This is a 992B movement after cleaning before
assembly, click on photo to enlarge.
If you are new to pocket watch ownership and are
considering buying or have already purchased one, read over the
information about them on this site. It will save you a lot of
Over 1500 watches have been sold from this
website, we sell so many watches not because there is never a problem
with an old watch but rather because we fix those problems.
If you are considering a watch purchase please scroll
down and read the information on this page.
I get a lot of request for guidance in selecting a
pocket watch, especially from first time buyer; It is very difficult for
me to select a watch for someone else but if you follow the following
guidelines you should be satisfied with your purchase.
First decide if this is going to be an
everyday carry watch or a collection watch.
Next determine the price rangeyou
are comfortable with. This will generally be higher for watches in
the collection area. Some watches so of fall in between.
If you have brand preferences arrange them
in order of that preference.
If RR approved is important to you look for
that in the listing or check with me about it.
Then just pick what you like the best. They
should all keep good time within a reasonable range of a few seconds
per day. They all do here before shipping but occasionally things
happen in transit but we can always fix that. Frustrating but part
of collecting anything vintage.
I believe we have more pocket watch chain varieties than you can find
anywhere else, check it out here
I have noticed a significant increase in magnetism in watches in
the last 20 months, I suspect it is something the post office is
doing, perhaps their increased use of scanning devices, but it is
definitely a problem.
There are a lot of ways magnetism can get into a watch, a lot of
household appliances emit it. Especially computers, TVs, cell phones,
battery operated land line phones and etc.. Cell phones may be a significant problem because they may
be carried close to the watch. If possible keep it as far from your
pocket watch as possible. Battery powered land phones emit a very
strong magnetic field so don't lay your watch near them at night.
Most of these electronics did not exist at the time many vintages
were made so the magnetic field they create was not a consideration.
I think there may be another consideration and that is "Sunspots"
these are darker, cooler areas on the surface of the sun in a region called the photosphere.
The photosphere has a temperature of 5,800 degrees Kelvin. Sunspots have temperatures of about 3,800 degrees K. They look dark only in comparison with the brighter and hotter regions of the photosphere around them.
Sunspots can be very large, up to 50,000 kilometers in diameter. They are caused by interactions with the Sun's magnetic field which are not fully understood. But a sunspot is somewhat like the cap on a soda bottle: shake it up, and you can generate a big eruption. Sunspots occur over regions of
intense magnetic activity, and when that energy is released, solar flares and big storms called coronal mass ejections erupt from sunspots.
Low solar activity can actually cause dramatic cooling on the earth
so high activity most likely causes warming and increased magnetic
activity, although this interaction is not fully known even today.
For the last couple of years sunspots have been concentrated near
the sun's equator with the frequency relatively high. This corresponds
with what appears to be a warming of the earths surface "global
warming" [I am not suggesting sunspots are the only cause].
believe that the number of spots on the sun cycles over time,
reaching a peak—the so-called Solar Maximum—every 11 years or
so. Some studies indicate that sunspot activity overall has doubled
in the last century. The apparent result down here on Earth is that
the sun glows brighter by about 0.1 percent now than it did 100
this results in some sort of magnetic disturbance being projected
towards earth it might explain the dramatic increase in mechanical
Turning a watch's hands counterclockwise while setting it is not necessarily harmful. It is only damaging when the timepiece contains a chiming mechanism.
If you would like to see what we do to prepare a watch for
sale click here
Please read all of the following information if you are considering
purchasing a watch from us, it is useful for anyone interested in vintage
I have been getting more request lately to take trade-ins. To
see the policy for this click
here. This is a word document and may download as a file, just open it to
read and close to return to the website.
If this is your first pocket watch read this Click
Here for hints on operating and caring for your watch.
For watch chains, case knives and other items go to the
A note on dome style hanging display
cases, most watches will not keep good time while hanging from a hook!
A note on Consigned watches, many of
these watch have not been serviced by me so my written descriptions will be
somewhat limited, you should rely heavily on the photos. Many of the watches
could benefit greatly from a service of the movement, dial and case. I will not
list them unless they are running and reasonably accurate. Even when watches are
keeping time when I have not serviced them I do not know what if anything has
been done to the watch.
A note on low grade watches (non- RR Grade): This is (for this discussion only) any watch below a jewel
count of 17. Many low grade watches will keep excellent time, but some do not. Any watch that runs can most likely be made to run accurately, but
low grade watches may not hold the accuracy for long. Another problem
is the amount of time it takes to time pocket watches to accuracy cannot be
justified by the selling price or the amount I charge for servicing.
