Antique and Vintage Railroad Pocket Watches For Sale

All Antique and Vintage pocket watches we offer are running and ready for daily use!

Ball Official RR Standard
Elgin BW Raymond RR Watch

What is a Railroad Watch?

Walnut Pocket Watch Dome
Glass Display Dome
Walnut Base and Silver Hook
Great for your
Antique Pocket Watch!
3" x 4" Dome
Item 331swdh
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Watch Display Stands and Domes!
Leather Pocket Watch Belt  Holster
Pocket Watch Holder
Black Leather
Belt Holster
Large Size - 56 mm
Item 3572-56bk
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Pocket Watch Holsters!
Sterling Silver Pocket Watch Chain
New Pocket Watch Chain
High Quality 12"
Solid Sterling Silver
Large Spring Ring
Made in USA!
Item WC12SSL
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Pocket Watch Chains!

Q: What is a Railroad Watch?

A: Many folks inaccurately describe any watch that is old as a "Railroad Watch". The term "Railroad Watch" or "Standard Watch" can be traced back to the late 1880's. The most famous incident, occured on April 19th, 1891. A fast mail train known as No. 4 traveling east on the same track as an accommodation train was going West. Unfortunately the engineer's watch on the accommodation train had stopped for 4 minutes, and then started up again. The two trains met their destiny at Kipton, Ohio, where both engineers were killed, along with nine others. Following the disaster, a commission was appointed to come up with standards for timepieces that would be adopted by all railroads. The industry now had to demand precision in its timekeeping. Thus were born some of the finest timepieces ever made in the world!!! The General Railroad Timepiece Standards were adopted by most railroads in 1893. They had to meet the following standards:

A railroad watch had to be open faced;
Be a size 16s or 18s;
Have a minimum of 17 jewels;
Be adjusted to at least five positions;
Keep time accurately to within 30 seconds a week;
Adjusted to temps of 34 - 100F;
Have a double roller escapement;
Have a steel escape wheel;
Be lever set with a winding stem at 12 o'clock;
and have black Arabic numerals on a white dial.

After WW2, the requirements were tightened up to 21 jewels on some lines.

Therefore, just because it is old, does not mean it is a Railroad Watch, just a good old Antique watch!

For more information, see Kent Singer's online article "Just What is a Railroad Watch"


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