6 Reasons Why the Pocket Watch Database May Contain Inaccurate Information

The information provided within the Pocket Watch Database website is constantly being improved and refined. Despite the care and attention that is exercised while adding and augmenting the information, inaccuracies are still uncovered on a regular basis. Here are the most common reasons you may find the information in the database to be incorrect:

  1. Lack of Source Documentation. Many of the original ledgers and serial lists have been lost, are incomplete, or are inadequate.
  2. Incorrect Source Documentation. The original source documentation from the factories is known to be inconsistent or entirely incorrect in some cases.
  3. Conflict in Original Purpose. The original sources that have survived were never intended to be used by collectors. As a result, most documentation is sparse since the original intent was to assist in identification for watch service and repair work.
  4. Transcription Errors. When the original sources are transcribed, human errors and typos can cause incorrect information to be introduced into the data.
  5. Variants. Manufacturers were known to produce many variants of the same grade or model, even within the same run. Many times, these variants are unknown until new observations are uncovered.
  6. Misguided Lookups. It is common for users to accidentally conduct a lookup using the serial number from the case or the incorrect manufacturer. It is crucial to always use the entire serial number from the movement with the proper manufacturer.

We always encourage and welcome corrections to the database if inaccuracies are discovered. Please submit a verification report on the result page and provide information about your watch. When enough evidence is collected to warrant a modification, the database will be updated accordingly.

36 thoughts on “6 Reasons Why the Pocket Watch Database May Contain Inaccurate Information

  1. I quickly marked the movement 113110 as correct, but its not. It is a Waltham and its marked as American Watch company. It is not key wind as stated in your data. It is wound from a case stem. The dial also has american watch co. on it

    • Terry – Thanks for the information. Waltham #113110 was manufactured before the company began to utilize stem-winding mechanisms. Perhaps you are referencing the serial number from the case instead of the movement?

  2. Good Evening

    On your website the Waltham watch Serial Number 300153 is shown as 15j jewels. Inside the watch, on the mechanism, it is written “17Jewells Adjusted”. I hope this helps. Thanks for your useful website.

    Kind regards
    A Dupre

  3. Dear Manager

    Yesterday I sent you an email stating that the details of a Waltham pocket watch did not match your database with respect to the number of jewels. Unfortunately I read the serial number of the case and NOT the serial number of the movement. The Serial Number that I gave you was 300153. I had not realised that by clicking “NO” on your website “HELP US IMPROVE THE DATABASE” that it would register “Serial Number 300153 was reported as inaccurate”. I would not want anyone to be misled by my error. Please accept my apologies for this error.

    Yours faithfully
    Alan Dupre

  4. Update for the Illinois Pocket Watch – grade 605 – serial number 2631501. It is 17 Jewels. I am not sure if you post actual movement photos to the database references, but I have a movement photo available if you would like one.

  5. Thank you for posting this information. I have this Seth Thomas watch, serial number 742175, and I can confirm that it has 7 Jewels, is 18 size, is lever set, stem wound, and is mounted in a gold plated Premier brand case, serial #248569. The face is open under a glass crystal, and the back of the case is hunter style. Not sure how to describe this case, but it is not screw-down, but opens with tabs both on front and back. Karat content or guarantee period are not specifed. Runs good and keeps good time. Hope this helps your database.

    • Arnold – Thanks for the information. This has been added to the list of Seth Thomas observations. Let me know if you can provide information on whether the movement is nickel or gilt finish. Much appreciated.

  6. Illinois watch serial number 3532103 does not show the amount of jewels and this particular watch reads 17 jewels, adjusted. On the movement just wanted to share this information in case you would like to update for these watches. Thank you.

  7. Inadvertantly I entered the wrong serial instead of Waltham 26535874 it is 26533874 with 15j. I had difficulties distinguishing a 5 from a 3 as the ornamentation obscured it. It is definitely 15j and not 7j as it states on the works.
    Sorry!

  8. American Watch Co. (Marked on dial, not on movement.) Movement Serial Number: 1268180 Mod. 1877

    On the movement it is marked: Appleton Tracy Co. Waltham, Mass. Pat. pend……..
    Gilt Movement.

