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