball Waltham 1902 17j 16s Pocket watch Railroad Grade Adj 5 Pos View Back

Buy: $575.00 Ships:
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$575.00
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8 hrs
38 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Litchfield Park, AZ, USA ZIP 853**
  • Shipping Type: Local Pick-up
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: earl9239   Feedback: 430 / 100%
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Ancre Remontoir 15 Rubis Pocket Rubis LARGE Silver Pocket Watch - Railroad Motif Buy Now »

Ancre Remontoir 15 Rubis Pocket Rubis LARGE Silver Pocket Watch - Railroad Motif

Buy: $800.00 Ships:
$10.00
$810.00
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1 day
7 hrs
53 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Thousand Oaks, CA, USA ZIP 913**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $10.00
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: citycountryboy   Feedback: 1,661 / 100%
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BRAND NEW Vintage Citizen Men’s Watch Railroad Approved 6100-T15651 KT Parawater Buy Now »

BRAND NEW Vintage Citizen Men’s Watch Railroad Approved 6100-T15651 KT Parawater

Buy: $200.00 Ships:
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1 day
10 hrs
34 mins
  • Item Condition: New with tagsNew BRAND NEW Vintage Citizen Men’s Watch Railroad Approved 6100-T15651 KT Parawater for sale
  • Item Location: Oakley, CA, USA ZIP 945**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: grampa6 Feedback: 4 / 100%
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1930'sHamilton Watch Railroad Time Book Pocket Watch Advertising Book / Calendar Buy Now »

1930'sHamilton Watch Railroad Time Book Pocket Watch Advertising Book / Calendar

Buy: $20.00 Ships:
$5.99
$25.99
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1 day
11 hrs
6 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Alva, OK, USA ZIP 737**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.99
  • Handling Time: 5 business days
  • Seller: wakin_28   Feedback: 486 / 98.7%
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1934 Hamilton Watch: Railroad Accuracy Test of the Skies Vintage Print Ad Buy Now »

1934 Hamilton Watch: Railroad Accuracy Test of the Skies Vintage Print Ad

Buy: $7.25 Ships:
$4.75
$12.00
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1 day
16 hrs
2 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Roselle, IL, USA ZIP 601**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.75
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: relicpaper   Feedback: 8,261 / 99.7%
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Antique 1907 Illinois Pocket Watch RAILROAD GRADE - Size 18 - 17 Jewels,  Runs Buy Now »

Antique 1907 Illinois Pocket Watch RAILROAD GRADE - Size 18 - 17 Jewels, Runs

Buy: $425.00 Ships:
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1 day
17 hrs
25 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Stanton, MI, USA ZIP 488**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: nlm1992   Feedback: 5,048 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vintage 1926 HAMILTON WATCH Pocket Watch Railroad Accuracy 20's Print Ad Buy Now »

Vintage 1926 HAMILTON WATCH Pocket Watch Railroad Accuracy 20's Print Ad

Buy: $6.34 Ships:
$3.95
$10.29
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1 day
17 hrs
50 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Gurnee, IL, USA ZIP 600**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.95
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: imightwin   Feedback: 5,374 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton Finest Watch Railroad Accuracy Six Models Displayed Vintage Print Ad Buy Now »

Hamilton Finest Watch Railroad Accuracy Six Models Displayed Vintage Print Ad

Buy: $8.99 Ships:
$4.25
$13.24
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2 days
4 hrs
13 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Fort Myers, FL, USA ZIP 339**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.25
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: twinflow   Feedback: 1,080 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton Pocket Watch Railroad Bid Now »

Hamilton Pocket Watch Railroad

Bid: $51.00
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$51.00
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3 days
4 hrs
18 mins
1928 Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Airmail Bi-plane Dorothy Speare Story Ad Buy Now »

1928 Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Airmail Bi-plane Dorothy Speare Story Ad

Buy: $12.99 Ships:
$4.90
$17.89
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3 days
9 hrs
40 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Monmouth, IL, USA ZIP 614**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.90
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: bjbengtas   Feedback: 3,572 / 100%
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Vintage Antique Ingraham Pocket Watch Railroad Train Watch- Manual Wind Buy Now »

Vintage Antique Ingraham Pocket Watch Railroad Train Watch- Manual Wind

Buy: $25.00 Ships:
$7.95
$32.95
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3 days
13 hrs
41 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Spring Grove, IL, USA ZIP 600**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $7.95
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: listo-2015   Feedback: 2,562 / 99.1%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1931 PAPER AD 10 PG Waltham Pocket Wrist Watch Railroad Lugless Buy Now »

1931 PAPER AD 10 PG Waltham Pocket Wrist Watch Railroad Lugless

Buy: $24.99 Ships:
$5.99
$30.98
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3 days
14 hrs
47 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Wooster, OH, USA ZIP 446**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.99
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: gdawg   Feedback: 21,906 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vintage DIETZ Night Watch Railroad Lamp Lantern w/ Fresnel Red Glass Globe Buy Now »