    Am. Watch Co. case.
    3 oz. sterling silver
    The case is original to movement.
    Not sure how to post picture on this site.

    Case # MM188

  9. Your picture of Hamilton Watch Movement #403931 is identical to my #403009 except that it is in a Montreal Watch Case Co case and is labeled Geo.Stevenson Jewelers Manitou Man (Manitoba, Canada). It appears that the case and movement were ordered separately, with the jewelers name printed on the face and back of the movement. The Jewelers was sold in 1919.
    The case is labelled RAILWAY…indicating a Railway grade. Did the US and Canada have different standards at the time?

    Pictures available if you want them

    • Robert, while the requirements in the United States and Canada differed slightly, the Hamilton 924 would not have been accepted into service on railroads in either country at the time. Cases were typically selected by the customer, so the “Railway” marking does not necessarily indicate a railroad watch. It is also possible the movement is not original to the case.

  10. Movement#4C25484 Hamilton Watch Co. Matches the specs. But
    inside the case it’s marked Keystone with case#759618 can you please let me know what this means. I found this watch, it’s in rough shape, hour hand is missing, face is worn, crystal glass is missing, and it seems to be over wound.
    In your opinion is it worth have it restored and what would be the approximate cost for restoration?

    • The case serial number is simply for tracking/identification at Keystone. The Hamilton 4992B watches are fairly collectible. So, yes, I believe it would be worth your effort to have it restored.

  11. This particular Rockford 18s has a lever/ screw that makes it comfortable lever or stem set. Not on your photo but in reality. I have several. Kind of neat feature. The watch I looked up was from the Nat. RR Jewelers group. Makes sense to me. Thanks.

    • Yes. The lever/pendant switch mechanism was available on the 18-Size Model 7 movements produced by Rockford c.1887-1892.

  12. Hi, i have just bought pocket watch elgin movement no 744984 gold plated hunter case, but there is know mention of B W Raymond on the movement i bought the watch because i like it can you tell me if it is B W Raymond.
    regards,Brett.

    • Brett, while there are some “nameless” Grade 70 movements that would not be marked “B.W. Raymond,” they are fairly uncommon. Make sure you are conducting your lookup using the serial number from the movement (and not the case). If you still have questions, feel free to upload images of the watch to your collection on the Pocket Watch Database, and I will take a closer look.

  13. . Since the information below is not noted for my SB 280, serial number 513288, or others of this grade, I’d like to report it for your use.
    . This is a 16s South Bend grade 280, and noted as having a 1908 manufacture date.
    . Its REGULATOR is a South Bend “Needle” regulator.
    . Thanks for your hard work, expert information & support
    — ny

  14. I have discovered a Waltham pocket watch that is unusual in the respect that the case serial number reflects an 11 jewel that was manufactured sometime between sept and nov of 1877, but upon inspection of the number on the movement itself and looking that number up, it is a 21 jewel that was built in 1907, I got to looking at it alot closer because the 1877 has a cover and the 1907 was supposed to be open faced. the lens covering the face is made of plastic and while I believe they didnt have plastic in 1877 or 1907. Im assuming the original glass was broken sometime after plastic was invented and it was a cheaper alternative. This thing is such a hodge podge that Im not sure of its value 1028327 on the case, 16179413 on the movement. I cant find anything helpful.

    • Based on the numbers you provided, it sounds like you used the case number to conduct the lookup that resulted in the 1877 date. Lookups should always be submitted using the serial number from the movement, never the case (please see #6 on the list above). Waltham movement #16179413 corresponds to a 16-Size, Model 1899, 21-Jewel, Crescent St. grade. It is likely the crystal was replaced with plastic at some point in time or the case is not original to the movement. https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/search/result/waltham/16179413

  15. You have already verified that my Rockford 16S, 21J watch, SN 670379, is indeed a pendant set Grade 540. Is there any way you can make those changes to my watch’s data file, since those items are locked so that I can’t update them? That way when I search the SN, it goes to the correct information.
    Thanks!

      • I hate to be a pest, but when I enter my serial number, 67039, the DB still takes me to a Grade 545 instead of Grade 540, even though my watch’s file has been updated to 540. Is there another data entry point that needs to be updated so it goes to the correct grade? Thanks!

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