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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Would you add these pocket watches to your collection?Daily News & Analysis, February 5th
What could be more dignified than pulling out a classy pocket watch at a black-tie event or adding it to your ensemble for that dreamy vintage wedding? Sophisticated collectors have whipped up an appetite for retro and classic time instruments such as...Read more
Reunited: Giulio Papi And The GN Papi Number 1 Pocket WatchQuill & Pad, February 2nd
Previously, I had the wonderful opportunity to report on an important and previously unknown watch: the “G.N. Papi 1” pocket watch made by Giulio Papi and now owned by a good friend of mine (for the full story see Exclusive: The Giulio Papi No. 1...Read more
NAMM 2016: Fender Custom Shop's Music Repeater Telecaster Was Inspired by an ...Guitar World Magazine, January 25th
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and its Custom Shop has unveiled the Music Repeater Telecaster, created by Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov. As part of the Fender Custom Shop 2016 Prestige Collection for NAMM, this is a fully performing ...Read more
4810 Orbis Terrarum Pocket Watch 110 Years limited editionWorld Tempus, January 18th
This is the first time Montblanc has created a pocket watch and it not only harks back to the beginning of the 20th century, when pocket watches were the timekeepers of choice, but also features the highly appreciated world timer function with the...Read more
The world's first fully functional 3D-printed pocket watchDigital Trends, January 17th
Now that people are 3D printing everything from toys to shoes to jet parts, it's no surprise that someone just invented the world's first 3D-printed pocket watch. The timepiece is made almost entirely of 3D-printed components, and its design pays...Read more
3D printed, open-source "pocket watch" with tourbillonBoing Boing, January 15th
Swiss engineer Christoph Laimer has built an open-source hardware, 3D printed watch with a tourbillon mechanism, uploading it to Thingiverse for you to print and assemble yourself. The pioneering work in the was done by Nicholas Manousos, whose 2014 ...Read more
Look at this wild 3D-printed pocket watchThe Verge, January 13th
It's certainly not the most attractive watch you could carry around, but Christoph Laimer's new pocket watch has one very eye-catching distinction: it's almost entirely 3D printed. Laimer is an engineer — in Switzerland, naturally — and he's created...Read more
Fully Functional 3D Printed Tourbillon Pocket Watch Created By Cristoph Laimer ...Geeky Gadgets, January 12th
An awesome 3D printer Tourbillon watch has been created by Cristoph Laimer using the Autodesk Fusion 360 software to build the design and an awesome Ultimaker 2 3D printer to create the small parts required to build the working mechanical mechanism...Read more