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Railroad Watches

Railroad Watches

Many collectors feel that American watchmaking reached its pinnacle with the invention of the railroad watch. In an effort to meet the stringent and rigorous demands of the railroads, where the incorrect time could and did prove disastrous, American watchmakers were...
What Does “Adjusted” Mean?

What Does “Adjusted” Mean?

Many pocket watches state that they are “adjusted” to temperature and to a number of positions. This basically means that they have been specially calibrated to maintain the same accuracy under a variety of conditions. A watch that has been adjusted to temperature...
What Are Watch “Jewels”?

What Are Watch “Jewels”?

A watch movement mostly consists of a number of gears [called “wheels”] held in place by an upper and a lower plate. Each wheel has a central shaft [called an “arbor”] running through it, the ends of which fit into holes in the plates. If you have a metal shaft in a...
What Size Is My Watch?

What Size Is My Watch?

When a collector refers to an American watch’s “size,” he or she is generally referring to the diameter of the watch movement only, not the case. The same size watch movement will usually fit in a variety of different size cases, so the size of the case is usually not...
How Are Different Watches Set?

How Are Different Watches Set?

Most people think that you set a pocket watch the same way you set a wristwatch — by pulling out the winding stem. Well, that is true with many pocket watches, but by no means all of them! In fact, there are four main ways pocket watches can be set, and if you...