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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Burlington Pocket Watch, Railroad,  drw14 Buy Now »

Burlington Pocket Watch, Railroad, drw14

Buy: $275.00 Ships:
$5.95
$280.95
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3 hrs
44 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Waterford, MI, USA ZIP 483**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.95
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: goldandsilvertreasure   Feedback: 5,314 / 99.6%
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1924 PAPER AD 4 PG 18 Size Pocket Watch Railroad North Shore Trans Atlantic Buy Now »

1924 PAPER AD 4 PG 18 Size Pocket Watch Railroad North Shore Trans Atlantic

Buy: $19.99 Ships:
$4.49
$24.48
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5 hrs
1 min
  • 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: 17,552 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vintage Relic Antique Look Pocket Watch Railroad Eagle Americana Design Buy Now »
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Vintage Relic Antique Look Pocket Watch Railroad Eagle Americana Design

Buy: $20.00 Ships:
Free
$20.00
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1 day
4 hrs
14 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Brown City, MI, USA ZIP 484**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: thepumpkingirl   Feedback: 5,759 / 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: $89.99 Ships:
$3.95
$93.94
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1 day
7 hrs
12 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Coventry, RI, USA ZIP 028**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.95
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: auctiontimes   Feedback: 16,271 / 100%
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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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1 day
10 hrs
37 mins
  • Item Condition:
  • Item Location: Memphis, TN, USA ZIP 381**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.99
  • Expedited Shipping - One-Day Shipping Available
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: historicimages-market   Feedback: 72,997 / 99.9%
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pocket watch railroad train on dial wind up type montgomery advance by smiths Bid Now » Buy Now »

pocket watch railroad train on dial wind up type montgomery advance by smiths

Bid: $15.00
Buy: $20.00
Ships:
$8.00
$23.00
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1 day
16 hrs
27 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Ironwood, MI, USA ZIP 499**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $8.00
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: skilledtrader00752   Feedback: 2,804 / 99.2%
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Mechanical Pocket Watch Railroad Jesse Kansas City Vintage Chain Wind As Seen TV Buy Now »

Mechanical Pocket Watch Railroad Jesse Kansas City Vintage Chain Wind As Seen TV

Buy: $11.99 Ships:
Free
$11.99
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2 days
14 hrs
20 mins
  • Item Condition: New without tags
  • Item Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA ZIP 917**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: bjg_deals   Feedback: 37,556 / 99.3%  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 $$

Buy: $109.99 Ships:
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$113.94
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3 days
7 hrs
47 mins
  • Item Condition: NewNew DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD WORKER  NEW  DISNEY TIN  RARE LOWER $$ for sale
  • Item Location: Coventry, RI, USA ZIP 028**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.95
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: auctiontimes   Feedback: 16,271 / 100%
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1907 Hamilton Pocket Watch Railroad Model 950 / 23j / 16s . Buy Now »

1907 Hamilton Pocket Watch Railroad Model 950 / 23j / 16s .

ORIGINAL BOX AND PAPERS
Buy: $1,200.00 Ships:
$15.00
$1,215.00
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4 days
6 hrs
33 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Darby, MT, USA ZIP 598**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $15.00
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: cheryl110   Feedback: 3,893 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton 992 Pocket Watch RailRoad 21J Gold Filled Size 16 Nice! Buy Now »

Hamilton 992 Pocket Watch RailRoad 21J Gold Filled Size 16 Nice!

Buy: $250.00 Ships:
$9.95
$259.95
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4 days
13 hrs
38 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Tavares, FL, USA ZIP 327**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $9.95
  • Handling Time: 4 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: moshultz2347   Feedback: 2,575 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vintage 1922 HAMILTON WATCH Pocket Watch Railroad Accuracy 20's Print Ad Buy Now »

Vintage 1922 HAMILTON WATCH Pocket Watch Railroad Accuracy 20's Print Ad

Buy: $14.95 Ships:
$4.95
$19.90
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4 days
16 hrs
25 mins
  • Item Condition:
  • Item Location: Chattanooga, TN, USA ZIP 374**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.95
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: retro.ads   Feedback: 1,043 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1952 PAPER AD 2 PG Dietz Cold Hot Blast Lantern Night Watch Railroad Bolser Buy Now »

1952 PAPER AD 2 PG Dietz Cold Hot Blast Lantern Night Watch Railroad Bolser

Buy: $14.99 Ships:
$4.49
$19.48
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5 days
4 hrs
35 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: 17,568 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1907 PAPER AD Dueber Hampden Pocket Watch Railroad Railway Gen Stark Wm McKinley Buy Now »

