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]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

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Recent News: Pocket Watches

Source: Google News

Baume et Mercier Designer: 'You Don't Need To Separate Mens and Womens ...
Forbes, July 30th

For Baume & Mercier we always start with a museum piece –we have about 1,000 pieces form the past, starting from a pocket watch from 1869. For the Promesse collection we chose one piece from 1970, and this is a wonderful oval shaped watch for women ...Read more

For Sale: The $17 Million Pocket Watch
Forbes, July 30th

What makes a watch the most valuable in the world? It's supercomplicated–literally. In 1925 banker Henry Graves Jr. (considered the greatest watch collector of the 20th century) commissioned Patek Philippe to create a unique gold pocket watch...Read more

The limited edition Longines pocket watch
CITY A.M., July 30th

This limited edition Longines pocket watch has been created to commemorate the Chinese year of the horse. The timepiece is a re-issue of a stunning 1927 creation which is on display at the Longines museum. The detailed carving of a horse flying over a ...Read more

Wearable Technology and the Pocket Watch
Mobile Commerce Press, July 26th

The pocket watch was the world's first piece of wearable technology. Clocks began to change the way people perceive time and conduct their daily lives during the medieval period and the technology to keep time quickly evolved into something that people ...Read more

Man 'tried to hypnotise victims with pocket watch'
The Northern Echo, July 24th

A MAN standing trial for a string of indecent assaults dating back to the 1970s tried to hypnotise his victims using a pocket watch, a court was told. Edmond John Tudor Hillman, 57, of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, is accused of seven indecent...Read more

Warning signs for young QBs
ESPN, July 21st

How can you tell an offensive coordinator doesn't trust his quarterback with the entire playbook? Watch how frequently the QB rolls out, watch where his receivers run patterns and, most importantly, even when the QB does stay in the pocket, watch his head...Read more

Patek Philippe Supercomplication Pocket Watch Could Sell For Over $16 Million!
GTspirit, July 13th

The following watch, the Patek Philippe Supercomplication is likely to break its own record as one of the world's most expensive watches when it goes up for sale in November. The watch was originally created by Patek Philippe specifically for...Read more

Gold pocket watch theft
Andover Advertiser, July 12th

It was taken at about 12pm on Tuesday, 1 July from David Mellor Jewellers in Waverley Walk. Police want to trace a white man aged in his mid-20s with blond, shaven hair. He was wearing a blue shirt and khaki-coloured shorts. PC Amanda Wallis said: “Did ...Read more