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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ELGIN 16 SIZE, 14K GOLD B.W.C. Co. HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD GRADE NR Buy Now »

ELGIN 16 SIZE, 14K GOLD B.W.C. Co. HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD GRADE NR

Buy: $2,600.00 Ships:
$12.95
$2,612.95
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1 day
20 hrs
11 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Williamsburg, MI, USA ZIP 496**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $12.95
  • Handling Time: 4 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: antiquestvc   Feedback: 2,329 / 100%
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1949 HAMILTON WRIST WATCH RAILROAD ACCURACY vintage art print ad Buy Now »

1949 HAMILTON WRIST WATCH RAILROAD ACCURACY vintage art print ad

Buy: $12.00 Ships:
$5.45
$17.45
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3 days
6 hrs
34 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: North Adams, MA, USA ZIP 012**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.45
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: crosby-auctions   Feedback: 8,200 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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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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3 days
21 hrs
  • 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: 1,629 / 100%
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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:
$4.50
$11.75
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4 days
5 hrs
8 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: USA
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.50
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: relicpaper   Feedback: 6,929 / 99.6%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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ANTIQUE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD GRADE RUNNING IN GOOD SHAPE 16S 17 JEWELS HAMBDEN Bid Now » Buy Now »

ANTIQUE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD GRADE RUNNING IN GOOD SHAPE 16S 17 JEWELS HAMBDEN

Bid: $90.00
Buy: $168.00
Ships:
Based on Zip
$90.00
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4 days
5 hrs
46 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Bastrop, TX, USA ZIP 786**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: side._53   Feedback: 78 / 100%
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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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4 days
17 hrs
19 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Fort Myers, FL, USA ZIP 339**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.25
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: twinflow   Feedback: 603 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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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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4 days
19 hrs
57 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: 27,203 / 99.7%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Wille Freres Severin 17 Jewel Swiss Made Pocket Watch Railroad Veritable Montre Buy Now »

Wille Freres Severin 17 Jewel Swiss Made Pocket Watch Railroad Veritable Montre

Buy: $99.99 Ships:
Based on Zip
$99.99
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4 days
20 hrs
33 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Lancaster, PA, USA ZIP 176**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: justpressplayonline   Feedback: 17,620 / 99.9%  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: $33.49 Ships:
$4.99
$38.48
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6 days
3 hrs
54 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Wooster, OH, USA ZIP 446**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.99
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: gdawg   Feedback: 20,442 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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VINTAGE CYCLE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD TRAIN DESIGN - MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN Buy Now »

VINTAGE CYCLE POCKET WATCH RAILROAD TRAIN DESIGN - MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN

Buy: $21.99 Ships:
$5.65
$27.64
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6 days
17 hrs
38 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Nashville, TN, USA ZIP 372**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.65
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
  • Seller: mummosmom   Feedback: 1,628 / 99.7%
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Vintage Westclox Pocket Watch Railroad Train Engraved Back Working Free Shipping Buy Now »
Free Shipping

Vintage Westclox Pocket Watch Railroad Train Engraved Back Working Free Shipping

Buy: $137.11 Ships:
Free
$137.11Buy now 6 days
19 hrs
8 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Canada ZIP B0S1P0
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: beansantiques   Feedback: 23,000 / 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: $9.97 Ships:
$4.95
$14.92
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7 days
20 hrs
46 mins
  • Item Condition:
  • Item Location: Stockton, CA, USA ZIP 952**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.95
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: vintagepaperheaven   Feedback: 20,314 / 99.8%
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Vintage Geneva Pocket Watch Railroad Fashion Train Art Gold Tone Tested Buy Now »

Vintage Geneva Pocket Watch Railroad Fashion Train Art Gold Tone Tested

Buy: $19.79 Ships:
Based on Zip
$19.79
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8 days
4 hrs
18 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Lu Verne, IA, USA ZIP 505**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: jupit_22   Feedback: 33 / 100%
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1945 Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Trains Upset Baby Vintage Color Print Ad Buy Now »

1945 Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Trains Upset Baby Vintage Color Print Ad

