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.
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Recent News: Pocket Watches
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Titanium Steel Batman Pocket WatchCaped Crusades, October 25th
Wow check out this neat Batman pocket watch I found for sale on Etsy, from a shop called ebuluo2, and it's only $9.00! Here's what the shop had to say about their products, which ship all over the world from China: More From Merchandise. 10/20 - Stamp ...Read more
Silver pocket watch presented to outgoing Riverton councilor Todd SmithCounty 10, October 24th
Outgoing Riverton City Council Member Todd Smith received his commemorative silver pocket watch in a short ceremony this afternoon in Mayor Ron Warpness' formal office at Riverton City Hall. On Tuesday, Smith announced his resignation from the council ...Read more
Shinola honors Henry Ford with pocket watchThe Detroit News, October 23rd
“It is gratifying for our family to honor the legacy of our great-grandfather with The Henry Ford signature pocket watch,” Edsel B. Ford II, chairman of the Board of Trustees at The Henry Ford Estate/Fair Lane, said in a statement. “Many may not know...Read more
The Secret Message in Abraham Lincoln's Pocket WatchMashable, October 23rd
In the 1850s Abraham Lincoln, then a successful lawyer, purchased a fine pocket watch from George Chatterton, a jeweler in Springfield, Illinois. The mechanism itself was manufactured in Liverpool, England, but the 18-carat case was of the best quality ...Read more
Gold pocket watch so complex it features the stars above Manhattan is set to ...Daily Mail, October 21st
The Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece, made by famed watchmaker Patek Philippe, is the most complex ever produced without the use of computer technology. The gold pocket watch was first commissioned in 1925 by banker Henry Graves Junior, ...Read more
Book Review: 'The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy'The Cauldron (subscription), October 19th
If you're a history buff who loves reading rollicking adventure books, then “The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy” is perfect for you. Jacopo Della Quercia, a history writer and educator, has crafted a wonderful historical fiction novel...Read more
Altering history with Jacopo Della Quercia: The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket ...alloveralbany, October 17th
He came to Albany a few years ago to be closer to family (his brother and sister-in-law own the popular Lark Street bakery Crisan) and started work on his first novel -- the newly released Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy -- "an equal...Read more
Man claims cop stole cash right out of his pocket, watch the videoWABC-TV, October 8th
In the video, keep an eye on the right hand of the police officer, which goes into Lenard Joye's sweater pocket and comes out with what Joye claims is a wad of cash, which the police officer does not give back. "Why you gonna take my money," you hear...Read more