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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
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Pocket Watch Jewels

Jewels are hard minerals added to the mechanics of the watch to prevent wear at pivot and collision points. Generally, the jewel count is a direct indication of quality.

7 Jewels

Nearly all American Pocket Watches contain at least 7 jewels, which are located within the balance assembly:

  • One Pair (2) Balance Staff Hole Jewels
  • One Pair (2) Balance Staff Cap Jewels
  • 1 Impulse/Roller Jewel
  • One Pair (2) Pallet Jewels

7-Jewel movements can be easily identified by the lack of hole jewels at the train bearings on the top plate. Instead of jewels, the bearings are metal bushings.

7-Jewel movements usually are not marked with the jewel count.


11 Jewels

In addition to the 7 jewels located within the balance assembly and escapement, 11-jewel watches contain one of the two following characteristics:

  • One Pair (2) Pallet Fork Hole Jewels and One Pair (2) Escape Wheel Hole Jewels
  • Or 4 Top Plate Hole Jewels for the Pallet Fork, Escape Wheel, 3rd Wheel, and 4th Wheel (Without paired hole jewels on the bottom plate)

Because some manufacturers commonly jeweled the top plate only, if the movement is not marked with a jewel count, removal of the dial is usually required to determine the accurate count.

Tip: In many cases, 11-jewel movements that are only jeweled on the top plate will be friction/pressed jewels and be characterized with a plain regulator, while 15-jewel movements will have screw-set jewels and likely a micrometer regulator.

11-Jewel movements are almost never marked with the jewel count.


15 Jewels

In addition to the 7 jewels located within the balance assembly and escapement, 15-jewel watches contain:

  • One Pair (2) Pallet Fork Hole Jewels
  • One Pair (2) Escape Wheel Hole Jewels
  • One Pair (2) 3rd Wheel Hole Jewels
  • One Pair (2) 4th Wheel Hole Jewels

15-Jewel movements are sometimes marked with the jewel count.


17 Jewels

In addition to the 15 jewels as characterized above, 17-jewel watches contain:

  • One Pair (2) Center Wheel Hole Jewels

Tip: Some manufacturers produced 16-jewel movements that can easily be mistaken for 17-jewels. These movements have a hole jewel for the center wheel on the top plate, but do not contain a matching jewel on the bottom plate. Thus, removal of the dial is usually required to determine the accurate count unless the plate is marked as "17 Jewels." Generally, if the center hole is jeweled and the movement is not marked with jewel count, it is likely 16-jewels.

17-Jewel movements are usually marked with the jewel count.


19 Jewels

In addition to the 17 jewels as characterized above, 19-jewel watches contain one of the two following characteristics:

  • One Pair (2) Pallet Fork Cap Jewels
  • Or One Pair (2) Mainspring Barrel Jewels

19-Jewel movements are usually marked with the jewel count.


21 Jewels

In addition to the 19 jewels as characterized above, 21-jewel watches contain:

  • One Pair (2) Escape Wheel Cap Jewels

21-Jewel movements are always marked with the jewel count except under rare circumstances.


23 Jewels

In addition to the 21 jewels as characterized above, 23-jewel watches contain:

  • One Pair (2) Mainspring Barrel Jewels

23-Jewel movements are always marked with the jewel count except under rare circumstances.


24+ Jewels

Some premium watches contain 24+ jewels. However, the extra jewels are typically considered to be superfluous and do not actually improve the movement.