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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Pocket Watch Railroad Embossed Case with Belt Chain Buy Now »
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Pocket Watch Railroad Embossed Case with Belt Chain

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1 day
2 hrs
6 mins
elgin vantage pocket watch (railroad issue) Buy Now »
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elgin vantage pocket watch (railroad issue)

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1 day
15 hrs
34 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Layton, UT, USA ZIP 84041
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: 62karmannghia   Feedback: 2,373 / 100%
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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

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$5.00
$294.99
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1 day
15 hrs
59 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: USA
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.00
  • Handling Time: 5 business days
  • Seller: thefirstlarjones   Feedback: 17,327 / 100%  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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1 day
17 hrs
8 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Longview, WA, USA ZIP 98632
  • Shipping Type: Free
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: longviewpawn   Feedback: 1,953 / 100%
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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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2 days
16 hrs
24 mins
  • Item Condition: NewNew BNSF Springfield Div Railroad Selco Geneve Wrist Watch Railroad Approved 2012 for sale
  • Item Location: Fenton, MO, USA ZIP 63026
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
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  • Seller: mptcollectors   Feedback: 1,261 / 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

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2 days
20 hrs
17 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Jacksonville, FL, USA ZIP 32256
  • Shipping Type: Local Pick-up
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
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  • Seller: trishastreasuresfla   Feedback: 130 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD WORKER  NEW  DISNEY TIN  RARE LOWER $$ Buy Now »

DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD WORKER NEW DISNEY TIN RARE LOWER $$

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$123.49
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3 days
10 hrs
8 mins
  • Item Condition: NewNew DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD WORKER  NEW  DISNEY TIN  RARE LOWER $$ for sale
  • Item Location: Coventry, RI, USA ZIP 02816
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.50
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: auctiontimes   Feedback: 16,133 / 100%
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Vintage Bulova Accutron Watch Railroad Approved Bid Now »

Vintage Bulova Accutron Watch Railroad Approved

Bid: $10.50
Ships:
$7.90
$18.40
3 days
13 hrs
36 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Mansfield, OH, USA ZIP 44905
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $7.90
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  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: dstreasure   Feedback: 997 / 100%
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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

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4 days
12 hrs
59 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Thousand Oaks, CA, USA ZIP 91362
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: citycountryboy   Feedback: 1,490 / 98.2%
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Vintage Watch-It  Silver Gold Tone Pocket Watch railroad steam engine locomotive Buy Now »

Vintage Watch-It Silver Gold Tone Pocket Watch railroad steam engine locomotive

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$12.98
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4 days
16 hrs
22 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Lakeland, FL, USA ZIP 33813
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.99
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: hanneken1974   Feedback: 2,188 / 100%
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ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH RAILROAD GRADE MONTGOMERY DIAL ** Buy Now »

ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH RAILROAD GRADE MONTGOMERY DIAL **

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5 days
11 hrs
56 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Green Bay, WI, USA ZIP 54303
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.00
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: aa_and_jewelry   Feedback: 23,870 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Union Pacific Portland Service Unit Gold Silver Men's Watch Railroad Pulsar Buy Now »
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Union Pacific Portland Service Unit Gold Silver Men's Watch Railroad Pulsar

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6 days
19 hrs
25 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Lake Oswego, OR, USA ZIP 97034
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: seekclassics   Feedback: 433 / 99.6%
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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

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$34.48
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6 days
19 hrs
53 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Wooster, OH, USA ZIP 44691
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.49
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: gdawg   Feedback: 16,655 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vtg Advance Pocket Watch Railroad Locomotive Design for parts only as is Buy Now »
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Vtg Advance Pocket Watch Railroad Locomotive Design for parts only as is

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6 days
22 hrs
32 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Tyler, TX, USA ZIP 75702
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
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  • Seller: cinammon   Feedback: 3,712 / 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