Vintage DIETZ Night Watch Railroad Lamp Lantern w/ Fresnel Red Glass Globe

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$60.00
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3 days
17 hrs
10 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Salinas, CA, USA ZIP 939**
  • Shipping Type: Local Pick-up
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: snayr99   Feedback: 516 / 98.9%
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Antique Waltham working pocket watch railroad train locomotive Buy Now »

Antique Waltham working pocket watch railroad train locomotive

Buy: $300.00 Ships:
$5.00
$305.00
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4 days
1 hr
30 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA ZIP 333**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.00
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: coolcaps4u   Feedback: 25,591 / 99.5%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vintage Delgard Pocket Watch Railroad Timed Right - for Parts or Repair Germany Buy Now »

Vintage Delgard Pocket Watch Railroad Timed Right - for Parts or Repair Germany

Buy: $49.99 Ships:
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$49.99
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4 days
3 hrs
21 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Canton, OH, USA ZIP 447**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: mollweise-0   Feedback: 2,085 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1940 Hamilton watch railroad accuracy Vintage Ad heres your pony Buy Now »
Free Shipping

1940 Hamilton watch railroad accuracy Vintage Ad heres your pony

Buy: $14.95 Ships:
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$14.95
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4 days
4 hrs
17 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: La Luz, NM, USA ZIP 883**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: kelus-a2gwrkhe4   Feedback: 525 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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OB61 Pocket Watch Railroad Train Not Working For Parts Buy Now »

OB61 Pocket Watch Railroad Train Not Working For Parts

Buy: $24.99 Ships:
$6.50
$31.49
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4 days
5 hrs
34 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Custer, SD, USA ZIP 577**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $6.50
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: drnt   Feedback: 5,027 / 100%
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1911 Hamilton 992 Pocket Watch Railroad Grade 14k WGF Buy Now »

1911 Hamilton 992 Pocket Watch Railroad Grade 14k WGF

Buy: $380.00 Ships:
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$380.00
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4 days
8 hrs
2 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Seneca, SC, USA ZIP 296**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
  • Seller: musc   Feedback: 1,291 / 100%
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1948 Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Married Vintage Print Ad 26296 Buy Now »

1948 Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Married Vintage Print Ad 26296

Buy: $4.98 Ships:
$6.20
$11.18
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5 days
6 hrs
40 mins
  • Item Condition:
  • Item Location: Stockton, CA, USA ZIP 952**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $6.20
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: vintagepaperheaven   Feedback: 22,214 / 99%
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Vintage Illinois Pocket Watch Railroad Dial 42.5mm 16s Bold Numerals Buy Now »

Vintage Illinois Pocket Watch Railroad Dial 42.5mm 16s Bold Numerals

Buy: $27.00 Ships:
Based on Zip
$27.00
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5 days
13 hrs
34 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: North Aurora, IL, USA ZIP 605**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: mazhar7   Feedback: 2,348 / 100%
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HAMILTON 992 POCKET WATCH Railroad Watch 21 Jewels Does Not Run Buy Now »

HAMILTON 992 POCKET WATCH Railroad Watch 21 Jewels Does Not Run

Buy: $300.00 Ships:
$9.00
$309.00
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5 days
14 hrs
12 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA ZIP 900**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $9.00
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: barbarasuniqueboutique   Feedback: 641 / 99.5%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton Illinois Ball Pocket Watch Railroad Case Thread Repair Tool INFO 4 YOU Buy Now »

Hamilton Illinois Ball Pocket Watch Railroad Case Thread Repair Tool INFO 4 YOU

Buy: $555.55 Ships:
$6.00
$561.55
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6 days
5 hrs
9 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: USA
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $6.00
  • Handling Time: 4 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: partimeart   Feedback: 22,658 / 99.8%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1951 Print Ad, Hamilton Watches, Americas Finest Watch, Railroad Accuracy, PA014 Buy Now »

1951 Print Ad, Hamilton Watches, Americas Finest Watch, Railroad Accuracy, PA014

Buy: $9.98 Ships:
$3.50
$13.48
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6 days
10 hrs
29 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Cavendish, VT, USA ZIP 051**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.50
  • Handling Time: 5 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: cbinvermont   Feedback: 10,187 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1969 Press Photo Silver Key Winder Watch, railroad time keeper - noa34295 Buy Now »

1969 Press Photo Silver Key Winder Watch, railroad time keeper - noa34295

Buy: $19.99 Ships:
$4.99
$24.98
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6 days
10 hrs
31 mins
  • Item Condition:
  • Item Location: Memphis, TN, USA ZIP 381**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.99
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: historicimages-store   Feedback: 229,452 / 99.8%
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Elgin 1892 Grade 10 18s 11J Pocket Watch RAILROAD ENGRAVING 4550466 (B3A) Buy Now »
Free Shipping

Elgin 1892 Grade 10 18s 11J Pocket Watch RAILROAD ENGRAVING 4550466 (B3A)

Buy: $225.00 Ships:
Free
$225.00
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6 days
16 hrs
17 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA ZIP 080**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: heirloombrokers   Feedback: 10,469 / 99.4%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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