I only offer a few non-RR grade watches and these I believe
to be worthy of collecting for a number of reasons. A consignor may as they are likely to be brand collectors as
opposed to exclusively high grade or Railroad Approved watch collectors. If you purchase one of these
watches you should do so understanding that they may not come anyway near
railroad accuracy. I will do my best but I can't guarantee accuracy on low grade
If accuracy better than a minute or so a day is important to
you I suggest you only consider pocket watches made after the mid 1940's. It is
not that earlier models can't keep better time it is just later model watches
generally have seen less use. It just is not realistic to expect a watch made in
the 1030's to keep time within a few seconds per day. I can regulate and adjust
them to do this but it is unlikely they will hold this precision for any length
of time. I know some do but that is the exception not the rule.
you sent us a watch for repair and have not heard back from us within
two weeks please call or email us about the watch. We sometimes get
watches without complete owner contact information. And I can misplace
the information, I hate to admit it but I do.
I have started to just
list the watches as keeping time, not great or excellent as I did in the
past. These terms can be confusing to a buyer thinking they have
different meanings when they do not. I do not list any of the watches
that I have serviced that are not keeping time within a few seconds per
day. When the watches sell they are checked again and must keep time within a
few seconds per day. Of course shipping may change this a little.
Unless a pocket watch is very rare
small differences can make a big difference in price. If you are new to
collecting pocket watches my best advice is to take your time, even buying from
me. For example some perfect dials can add $500.00 to the cost of a watch while
the same dial in minor damaged condition may add nothing. Engraved initials,
especially on the back cover can affect the price. The list of things that raise
or lower the price of any given watch is extensive. If you are buying a watch to
carry accepting small imperfections at a lower price is worth considering, while
if you are collecting for future gain probably not. There are no absolutes and
it takes time to get a handle on all of the things to consider. I am more than
happy to talk to anyone needing help in this area so feel free to call.
Information pertaining to many of the
watches listed on this site is generated in part using http://pocketwatchdatabase.com/
this is a very useful source for information pertaining to many watches
so long as you know the serial number.
A very common problem for pocket watch owners is for the hands to get
out of alignment and interfere with one another. The tools and
information below can be useful to correct these problems. To purchase
these tools on eBay
click here about $15.00
Hand setting and removal tools
installing watch hands
the puller to remove the hands from the watch place a thin sheet of
plastic over the dial. This will protect the dial and keep the hands
from flying away.
work on a light colored surface so you can see the hands if they do get
away from you.
working over carpeted areas, and if you have to, keep a magnet handy to
help find a hand if you drop it on carpet.
not be able to grip the small second hand with the tool without first
getting it up a little off the dial. A single edge razor blade is handy
removing the hour and minute hand use the eraser of a pencil and push
down on the top of the cannon pinion as it may have come up a little
when you removed the hands. This will insure that the cannon pinion and
minute wheel are fully engaged.
replacing the hands line the hour hand to 3
use the hand setting tool try to have the hour hand pushed down just
enough so there is room to attach the minute hand properly, this is
right at the top of the hour wheel. If you look closely you can see
where this is.
8.If you get
the hour hand down too tight against the dial it can stop the watch and
also increases the chance it will interfere with the small second hand.
on the second hand on, you should have needle point tweezers for this
10.Once the second hand is on check to be sure the hour hand clears it.
11.Then move the hour hand back to 3
12.The minute hand should be aligned towards 12
13.After both hands are installed look to be sure they clear
14.If they don’t use the tool to put a little pressure on the back of the
minute hand, this should raise the tip of the hand slightly.
Additional photos of watches, movements,
dials and case covers are available on request.
We want you to enjoy the experience
of owning the pocket watch you purchase. That starts with a
worry free purchase, without the stress of gambling on an item sold at
auction. We really care about our watches and do not
sell any of them without some regret. Every watch we sell is a mechanical
wonder that you can be proud to own, if you do not feel this way
about your purchase just return it, undamaged within five days of
If you insist that a pocket watch be
absolutely accurate you may want to consider quartz. While many railroad
grade watches kept time within a few seconds per week, many did not even
when they were new. And, even the ones that did where checked, adjusted
and serviced on a schedule that is not practical for most people today.
Remember that these watches are probably seventy years old or more.
Another major factor is that these watches were serviced and picked up
locally, so were not subjected to the abuse that goes along with having
to ship them.