Buy: $9.99 Ships:
$5.95
$15.94
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8 days
18 hrs
23 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Palos Heights, IL, USA ZIP 604**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.95
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: westgateauctions   Feedback: 1,921 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vintage Ball Trainmaster 2821 ETA 25 Jewel 34mm Automatic Watch Railroad Dial Buy Now »
Free Shipping

Vintage Ball Trainmaster 2821 ETA 25 Jewel 34mm Automatic Watch Railroad Dial

Buy: $1,500.00 Ships:
Free
$1,500.00
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8 days
22 hrs
30 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: North Hollywood, CA, USA ZIP 916**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: shaggydog_24   Feedback: 5,096 / 98.8%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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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: $299.95 Ships:
Free
$299.95
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9 days
5 hrs
24 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Berkeley Springs, WV, USA ZIP 254**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: heirloombrokers   Feedback: 7,045 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Vintage 1936 HAMILTON WATCH Pocket Watch Railroad Christmas Santa 30's Print Ad Buy Now »

Vintage 1936 HAMILTON WATCH Pocket Watch Railroad Christmas Santa 30's Print Ad

Buy: $12.71 Ships:
$4.95
$17.66
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9 days
7 hrs
34 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: 1,859 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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ANTIQUE BOX HAMILTON WATCH RAILROAD TIMEKEEPERS  ORIGINAL BOX FOR MAINSPRINGS Buy Now »

ANTIQUE BOX HAMILTON WATCH RAILROAD TIMEKEEPERS ORIGINAL BOX FOR MAINSPRINGS

Buy: $12.00 Ships:
$4.00
$16.00
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9 days
15 hrs
37 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Hastings, FL, USA ZIP 321**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $4.00
  • Handling Time: 10 business days
  • Seller: midcenturytreasures   Feedback: 8,914 / 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:
$6.00
$561.55
Buy now
9 days
18 hrs
16 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: 21,126 / 99.5%
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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: $89.99 Ships:
$5.95
$95.94
Buy now
9 days
20 hrs
40 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: $5.95
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: auctiontimes   Feedback: 16,638 / 99.2%
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1922 Illinois Bun Special 23 Jewel Pocket Watch Railroad Grade Buy Now »

1922 Illinois Bun Special 23 Jewel Pocket Watch Railroad Grade

Buy: $1,675.00 Ships:
Based on Zip
$1,675.00
Plus shipping
Buy now
9 days
23 hrs
1 min
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Seneca, SC, USA ZIP 296**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Expedited Shipping
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: musc   Feedback: 1,230 / 97.9%
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MEN TIMEX QUARTZ WATCH, RAILROAD DIAL,ONE SIZE FIT ALL CUSTOM STRETCH  BAND Buy Now »

MEN TIMEX QUARTZ WATCH, RAILROAD DIAL,ONE SIZE FIT ALL CUSTOM STRETCH BAND

Buy: $25.00 Ships:
$5.50
$30.50
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9 days
23 hrs
2 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Cockeysville, MD, USA ZIP 210**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.50
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: freemans_finds   Feedback: 2,536 / 98%
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Arnex 17j ETA Unitas  6497 movement Pocket Watch railroad w/ box Buy Now »

Arnex 17j ETA Unitas 6497 movement Pocket Watch railroad w/ box

Buy: $125.00 Ships:
$3.85
$128.85
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10 days
4 hrs
20 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Atwood, IL, USA ZIP 619**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.85
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: geokri   Feedback: 2,292 / 100%
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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: $8.48 Ships:
$3.50
$11.98
Buy now
10 days
23 hrs
35 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Cavendish, VT, USA ZIP 051**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.50
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: cbinvermont   Feedback: 9,682 / 100%
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1897 American Waltham Pocket Watch Railroad Train Design Works Sidewinder 7j Buy Now »
Free Shipping

1897 American Waltham Pocket Watch Railroad Train Design Works Sidewinder 7j

Buy: $800.00 Ships:
Free
$800.00
Buy now
11 days
17 hrs
19 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Arlington, VT, USA ZIP 052**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: chronocharm   Feedback: 393 / 100%
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