1907 PAPER AD Dueber Hampden Pocket Watch Railroad Railway Gen Stark Wm McKinley

Buy: $19.99 Ships:
$4.49
$24.48
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5 days
5 hrs
19 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: 17,552 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vintage Quartz Pocket Watch Railroad Train Theme Ronica Buy Now »

Vintage Quartz Pocket Watch Railroad Train Theme Ronica

Buy: $15.00 Ships:
Based on Zip
$15.00
Plus shipping
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5 days
7 hrs
3 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Centralia, IL, USA ZIP 628**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: silveragecollectibles618   Feedback: 13,936 / 99.4%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton pocket watch railroad grade 21 jewel mod# 268217 gold filled case Buy Now »
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Hamilton pocket watch railroad grade 21 jewel mod# 268217 gold filled case

Buy: $695.00 Ships:
Free
$695.00
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5 days
13 hrs
53 mins
VINTAGE MANS PULSAR QUARTZ WATCH RAILROAD DIAL Buy Now »

VINTAGE MANS PULSAR QUARTZ WATCH RAILROAD DIAL

Buy: $55.00 Ships:
$6.00
$61.00
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5 days
14 hrs
44 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Lubbock, TX, USA ZIP 794**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $6.00
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: winkeygone   Feedback: 2,579 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1902 Hamilton 940 Pocket Watch Railroad Grade Montgomery Dial Works! Keystone Buy Now »
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1902 Hamilton 940 Pocket Watch Railroad Grade Montgomery Dial Works! Keystone

Buy: $439.99 Ships:
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$439.99
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5 days
15 hrs
58 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA ZIP 727**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: yadda_yadda_yadda   Feedback: 9,727 / 99.7%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Mechanical Pocket Watch Railroad Jesse Kansas Vintage Chain Doesn't Wind or Work Buy Now »

Mechanical Pocket Watch Railroad Jesse Kansas Vintage Chain Doesn't Wind or Work

Buy: $9.99 Ships:
Free
$9.99
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6 days
10 hrs
19 mins
  • Item Condition: New with defects
  • Item Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA ZIP 917**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: bjg_deals   Feedback: 37,575 / 99.3%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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timex mens watch railroad type dial military hours light stretch band new batter Bid Now » Buy Now »

timex mens watch railroad type dial military hours light stretch band new batter

Bid: $10.00
Buy: $20.00
Ships:
$8.00
$18.00
Buy now
6 days
11 hrs
31 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Burton, MI, USA ZIP 485**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $8.00
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: jessnskip   Feedback: 2,166 / 98.1%
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Vntage Original Ad Art HAMILTON WATCH Railroad Accuracy Buy Now »
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Vntage Original Ad Art HAMILTON WATCH Railroad Accuracy

Buy: $13.59 Ships:
Free
$13.59
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7 days
7 hrs
47 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Chico, CA, USA ZIP 959**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: sherblay   Feedback: 10,389 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton Watch Railroad Timekeeper Balls 20th model railroad watches wallet Buy Now »
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Hamilton Watch Railroad Timekeeper Balls 20th model railroad watches wallet

Buy: $99.00 Ships:
Free
$99.00
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7 days
8 hrs
35 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Terre Haute, IN, USA ZIP 478**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: reebootn   Feedback: 1,538 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1923 Burlington 14k Gold filled Pocket watch/Railroad Grade:Limited Approval	Buy Now »

1923 Burlington 14k Gold filled Pocket watch/Railroad Grade:Limited Approval

Buy: $390.00 Ships:
$12.95
$402.95
Buy now
7 days
10 hrs
14 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Canada ZIP L7N3V5
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $12.95
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: dahabs25   Feedback: 3,497 / 99.5%
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Vintage Lucerne Pocket Watch Railroad Train Buy Now »
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Vintage Lucerne Pocket Watch Railroad Train

Buy: $24.99 Ships:
Free
$24.99
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8 days
8 hrs
2 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Mentone, CA, USA ZIP 923**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
  • Seller: sixtytwoolds   Feedback: 9,890 / 99.8%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Waltham pocket watch, railroad, Runs, 1900 vintage, needs overhaul, inscribed, G Buy Now »
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Waltham pocket watch, railroad, Runs, 1900 vintage, needs overhaul, inscribed, G

Buy: $420.00 Ships:
Free
$420.00
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8 days
11 hrs
55 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Glendora, CA, USA ZIP 917**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: timelessclassicwatches   Feedback: 7,314 / 99.8%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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