Elgin Open-Faced Pocket Watch used on SPRR

My Father-in-Law died at the beginning of this year, he was a retired Engineer with the Southern Pacific Railroad (44 years). Earlier this week my husband’s mom asked him over to go over two pocket watches that his dad used on the railroad. He is hoping one day to get his Great-Grandfather’s pocket watch, but she’s not ready to part with that yet which is wholly understandable!

This is the one he picked out ~ while I’m not sure it can be considered a true railroad pocket watch, as it does not quite meet the requirements below…my FIL did use it on the railroad. 🙂 Well worn watch!

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, size 16 or 18, have a minimum of 17 jewels, adjusted to at least five positions, keep time accurately to within 30 seconds a week, adjusted to temps of 34 to 100 degrees F. have a double roller, steel escape wheel, lever set, regulator, winding stem at 12 o’clock, and have bold black arabic numerals on a white dial, with black hands.

It’s an Open-faced Elgin ~

Serial number: 21500078
Year 1918
Grade 317
Class 106
Size 18
15 Jewels

The case is Fahys Montauk Guaranteed 20 Years. From research online I found that “The Fahys Montauk case is a gold-filled case, 15-year if made up to March 1898, 20-year if made thereafter.”

3 thoughts on “Elgin Open-Faced Pocket Watch used on SPRR

  1. Oh I am so very sorry for his & your loss. I know that it will take a while for y’all to adjust and my heart goes out to you.

    I love the watch that he chose, my grandfather always wore a pocket watch attached to a leather braided he made.


  2. Gilbert, Engle & Shugart, Complete Price Guide to Watches, Tinderbox Press, USA. 2008 ed. prices this particular watch on Page 183 as worth between $100 and $200, the higher value being for one in MINT (as though never worn, with original packaging) condition.

  3. That is really, really special. What a neat piece of history to have, and the more so for being family-connected. : )

    My hubby loves pocket watches.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s