Terms of Sale
Please check the
complete details from the link on the left of this page
We offer a full money back guarantee* on any of our watches so long as you return it within five days of receipt and we receive it in the same condition as we sent it to you. ** Does not include shipping cost. Pocket watches are insured up to
the purchase price. All shipments are F.O.B. Ludington, Mi.. If a claim arises you must deal with the carrier but we will assist you in making your claim. Be sure to keep all of the original packaging for the carrier's inspection. We normally ship
U.S.P.S. priority mail. When you click on the buy it now button you
acknowledge you have read the terms and conditions and agree with it.
Dealing with the post office on claims is not easy, they are always
reluctant to honor a claim. So while your purchase is F.O.B. Ludington
all we ask is that you notify and document the claim at your local post
office. We will do the rest. I have learned the hard way to keep all of
the necessary documents and how to work on the claim. When we are
finally successful in getting the claim paid, we usually are but it takes
time and effort, we collect the funds from the post office and then in
the event of a lost item refund to you. When we are claiming damage we
will make the repairs at no cost to you and fight it out with the post
office, but you need to document the damage with your local post office
before returning the watch to us.
In the past when watches were returned for repair and/or adjustment
because they were reported to be not keeping time or not running at all,
it was our police to pay the return shipping after making the
adjustments or repairs needed. However far too many watches are coming
back that are either running perfectly or well within the range for
regulator adjustment. So effective September 1, 2012 when watches are
returned for repair or adjustment and repairs are not needed or only a
minor regulator adjustment is required we will continue to make the
adjustments at no charge but will not pay the return shipping. Watches
that are within one minute per day should be able to be adjusted to
within a few seconds per day at the regulator. If a few seconds per day
error is not good enough for you I recommend a high quality jeweled
quartz watch, not a vintage watch. We know that there are times when vintage
watches behave peculiarly and if we return a watch to you that we
determined did not have the problem you experienced and you have the
problem again and we can confirm that after you send it back to us we
will pay your return shipping to us, ship back to you prepaid after the
necessary repairs have been made and refund the charges for shipping
back the first time. I don't know how we could be more fair than that.
Could there be an environmental factor?
Things like close proximity to electronics that
emit some magnetism can cause erratic results in mechanical watches.
Something like a TV on a dresser where the watch is set at night can
cause a real problem. Even movements like Hamilton's 992B are affected
during the exposure, even though they do not retain the magnetism in
All of our pocket watches are serviced and checked for
accuracy on our electronic timing machine and against an atomic clock
for several days. Shipping, environmental conditions and location may result in some minor
adjustments being needed. Occasionally I purchase a watch that is
reported to have just been serviced. A visual inspection of the movement
can determine if this reported service is false but can not definitively
insure that it is true. Whenever a watch is listed as serviced by others
I will warrant the movement to run and keep time for 120 days from the
date of sale. This warrantee covers the entire movement except for the
In general it is better for you to sell your watch
outright rather than trade it in. I will take trades but it is a very
difficult transaction for me because of the way I sell watches. Even
when the watch was purchased from me, because I don't know what has
happened to it while out of my position I must service the watch and
clean the case. If there is one tiny scratch on the crystal I will
replace it. I don't want to offend customers but I must be extremely
careful about taking trades and what I can allow for watches that are
taken in trade. It is very easy to end up losing money on these
If the watch was purchased elsewhere
the very best price
I will offer is 80% of bottom book, less the cost of service, case
work, crystal replacement when necessary and dial replacement when
necessary. So that is about $130.00 under 80% of bottom book, if a
dial must be replaced you can add another $100 to that.
If the watch was purchased from me
within the last 60 days I will allow 90% of the purchase price, not
including shipping. If over 60 days #1 applies.
link above to get the recommendations we send to all our
mainspring breakage, especially on "older"
(pre 1925) pocket watches do
not fully wind at first, instead partially wind a couple of time
each day to about 60% to 75% of full wind. After you wind
them like this a few times without incident you can most
likely resume normal winding. Remember these
springs are very old if they have not been replaced. This
probably is not necessary on newer watches, say post 1925.
surgical glove handy for installing and removing case
covers, it is not necessary to wear the glove just use it
to get a good grip on the cover. Using a case ball or flat
rubber tool is even better.
cross thread a cover do not try to force it open, instead
use a case knife to gently pry the case back into
A watch that stops
in the same place usually has hands touching, this is common after
shipping. If a watch always stops near 6:00 the hour hand is
touching the second hand. If the watch stops when the minute hand
crosses the hour hand they are probably touching.
