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]



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Recent News: Pocket Watches

Source: Google News

At The Heart Of A Watch, Tested By Time
WHQR, April 24th

But the pocket watch, which was practical in the world of the gentleman's office, would become impractical as the technology evolved in ways that required us to pay attention to the time while we also ran the engines of the industrial age. My mother's...Read more

Gullivers Prototype Apple Watch
Daily Beast, April 23rd

The last time a timepiece sparked such a flummery of excitement was 300 years ago when the Lilliputians laid eyes on the pocket watch of the “great man mountain” in Jonathan Swift's 1726 satirical masterpiece Gulliver's Travels. The poet Alexander Pope ...Read more

“Rare” pocket watch made in Ely goes under the hammer
Ely Standard, April 19th

“Rare” pocket watch made in Ely goes under the hammer. 07:43 20 April 2015. Daniel Mansfield. The watch, made by J Fillinger and Co, of Ely. Archant. A pocket watch made in Ely, described as “highly unusual” by experts, sold for more than double its ...Read more

Mission Impossible-style burglary targets vintage watch shop
Telegraph.co.uk, April 15th

The burglar also took a gold Fusee Verge watch worth made by Thomas Earnshaw of London worth £9,000 and a rare gold Fusee Liverpool Massey 4 pocket watch dating from 1824 and worth around £8,000. He then climbed back through the ventilation ...Read more

3D Printed Chain Converts the Pebble Time into a Pocket Watch
3DPrint.com, April 5th

Styles come and go…and come again and the pocket watch is no exception. There's something about a pocket watch that is really appealing and whether it's a statement of nostalgia or a response to an irritated wrist that makes it the t Screen Shot 2015...Read more

Gallery: Reproduction vintage clothes shop Pocket Watch & Petticoats opens ...
Ipswich Star, April 3rd

Wiggle, swing and prom dresses are among the vintage-inspired womenswear on sale at Pocket Watch & Petticoats above Twist 'N' Shout, which is next to the Buttermarket in St Stephens Lane. Sophia Norris, owner of the independent reproduction vintage ...Read more

Police appeal after rare pocket watch and silverware stolen from house
Bournemouth Echo, March 30th

Police are appealing for witnesses after a haul of jewellery and silverware was stolen from a property in Blandford. Officers say a distinctive gold pocket watch, which has a Royal crest on the back, and several other expensive items were taken during...Read more

Convert Your Moto 360 Smartwatch to a Pocket Watch via 3D Printing
3DPrint.com, March 30th

Or your smart pocket watch. Holly and the team at Android Central had been exploring 3D printing and he wondered if 3D printing could be used to create a smart alternative to the wrist version of the Moto 360. He acknowledged that he wasn't pushing for...Read more