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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CASH CA x JAM HOME MADE Pocket Watch + BandEmag.co.uk, March 10th
CASH CA x Jam Home Made Pocket Watch Band 01 CASH CA x JAM HOME MADE Under the careful guidance of Kazuki Kuraishi and his boutique, Heather Grey Wall, comes a collaboration watch by JAM HOME MADE and CASH CA. The seemingly simple ...Read more
Shinola unveils city clock at Cobo CenterDetroit Free Press, March 7th
It is a large-scale replica of a pocket watch Shinola is set to roll out this year. The pocket watch will be the second watch in what the company is calling its Great American series and pays homage to Henry Ford. The clock will be moved into the...Read more
Stupid Amazon Reviews: Charles Hubert 2 Photo Insert Partial Skeleton Pocket ...TheCelebrityCafe.com, March 6th
The pocket watch features mechanical movement and a skeleton dial with roman numerals. It makes the perfect gift, and has a deluxe gift box. This unparalleled pocket watch has a two tone brass 48 demi hunter case with a matching curb chain. You can...Read more
Pocket watch engraving depicts winter landscape sceneOcala, February 27th
Q: I have an antique pocket watch that belonged to my paternal grandmother's uncle. His name was J. Frank Howell. The watch was left to my grandmother and eventually made its way to me. I have tried to find out more about the watch on the Internet, but ...Read more
Joe Jackson's rookie bat outsells Babe Ruth's pocket watch at auctionYahoo Canada Sports (blog), February 24th
A pocket watch belonging to Babe Ruth brought less than expected, and it wasn't even the most popular bit of Major League Baseball memorabilia purchased over the weekend via Heritage Auctions. A bat used during the rookie season of Shoeless Joe ...Read more
Babe Ruth pocket watch and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson bat among items sold at ...NBCSports.com, February 23rd
A 1911 game-used bat that belonged to “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was the highest-grossing item at $958,000. Babe Ruth's commemorative pocket watch from the 1923 World Series, made of 14-karat gold, sold for $717,000. Shards of the broken bat Yankees ...Read more
Babe Ruth's World Series pocket watch sells for $717000 (but another item sold ...The Star-Ledger, February 23rd
Babe Ruth's pocket watch from the 1923 World Series sold for $717,000 Saturday at auction in New York City, but a 1911 game-used bat that belonged to "Shoeless" Joe Jackson fetched $958,000, according to Heritage Auctions. Jackson, the most famous ...Read more
Why You Should Buy Babe Ruth's 1923 Pocket WatchForbes, February 10th
At its Sports Platinum Night Auction February 22ndthough the 23d, Heritage will be offering, among many sports jewels, Babe Ruth's pocket watch, which was presented to him in 1923 to mark the Yankees' first world championship. “It's really a priceless ...Read more