The Pocket Watch Database has compiled data covering the major American pocket watch manufacturers and created an easy way to find information using the serial number on the watch movement. Here are a few tips to find information about your pocket watch:
Always input the serial number from the pocket watch movement (the "mechanism" of the watch).
Never use the serial number from the case or any other part.
Always select the correct manufacturer, which is usually stamped on the watch movement or dial.
If the manufacturer is not listed on the site, you may have a "private label" watch or it may not be American-made.
If the serial number includes a letter, enter it along with the number when using the lookup feature.
Many pocket watch case backs screw off. Others may require a dull wide blade to pry or pop the cover. Be careful not to scratch or damage the movement.
Consider uploading images of your watch by creating a collection account on the website. This is compeltely free and assists in promoting research in American horology.
Understand that many companies did not keep accurate or complete records. As a result, information displayed on this site may have inaccuracies. This is to be expected, and we have included an option to report inaccurate information on the result pages so the database can be continually improved.
Net Price List of Materials Manufactured by the Elgin National Watch Co. (1896)
This Material Catalog was distributed by the Elgin National Watch Co. in April 1896. The serial list published within represents the last instance in which the company utilized the “Series” classification system. In the next Material Catalog, published in 1904, the “Series” designations were transitioned a the familiar model system. The 1896 Material Catalog also contains information omitted from subsequent publications, including the movement winding method, providing crucial insight into early production.