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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:
Need to replace a watch crystal? Use our new crystal size guide to find the proper fit.

Safety Rollers: Double Roller vs. Single Roller

The primary function of the safety roller is to prevent the escapement from unlocking prematurely due to sudden shock or force while the impulse jewel is disengaged with the pallet fork. If the safety action is not properly adjusted, the impulse jewel can become stuck outside the pallet fork, preventing the watch from operating. While this is commonly referred to as “over-banking,” that particular term actually describes a different issue entirely. Following industry adoption, double rollers were utilized in higher quality movements, including watches intended for railroad service.


Single Roller

The single roller safety action consists of a guard pin protruding upward from the pallet fork, positioned to be received in a notch at the edge of the roller. As the balance rotates, the impulse jewel becomes disengaged, and the guard pin prevents further movement from the pallet fork until the balance reverses motion and returns with the impulse jewel.

Identification: The guard pin will protrude upward from the pallet fork. A single roller table will be fitted to the balance staff.

Pictured: Diagram of Single Roller from Helpful Information for Watchmakers (Olaf Ohlson, Waltham Watch Company, 1918).

Double Roller

The double roller safety action consists of a guard pin protruding parallel from the pallet fork, positioned to engage a smaller roller located below the primary roller table. This arrangement allows a more efficient engagement between the guard pin and the roller since the roller is of much smaller diameter. As the balance rotates, the impulse jewel becomes disengaged, and the guard pin prevents further movement from the pallet fork until the balance reverses motion and returns with the impulse jewel.

Identification: The guard pin will be parallel to the pallet fork. Two rollers will be fitted to the balance staff.

Pictured: Diagram of Double Roller from Helpful Information for Watchmakers (Olaf Ohlson, Waltham Watch Company, 1918).

Pictured: Comparison of Single Roller vs. Double Roller Action Angles from Helpful Information for Watchmakers (Olaf Ohlson, Waltham Watch Company, 1918).