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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Vintage Quartz Pocket Watch Railroad Train On Front NOT WORKING Parts Or Repair Buy Now »

Vintage Quartz Pocket Watch Railroad Train On Front NOT WORKING Parts Or Repair

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1 day
10 hrs
12 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: New Port Richey, FL, USA ZIP 346**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: samiee1117   Feedback: 6,402 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Elgin B.W. Raymond Pocket Watch Railroad Grade, 590 Rare 9 Adjustments Runs Buy Now »

Elgin B.W. Raymond Pocket Watch Railroad Grade, 590 Rare 9 Adjustments Runs

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$3.89
$328.89
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3 days
1 hr
36 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Sarasota, FL, USA ZIP 342**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $3.89
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
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  • Seller: srqantiques   Feedback: 10,494 / 99.8%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Hamilton Pocket Watch Railroad 992 Brochure Buy Now »

Hamilton Pocket Watch Railroad 992 Brochure

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$29.85
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3 days
16 hrs
25 mins
  • Item Condition: Good
  • Item Location: Manteno, IL, USA ZIP 609**
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  • Shipping Cost: $4.85
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  • Seller: clonetrooper99   Feedback: 1,606 / 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
16 hrs
38 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Thousand Oaks, CA, USA ZIP 913**
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  • Shipping Cost: $10.00
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: citycountryboy   Feedback: 1,662 / 100%
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Vintage Citizen Mens Watch Railroad Approved Quartz Parawater Buy Now »
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Vintage Citizen Mens Watch Railroad Approved Quartz Parawater

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3 days
18 hrs
48 mins
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

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3 days
19 hrs
18 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

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$25.99
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3 days
19 hrs
50 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: 493 / 98.3%
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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

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$12.00
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4 days
46 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Roselle, IL, USA ZIP 601**
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  • Shipping Cost: $4.75
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: relicpaper   Feedback: 8,426 / 99.7%
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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

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$9.97
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4 days
3 hrs
18 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Gurnee, IL, USA ZIP 600**
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  • Shipping Cost: $3.95
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: imightwin   Feedback: 5,421 / 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

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$13.24
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4 days
12 hrs
57 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Fort Myers, FL, USA ZIP 339**
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  • Shipping Cost: $4.25
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
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  • Seller: twinflow   Feedback: 1,192 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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VINTAGE HAND SET ( 3PCS ) FOR 16 SIZE ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH, RAILROAD Buy Now »
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VINTAGE HAND SET ( 3PCS ) FOR 16 SIZE ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH, RAILROAD

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5 days
13 hrs
30 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Port Charlotte, FL, USA ZIP 339**
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  • Seller: diamondhead4   Feedback: 19,376 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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VINTAGE HAND SET ( 2PCS ) FOR 16 SIZE ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH, RAILROAD Buy Now »
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VINTAGE HAND SET ( 2PCS ) FOR 16 SIZE ILLINOIS POCKET WATCH, RAILROAD

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5 days
13 hrs
32 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Port Charlotte, FL, USA ZIP 339**
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  • Seller: diamondhead4   Feedback: 19,376 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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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

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$4.90
$17.89
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5 days
18 hrs
24 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Monmouth, IL, USA ZIP 614**
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  • Shipping Cost: $4.90
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  • Seller: bjbengtas   Feedback: 3,576 / 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

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$32.95
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5 days
22 hrs
26 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Spring Grove, IL, USA ZIP 600**
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  • Shipping Cost: $7.95
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  • Seller: listo-2015   Feedback: 2,677 / 99.3%  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

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5 days
23 hrs
32 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Wooster, OH, USA ZIP 446**
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  • Shipping Cost: $5.99
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: gdawg   Feedback: 22,034 / 99.9%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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1944 Print Ad Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Vintage Buy Now »

1944 Print Ad Hamilton Watch Railroad Accuracy Vintage

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$14.74
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6 days
12 hrs
49 mins
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: Canada ZIP N7G3Y8
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $5.75
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Returns Accepted
  • Seller: chastershop   Feedback: 463 / 100%
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1940 Hamilton watch railroad accuracy Vintage Ad heres your pony Buy Now »
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1940 Hamilton watch railroad accuracy Vintage Ad heres your pony

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6 days
13 hrs
1 min
  • Item Condition: Used
  • Item Location: La Luz, NM, USA ZIP 883**
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: kelus-a2gwrkhe4   Feedback: 559 / 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

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6 days
14 hrs
18 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
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  • Seller: drnt   Feedback: 5,056 / 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

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$6.20
$11.18
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7 days
15 hrs
24 mins
  • Item Condition:
  • Item Location: Stockton, CA, USA ZIP 952**
  • Shipping Type: Flat Rate
  • Shipping Cost: $6.20
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  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: vintagepaperheaven   Feedback: 22,452 / 99.1%
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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

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$27.00
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7 days
22 hrs
18 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: North Aurora, IL, USA ZIP 605**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 3 business days
  • Seller: mazhar7   Feedback: 2,390 / 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

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$9.00
$309.00
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7 days
22 hrs
57 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: 667 / 99.4%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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16 Size Illinois Pocket Watch "Railroad Dispatcher " 11 Jewel, Fully Serviced! Buy Now »
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16 Size Illinois Pocket Watch "Railroad Dispatcher " 11 Jewel, Fully Serviced!

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8 days
1 hr
59 mins
1969 Press Photo Silver Key Winder Watch, railroad time keeper - noa34295 Buy Now »

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

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$4.99
$24.98
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8 days
19 hrs
15 mins
  • Item Condition:
  • Item Location: Memphis, TN, USA ZIP 381**
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  • Shipping Cost: $4.99
  • Handling Time: 2 business days
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  • Seller: historicimages-store   Feedback: 231,030 / 99.7%
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Elgin 1892 Grade 10 18s 11J Pocket Watch RAILROAD ENGRAVING 4550466 (B3A) Buy Now »
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Elgin 1892 Grade 10 18s 11J Pocket Watch RAILROAD ENGRAVING 4550466 (B3A)

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9 days
1 hr
2 mins
  • Item Condition: Pre-owned
  • Item Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA ZIP 080**
  • Shipping Type: Free
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
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  • Seller: heirloombrokers   Feedback: 10,736 / 99.7%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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Pulsar Mens Quartz Watch Railroad PXF114 New Old Stock Buy Now »

Pulsar Mens Quartz Watch Railroad PXF114 New Old Stock

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9 days
1 hr
11 mins
  • Item Condition: New with tagsNew Pulsar Mens Quartz Watch Railroad PXF114 New Old Stock  for sale
  • Item Location: Modesto, CA, USA ZIP 953**
  • Shipping Type: Calculated
  • Handling Time: 1 business day
  • Seller: weezypoof   Feedback: 3,214 / 100%  Top-Rated Seller Top-Rated Seller
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