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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San Fernando Valley pocket watch collector dies at 80LA Daily News, March 21st
He was an old school man with a penchant for collecting pocket watches while also forging a future in computer programming at a time when few knew what that term actually meant. He was a product of the Great Depression who was fond of telling people ...Read more
Conan O'Brien introduces the new, $260 Apple Pocket WatchDigital Trends, March 20th
If the biggest hurdle for Apple with the Apple Watch is getting people to once again wear a watch everyday, then persuading us to carry a pocket watch could be an even harder task, but that hasn't put Conan O'Brien off. He has come up with the Apple...Read more
From pocket watch to wristwatch to Apple Watch? Time will tellThe Independent, March 10th
One of the less important legacies of the First World War was the shift from the pocket watch to the wristwatch. Wristwatches had long existed but they were considered unfashionable, at least for men. However, it was so much more convenient for serving ...Read more
How World War I Led to the Apple WatchHistory, March 10th
Fashionable dandies with portable timepieces on their arms were belittled as “wrist-watch boys” while the tried-and-true pocket watch remained the masculine convention. “The fellow who wears a wrist-watch is frequently suspected of having lace on his ...Read more
Runcible circular phone is a quirky and delightful pocket watchMashable, March 4th
BARCELONA — Just when we thought smartphones were losing creativity, a small circular device the size of a pocket watch has the potential to be one of the most innovative gadgets we've seen in quite awhile. The Runcible phone by San Francisco-based ...Read more
This is a perfectly circular phone, and it's wonderfully weirdThe Verge, March 3rd
We've spent most of this week in Barcelona gawking at phones and watches that boast brushed metal and glass designs. So it was refreshing to see something completely different like the Runcible, a smart pocket watch from Monohm. It's nothing if not the ...Read more
Runcible smart pocket watch hands-onThe Verge, March 3rd
Runcible smart pocket watch hands-on. March 3, 2015 10:49 am. 0 · Runcible smart pocket watch hands-on. Previous. Runcible 6011.0. Next View full Gallery. Previous. Next. Recent Galleries. Sphynx cats by Alicia Rius. By Arielle Duhaime-Ross · Ikea...Read more
Runcible circular smartphone recalls the pocket watchGizmag, February 27th
We've become accustomed to cell phones as noisy, rectangular devices filled with applications that are designed to assist us – but often distract us – in our daily lives. California-based startup Mohohm is looking to buck the trend with Runcible, a...Read more