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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1933 PAPER AD Illinois Pocket Watch Railroad Springfield Howard Hamilton Cleve Buy Now »

1933 PAPER AD Illinois Pocket Watch Railroad Springfield Howard Hamilton Cleve

Buy: $14.99 Ships:
$4.49
$19.48
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8 hrs
25 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Wooster, OH, USA ZIP 446**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.49
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: gdawg   Feedback: 17,310 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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VINTAGE ILLINOIS BUNN SPECIAL POCKET WATCH RAILROAD 16S 21 JEWEL & PERFECT DIAL Buy Now »

VINTAGE ILLINOIS BUNN SPECIAL POCKET WATCH RAILROAD 16S 21 JEWEL & PERFECT DIAL

Buy: $139.00 Ships:
$9.90
$148.90
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12 hrs
46 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Boston, MA, USA ZIP 021**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $9.90
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: universegemsco   Feedback: 1,206 / 99.2%
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Nice Elgin Pocket Watch Railroad Dial 19 Size Single Sunk Red Minute Marks Buy Now »
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Nice Elgin Pocket Watch Railroad Dial 19 Size Single Sunk Red Minute Marks

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$44.95
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12 hrs
49 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Fort Myers, FL, USA ZIP 339**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
  • Seller: bfh12   Feedback: 686 / 99.5%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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NICE Waltham Vanguard Pocket Watch Railroad Grade 8 Adj. 23j Housed in a 10K RGP Buy Now »

NICE Waltham Vanguard Pocket Watch Railroad Grade 8 Adj. 23j Housed in a 10K RGP

Buy: $396.00 Ships:
$10.00
$406.00
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22 hrs
57 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Roanoke, VA, USA ZIP 240**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $10.00
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: avp4591   Feedback: 226 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD WORKER  AND  DISNEY TIN  - RARE Bid Now » Buy Now »

DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD WORKER AND DISNEY TIN - RARE

Bid: $70.00
Buy: $91.00
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$78.00
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1 day
18 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: USA ZIP 908**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $8.00
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: jim_at_odwalla   Feedback: 121 / 100%
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Waltham Pocket Watch - Railroad Grade Buy Now »
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Waltham Pocket Watch - Railroad Grade

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1 day
15 hrs
42 mins
Pocket Watch Railroad Embossed Case with Belt Chain Buy Now »
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Pocket Watch Railroad Embossed Case with Belt Chain

Buy: $28.00 Ships:
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$28.00
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2 days
1 hr
42 mins
  • Item Condition: New without tags
  • Item Location: La Valle, WI, USA ZIP 539**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 5 business days
  • Seller: fordmanted2b2b   Feedback: 630 / 98.9%
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elgin vantage pocket watch (railroad issue) Buy Now »
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elgin vantage pocket watch (railroad issue)

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2 days
15 hrs
10 mins
Hamilton 19 Jewel, Grade 996 Pocket Watch, Railroad Grade, Factory Display Case Buy Now »

Hamilton 19 Jewel, Grade 996 Pocket Watch, Railroad Grade, Factory Display Case

Buy: $289.99 Ships:
$5.00
$294.99
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2 days
15 hrs
35 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: USA
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.00
  • Handling Time: 5 business days
  • Seller: thefirstlarjones   Feedback: 17,457 / 99.8%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Illinois Pocket Watch - Railroad style - 11 Jewels Gold filled Case Buy Now »
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Illinois Pocket Watch - Railroad style - 11 Jewels Gold filled Case

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$125.00
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2 days
16 hrs
44 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Longview, WA, USA ZIP 986**
  • Shipping Type: Free
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: longviewpawn   Feedback: 2,025 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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BNSF Springfield Div Railroad Selco Geneve Wrist Watch Railroad Approved 2012 Buy Now »
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BNSF Springfield Div Railroad Selco Geneve Wrist Watch Railroad Approved 2012

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$94.99
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3 days
16 hrs
  • Item Condition: NewNew BNSF Springfield Div Railroad Selco Geneve Wrist Watch Railroad Approved 2012 for sale
  • Item Location: Fenton, MO, USA ZIP 630**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: mptcollectors   Feedback: 1,353 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Kronotron Pocket Watch Railroad Train Theme Wind Up Silver Tone Buy Now »

Kronotron Pocket Watch Railroad Train Theme Wind Up Silver Tone

Buy: $39.99 Ships:
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$39.99
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3 days
19 hrs
53 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Jacksonville, FL, USA ZIP 322**
  • Shipping Type: Local Pick-up
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: trishastreasuresfla   Feedback: 141 / 100%
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Vintage Printed Duel-side Ad National Geographic Hamilton Watch Railroad  Nov 31 Buy Now »

Vintage Printed Duel-side Ad National Geographic Hamilton Watch Railroad Nov 31

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$1.99
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4 days
11 hrs
31 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Johnstown, PA, USA ZIP 159**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: photo_by_bill   Feedback: 896 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1927 Hamilton Watches That Christmas Watch Railroad Accuracy Lancaster Print Ad Buy Now »

1927 Hamilton Watches That Christmas Watch Railroad Accuracy Lancaster Print Ad

Buy: $9.95 Ships:
$5.05
$15.00
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4 days
15 hrs
32 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Austin, TX, USA ZIP 787**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.05
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: adman365   Feedback: 67 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton Electric Watch “Railroad 51”-OVERHAULED-Rare Factory Bracelet-WARRANTY! Buy Now »
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Hamilton Electric Watch “Railroad 51”-OVERHAULED-Rare Factory Bracelet-WARRANTY!

