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 ge...
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.
Interviews & Articles
I got interested in clocks in 1967, and I started collecting watches fairly seriously in the early ‘80s. I ran out of room for clo… [more]
I got started collecting pocket watches partly because I hated wearing wristwatches; I used to carry my wristwatch in my pocket, s… [more]
I grew up outside of Philadelphia. I didn’t have any particular interest in clocks or watches as a kid; that came after I started … [more]
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Bidders descend on antique English pocket watchesWatchPro.com, May 23rd
This pocket watch made in London and decorated with Masonic symbols was the top lot at the auction. Antique pocket watches made in England sold for as little as £10 when a collection went under the gavel at Goulding Young & Mawer's auction house...Read more
Pocket watches by Lincolnshire watch makers such as Jackson of Spilsby sell ...Skegness Standard, May 23rd
The highest price paid at the sale was £420 for a William IV silver cased pocket watch, made in London in 1837, with Masonic symbols to the dial. Auctioneer John Leatt said: “This was a well selected collection of pocket watches which appealed not only...Read more
Bonhams in London to sell pocket watch made for Coco Chanel's French loverArt Daily, May 15th
LONDON.- A pocket watch made for the illustrator and designer Paul Iribe – one-time lover of the legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel – will be among the lots in the Bonhams Fine Watches and Wristwatches Sale in New Bond Street, London, UK,...Read more
Antiques Expert Says Scilly Is Pocket Watch CrazyScillyToday, May 10th
Brian Chesters appears on the television programme Dickinson's Real Deal and came over to value antique items in the session at Tregarthen's Hotel yesterday. Brian regularly visits isolated island communities, including the Channel Islands and the...Read more
World's first atomic pocket watchGlobalPost, May 8th
Set for release at the end of the year, London-based watchmaker Hoptroff is creating the world's first atomic pocket watch. Developed under the codename 'Atom Heart Mother,' the new Hoptroff No. 10, is the world's first atomic-powered pocket watch. So...Read more
First atomic pocket watch starts tickingE&T magazine, May 7th
“As far as we know it is the first time an atomic time source has been used in a pocket watch movement, and it delights me that it was achieved right here in London, not Le Locle (in Switzerland) or Tokyo." The front dial of the watch will be designed...Read more
Hoptroff No 10 is world's first atomic pocket watch movementCNET UK, May 2nd
"As far as we know it is the first time an atomic time source has been used in a pocket watch movement," boasts Richard Hoptroff, managing director of Hoptroff, "and it delights me that it was achieved right here in London, not Le Locle or Tokyo."...Read more
Hoptroff's atomic pocket watch is the ultimate rich guy accessoryEngadget, May 1st
Luxury timepiece maker Hoptroff has just teased details of its latest method of parting you from your money -- a pocket watch with its own atomic clock. Unlike your average radio-receiving watch, the Hoptroff No. 10 will apparently contain a...Read more