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Enter the serial number from the pocket watch movement below. Do not use the case number. Tips for looking up your watch

How to Find Info About Your Pocket Watch

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:

  1. Always input the serial number from the pocket watch movement (the "guts" of the watch).
  2. Never use the serial number from the case or any other part.
  3. If the serial number includes a letter, enter it along with the number when using the lookup feature.
  4. 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.
  5. Always select the correct manufacturer, which is usually stamped on the watch movement.
  6. If the manufacturer is not listed on the site, you may have a "private label" watch or it may not be American-made.
  7. 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.
Pocket Watch Serial Number Lookup - Hamilton, South Bend, Illinois, Rockford, Waltham & Elgin Pocket Watches
  Serial Number:
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Pocket Watch Case Configurations

Pocket watch movements are manufactured to be set in either an open face or hunting case. However, the type of case does not necessarily indicate the movement configuration.

Open Face

Open face movements are characterized by the stem placement at the 12:00 position using a standard dial.

Open face movements are occasionally found in hunting cases, as displayed to the right.

In 1893, the General Railroad Timepiece Standards Commission created standard guidelines formally recommending all watches used for Railroad service be open face. However, this standard was not widely adopted by the majority of American Railroad companies until after 1906.

Note: Occasionally, an open face movement will have a conversion dial, which would place the seconds bit at the 9:00 position. This dial would allow an open face movement to be set in a hunting case with the stem located at the 3:00 position.


Hunting/Hunter

Hunting movements are characterized by the stem placement at the 3:00 position using a standard dial.

Hunting movements are sometimes found in open face cases, as displayed to the right. These are commonly referred to as "sidewinders."

Note: Occasionally, a hunting movement will have a conversion dial, which would place the seconds bit at the 3:00 position. This dial would allow a hunting movement to be set in a open face case with the stem located at the 12:00 position.


Convertible Movements

Some manufacturers produced "convertible" movements that could be easily configured as an open face or hunting movement.


Keywind/Keyset Movements

Keywind/Keyset movements can be set into a case in any rotational position since the stem does not engage the movement. However, cases were speicifcally manufactured to display the movement in an open face or hunting position, aligning the winding arbor to the keyhole.