Buy: $675.00 Ships:
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$675.00
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4 days
16 hrs
12 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Cleveland, OH, USA ZIP 441**
  • Shipping Type: Free
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: electricavenuewatchrepair   Feedback: 1,496 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vintage Dietz Night Watch Railroad Lantern Red Glass Globe Syracuse NY Bid Now » Buy Now »

Vintage Dietz Night Watch Railroad Lantern Red Glass Globe Syracuse NY

Bid: $68.44
Buy: $89.65
Ships:
Based on Zip
$68.44
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4 days
19 hrs
50 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Lodi, NJ, USA ZIP 076**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: matangila   Feedback: 153 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Illinois bunn special 21 jewels Pocket Watch Railroad  Case Gold filler it runs! Bid Now » Buy Now »

Illinois bunn special 21 jewels Pocket Watch Railroad Case Gold filler it runs!

Bid: $244.00
Buy: $348.00
Ships:
Free
$244.00
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5 days
50 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Madison, WV, USA ZIP 251**
  • Shipping Type: Local Pick-up
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: kdb34wv-7 Feedback: 2 / 75%
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Ancre Remontoir 15 Rubis Pocket Rubis LARGE Silver Pocket Watch - Railroad Motif Buy Now »
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Ancre Remontoir 15 Rubis Pocket Rubis LARGE Silver Pocket Watch - Railroad Motif

Buy: $1,100.00 Ships:
Free
$1,100.00
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5 days
12 hrs
34 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Thousand Oaks, CA, USA ZIP 913**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: citycountryboy   Feedback: 1,504 / 100%
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ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH RAILROAD GRADE MONTGOMERY DIAL ** Buy Now »

ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH RAILROAD GRADE MONTGOMERY DIAL **

Buy: $29.95 Ships:
$5.00
$34.95
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6 days
11 hrs
32 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Green Bay, WI, USA ZIP 543**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.00
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: aa_and_jewelry   Feedback: 24,458 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Antique Vintage DIETZ NIGHT WATCH Railroad LANTERN Lamp Syracuse NY USA Buy Now »

Antique Vintage DIETZ NIGHT WATCH Railroad LANTERN Lamp Syracuse NY USA

Buy: $89.00 Ships:
Based on Zip
$89.00
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6 days
18 hrs
1 min
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Huson, MT, USA ZIP 598**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: jaschilt-0   Feedback: 53 / 100%
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TRAINS Hot Spots Guidebook * Great Places to Watch railroad book PB Buy Now »

TRAINS Hot Spots Guidebook * Great Places to Watch railroad book PB

Buy: $37.99 Ships:
$4.00
$41.99
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7 days
11 hrs
56 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Huntsville, AL, USA ZIP 358**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.00
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: shanemc   Feedback: 2,767 / 99.7%  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: $29.99 Ships:
$4.49
$34.48
Buy now
7 days
19 hrs
28 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Wooster, OH, USA ZIP 446**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.49
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: gdawg   Feedback: 17,258 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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BRAND NEW Mechanical Pocket Watch Railroad Jesse Kansas City Vintage Chain Wind Buy Now »

BRAND NEW Mechanical Pocket Watch Railroad Jesse Kansas City Vintage Chain Wind

Buy: $12.24 Ships:
$15.31
$27.55
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7 days
22 hrs
47 mins
  • Item Condition: New without tags
  • Item Location: Canada ZIP B2W***
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $15.31
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: atlsoftware   Feedback: 2,471 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1898 Hampden Menlo Park 18s 17j Pocket Watch - RAILROAD GRADE - Parts/Repair Buy Now »
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1898 Hampden Menlo Park 18s 17j Pocket Watch - RAILROAD GRADE - Parts/Repair

Buy: $152.99 Ships:
Free
$152.99
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8 days
7 hrs
54 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Bridgewater, VA, USA ZIP 228**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: jastermereel   Feedback: 10,684 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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SEIKO Mens Watch (Railroad approved) 732677 Buy Now »

SEIKO Mens Watch (Railroad approved) 732677

Buy: $10.00 Ships:
$5.00
$15.00
Buy now
8 days
14 hrs
39 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Deer Park, WA, USA ZIP 990**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.00
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: ava.augustine16   Feedback: 111 / 100%
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