Hamilton Travels Back to the Railroad’s Heyday with Its 130th Anniversary Pocket Watch

Photo: Hamilton

It’s difficult to imagine a world where people relied on train travel in the same way they rely now on commercial air travel. It’s perhaps even more difficult to imagine a time when people had anything in their pockets that could tell the time other than a cell phone. Yet, before the preponderance of the wristwatch after World War I, railway conductors favored these chained pocket watches, which not only aided them in punctuality but safety.

Photo: Hamilton

What was once the most popular type of watch for hundreds of years has been now relegated to a historical curio. However, Hamilton, the brand that was perhaps the most ubiquitous — and accurate — when it came to pocket watches around the turn of the 20th century, has tapped into its roots with the new limited-edition Railroad Pocket Watch.

Photo: Hamilton

The release marks the 130th anniversary of the company, which was founded in 1892 and debuted its first timepiece the next year, a sized-18 pocket watch. Housed in a 50mm stainless steel case, the dial design of the new watch is very much informed by these early Hamilton pieces, with the same numerals font, a fully-graduated outer minutes track, and a small seconds subdial at the 6 o’clock spot. Additionally, the closed caseback is engraved with “130th Anniversary Railway Special” and an image of a train.

Photo: Hamilton

Limited to just 917 pieces — a nod to the street number at the company’s old factory in Lancaster, PA — the Railroad Pocket Watch is currently available for pre-order for $1,395 from Hamilton’s website.