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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Street Talk: Why I'm wearing a monocle and pocket watchLewiston Sun Journal, December 3rd
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Museum acquires great explorer's pocket watchPS News, December 1st
The National Museum of Australia has acquired a pocket watch belonging to the father of the Overland Telegraph and one of Australia's greatest inland explorers, John McDouall Stuart. National Museum curator, Anthea Gunn said Stuart was one of Australia...Read more
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Gift Guide: Vintage Skeleton Pocket WatchFEARnet.com, November 27th
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Burns pocket watch fetches £40000Glasgow Evening Times, November 27th
A pocket watch belonging to Robert Burns, which contains a note from his wife, has sold at auction for almost £40,000. The silver-cased watch dating to 1786 far surpassed its valuation of £2,500 when it went under the hammer for £39,650 in Edinburgh...Read more
Scots explorer's 150yo pocket watch sold for £48kScotsman, November 25th
A 150-YEAR-OLD pocket watch, which was presented to a plucky Scottish explorer who became the first man to successfully traverse Australia from south to north, has sold for over £48,000 at auction today, hugely exceeding its estimate. John McDouall ...Read more
Breguet buys pocket watch for $1.12m at auctionArabianBusiness.com, November 15th
The Breguet Museum and CEO Marc Hayek announced the acquisition of three Breguet watches including the antique pocket watch number 4,691 at Christie's and Sotheby's auctions, respectively, on Monday November 11 and Tuesday 12, 2013. Number ...Read more