Pocket watch use peaked in the late 19th century as a wave of investment went into pocket watch design and manufacture by companies such as Elgin, Waltham, Hamilton, and Illinois. The was because railroads needed highly accurate, precision timepieces so their locomotive engineers could maintain strict schedules, thus avoiding collisions.

Hunting case watches, popular during the 19th century, have a closed cover that flips open when you push a button. By 1900, the open face watch took over and hunting case watches became less commonplace.

The shafts on the wheels of pocket watches are made of steel, and the plates are made of different kinds of brass, most commonly nickel brass (also known as nickel plate). The gears are usually made of brass, but some were made of steel and gold was used on high-grade watches.

Antique pocket watch collectors care both about a watch's movement and its case. Cases were made of different metals like silver and gold. Many were gold-filled, with two thin sheets of gold on the outside around a thicker layer of brass.

Pocket watch cases were also made from a wide variety of silver colored material, with names like silveride, usually nickel based. While gold watch cases are appealing to collectors, today's value has more to do with what was appropriate to the watch at the time.

The quality of an antique pocket watch movement is related to the number of jewels it has and other factors. For a more detailed discussion of jewels see railroad pocket watches.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Barry S. Goldbergs Pocket Watch Collection

Barry S. Goldbergs Pocket Watch Collection

Barry Goldberg’s excellent collection of pocket watches, mostly American models from the late 1800s and early 189… [read review or visit site]

American Watch Company Web

American Watch Company Web

Tom McIntyre’s reference site on antique watches, especially those made by the American Watch Company (later know… [read review or visit site]

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]



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Recent News: Pocket Watches

Source: Google News

Werner Franz, Survivor of the Hindenburg's Crew, Dies at 92
New York Times, August 29th

Mr. Grossman wrote that the day after the crash, Mr. Franz returned to the site to look for his pocket watch, given to him by his grandfather, and that he found it. A brief article in The New York Times five days after the crash said that Mr. Franz was...Read more

Patek Philippe Supercomplication Expected to Fetch $16.5 Million at Sotheby's ...
Robb Report, August 29th

The resulting pocket watch, which is 2.9 inches in diameter and about an inch and a half thick, packs a remarkable 24 horological complications within its 18-karat-gold case—including a split-seconds chronograph, a minute repeater with Westminster...Read more

Preview: The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy
CBS Local, August 29th

Check your watches no longer! Check Lincoln's instead: The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy is here at last! Our own Jacopo della Quercia went and published himself a book with St. Martin's Press, and has generously shared an excerpt ...Read more

'Distinctive' gold pocket watch stolen in burglary of Newmarket home
Cambridge News, August 26th

Thieves ransacked a house in Norfolk Avenue between 2pm on Friday, August 22 and 1pm on Saturday, August 23. They stole a gold pocket watch which was on a gold chain, with blue numbers on the outer case and a Victorian Sovereign inside the glass ...Read more

Pocket Watch, LLC. Reveals Cloud Server For Printing From Smart Devices
prMac (press release), August 24th

[prMac.com] Beaumont, Texas - Pocket Watch, LLC. announced today the availability of its new ActivePrint Cloud Server Powered by Raspberry Pi. With this small standalone box almost any USB printer or available network printer will become compatible ...Read more

Pocket Watch, LLC. Announces ActivePrint Cloud Server for Easy Printing from ...
PR Web (press release), August 4th

Texas based Pocket Watch, LLC. announced today the release of the ActivePrint Cloud Server. With this small standalone box almost any USB printer or available network printer will become compatible with iPhones, iPads, and Android devices by making ...Read more

The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy embroiders history with ...
A.V. Club, August 3rd

In one of the more elaborate scenes from The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy, a robotic replica of President William Howard Taft goes on the fritz, running roughshod through the White House and nearly strangling the actual president...Read more

Pocket Watch, LLC. Releases ActivePrint Cloud Server For Easy Printing
prMac (press release), August 1st

[prMac.com] Beaumont, Texas - Since releasing ActivePrint on the popular Apple iOS platform, a huge community of ActivePrint users has been created who are interested in printing from their iPads and iPhones without being limited to a select few models...Read more