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

"Family hero" pocket watch found and returned
Penarth Times, September 4th

A STOLEN family heirloom has been returned to its rightful owner after police successfully recovered them. Simon Elias discovered the pocket watch and car keys had been taken from his house in November 2014. The watch had been presented to Simon's ...Read more

What's with that tiny pocket on your jeans? Gene aims to find out.
Washington Post, September 3rd

I have done some research, and this little pocket inside the right front pocket is called the “watch pocket” because the last bona fide use for such a pocket was roughly 1899, before the popularity of wristwatches, which made the pocket watch...Read more

This accessory makes the Apple Watch an old-timey pocket watch
VentureBeat, August 31st

You want to go all old-school with your Apple Watch? The accessories brand Bucardo can help you out. Bucardo's Pendulum Collection, as it's called, aims to resurrect vintage classics like pocket watches and pendulums, and transform them into wearable ...Read more

Turn Your Apple Watch into a Pocket Watch
Chip Chick, August 21st

Bucardo, a company that aims to seamlessly integrate technology with fashion, has designed an elegant line of accessories that will transform your Apple Watch into a pendant necklace or a pocket watch, with aesthetics seemingly from a bygone era...Read more

Turn Your Apple Watch into a Pocket Watch or a Pendant
Technabob (blog), August 19th

Sad about the Apple Watch? Did it disappoint you? Dropping a load of cash on a gadget like that can be perilous sometimes. But now that you have it, maybe you can do something cool with it. Turn it into a fancy-shmancy pocket watch...Read more

Turn The Apple Watch Into A Pocket Watch
OhGizmo! (blog), August 18th

To that end, the Pendulum Collection offers a series of accessories meant to turn your fancy wrist-worn high tech device into a pocket watch. There's something nostalgic about the classic pocket watch aesthetic, and this particular collection seems to...Read more

Pocket Watches To Go With Every Outfit
Crave Online, August 17th

You might think the pocket watch outdated; appropriate only for steampunk cosplay and men over 70. But you'd be wrong if you did. It turns out it's all about the right choice in pocket watch. Specifically, choosing one that can go with more than just...Read more

Pendulum accessory turns Apple Watch into a necklace pendant or pocket watch
9 to 5 Mac (blog), August 7th

The collection includes a vintage-style pocket watch accessory for the 42mm Apple Watch in two styles, and a line of pendant necklaces for the 38mm Apple Watch, all available in either 14k or 18k gold plating or sterling silver and various designs...Read more