One of my customers that is new to
pocket watch collecting suggest that I post this information I sent
The case ball is very handy for opening and closing cases.
Sometimes it is hard to get a grip on the cover, something like a
surgical glove helps a lot also, you don’t wear the glove just
use it to get a better grip. They also sell a pad, at most dollar
and grocery stores, that helps get a grip on things like jam
covers that work good. I sometimes use these to set the case on
when I am using the case ball, especially when I am cleaning a
case and it is wet.
As far as the lever goes if you have a little thumb nail it works
best for me just to use that to pull out the lever, or a wood
toothpick works good also and won't damage the dial or case.
When you are putting a cover back on just turn is counterclockwise
until you feel or hear it fall into place, you will get the hang
of it after a little while, then turn clockwise to close the
When you are doing this you can look at the space between the
cover and the case to see if it looks the same all the way around
When you start to close the cover there won’t be a lot of
resistance if the cover is lined up correctly, but you can
sometimes feel a little. In just a little while you will get to
know how it should feel.
You can’t damage the threads if you do not use force, in fact
never use force for anything on a pocket watch.
Even the best covers can be a pain to get started every once in a
while, but if you do it like I describe you will get it and and
never do any damage.
There is a lot of variance in the feel of this from watch to
watch, so once you are used to yours it will be fine. In fact a
lot of things feel and sound a little different from watch to
We offer pocket watches that are a
good value in the various price points, irrespective if they are
selling for under $100.00 or over $1000.00. We are not Gold
Speculators, recently with gold prices rising and the
so called experts predicting prices from $1650.00 to $2000.00 within
a year it is very difficult to find a pocket watch with a solid gold
case at a reasonable price. Our focus is and always has been on high
grade movements and rare short run models from American watch
makers. We do occasionally offer a high grade Swiss watch when we
can offer you a very good value.
watches vary greatly in price depending on the movement, dial. hands
and case for
each watch. We want each of our pocket watches to represent a solid
investment. We focus on higher quality movements and fully service the
movement before we offer the watch for sale. The only exception is
when we acquire a watch that has just been serviced by someone we
trust and our
inspection confirms this.
cases are cleaned and polished "when needed" and
sometimes, but rarely electroplated with gold, platinum or
silver, we have found that on specific make and models of cases
this works out very well on others not so much. After plating if the
case is not satisfactory it is discarded. My comments about case
are limited to the functionality of the covers or hinges. The cosmetic
condition is too subjective to comment on, but if a case look bad to us
we do not use it. Unless a case is referred to
as mint or new old stock you should assume there are signs of ageing,
scratches and minor dings and dents. Please use the photos for
determining cosmetic condition of cases and request additional photos if
you are in doubt.
We replace most
crystals (99%) and clean every dial. We do not sell any pocket watch with
dial defects that are serious, unless there are no options and the
defects will be noted in the listing. We prefer perfect or near perfect
porcelain enamel dials but they are not always available.
this is somewhat subjective we will describe all dial defects and
provide photographs so you can determine for yourself the extent
of dial damage. With perfect original dials becoming difficult to
find prices are starting to equal a complete watch price. In some
case a high quality replacement dial may be the solution for buyers
wanting a perfect dial. While they are not inexpensive high
quality Melamine or painted dials are available on request.
cost of the value added service that we perform on every pocket
watch would be $150.00 to $300.00 if you took the watch to your local jeweler
or repair shop.
We offer a full money back guarantee*
on any watch purchased from us so long as you return it within five days of
receipt and we receive it in the same condition as we sent it to
you. We do not sell or ship damaged watches so any damage incurred
during or after shipment is the sole responsibility of the buyer. Having
said this we will work with the buyer to make repairs at minimal or no cost
and to recover these cost from the insurance carrier when the damage is incurred
* Does not include shipping cost. Pocket watches are
insured for the full purchase price. All shipments are F.O.B. Ludington, Mi.. If a
claim arises you must deal with the carrier but we will assist you
in making your claim. Be sure to keep all of the original packaging
for the carrier's inspection. We normally ship U.S.P.S. priority
are a verified PayPal® merchant, PayPal®
is the payment system that allows you to use almost
any method of payment,
including all credit card and bank transfer without having to
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secure method of internet payment available.
We tried offering credit card acceptance
but in addition to the regular percentage they kept charging additional
fees for things that I believe should just be their cost of being in
business. This plus all the extra time needed to keep this updated on
the website and record keeping just made it impossible to keep accepting
credit cards except through PayPal.