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6 days
23 hrs
11 mins
  • Item Condition: New without tags
  • Item Location: Canada ZIP B2W1L3
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $15.02
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: atlsoftware   Feedback: 2,382 / 99.6%
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POCKET WATCH RAILROAD CASE ILLINOIS NICKEL SILVER SWING-OUT OPEN FACE SIZE 16s Buy Now »

POCKET WATCH RAILROAD CASE ILLINOIS NICKEL SILVER SWING-OUT OPEN FACE SIZE 16s

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$6.95
$91.95
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7 days
13 hrs
47 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Parkersburg, WV, USA ZIP 26101
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $6.95
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: *red*baron*antiques*   Feedback: 4,647 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD WORKER  DISNEY TIN  RARE LOWER $$ Buy Now »

DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD WORKER DISNEY TIN RARE LOWER $$

Buy: $99.99 Ships:
$3.25
$103.24
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9 days
12 hrs
26 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Coventry, RI, USA ZIP 02816
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.25
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: auctiontimes   Feedback: 16,136 / 100%
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Vintage print ad 1935 Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Six Models Greatest Value Buy Now »

Vintage print ad 1935 Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Six Models Greatest Value

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$3.00
$12.95
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10 days
4 hrs
40 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Tallahassee, FL, USA ZIP 32303
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.00
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: vannhaddock   Feedback: 3,907 / 100%  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:
$5.40
$560.95
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10 days
10 hrs
15 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: USA
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.40
  • Handling Time: 4 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: partimeart   Feedback: 17,606 / 99.8%
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1960's Hamilton Pocket Watch Railroad Model 950B / 23j / 16s - Rare Buy Now »

1960's Hamilton Pocket Watch Railroad Model 950B / 23j / 16s - Rare

Buy: $1,200.00 Ships:
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$1,200.00
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10 days
20 hrs
50 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Lynchburg, VA, USA ZIP 24502
  • Shipping Type: Local Pick-up
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: hillcitytradingpost   Feedback: 15,253 / 99.7%  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

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$13.48
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11 days
15 hrs
34 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Cavendish, VT, USA ZIP 05142
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.50
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: cbinvermont   Feedback: 7,527 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Restored 1973 BULOVA Accutron 214 Stainless Steel Men Watch RAILROAD Classic Buy Now »
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Restored 1973 BULOVA Accutron 214 Stainless Steel Men Watch RAILROAD Classic

Buy: $1,138.10 Ships:
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$1,138.10
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11 days
20 hrs
58 mins
  • Item Condition: Seller refurbished
  • Item Location: Spring, TX, USA ZIP 77382
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: rsot4812   Feedback: 1,343 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton Automatic Stainless Steel Men's Watch Railroad H40555131 (Brand New) Buy Now »

Hamilton Automatic Stainless Steel Men's Watch Railroad H40555131 (Brand New)

Buy: $450.00 Ships:
$9.99
$459.99
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12 days
14 hrs
18 mins
  • Item Condition: New with tagsNew Hamilton Automatic Stainless Steel Men's Watch Railroad H40555131 (Brand New) for sale
  • Item Location: Anaheim, CA, USA ZIP 92804
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $9.99
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: temper615   Feedback: 206 / 99.5%
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VINTAGE ELGIN # 976 POCKET WATCH "RAILROAD"  NICE  LOOK! Buy Now »
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VINTAGE ELGIN # 976 POCKET WATCH "RAILROAD" NICE LOOK!

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12 days
18 hrs
43 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Flagstaff, AZ, USA ZIP 86004
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: 12-07-1941   Feedback: 2,005 / 100%
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BALL 25J Official Standard Trainmaster Automatic Wrist Watch Railroad times 5Pos Buy Now »

BALL 25J Official Standard Trainmaster Automatic Wrist Watch Railroad times 5Pos

Buy: $445.00 Ships:
$9.95
$454.95
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12 days
23 hrs
8 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Covina, CA, USA ZIP 91724
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $9.95
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: kcdirect888   Feedback: 1,463 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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