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Pocketwatch 101 – Basic Information about Vintage and Antique Pocket Watches

Vintage and Antique Watch "How to" Information...

Over the years, we've discovered that folks have some common questions about their vintage and antique watches. On these pages, we've provided some short "How-To" articles in an attempt to answer a few of these common questions and help you to learn more about the proper care and handling of your vintage watch.

If you're looking for information on a specific brand, be sure to visit our Watch Company History pages. Answers to other common watch questions can also be found on our Frequently Asked Questions pages. Be sure to check back often, as we'll be adding more articles as time permits.

Vintage Watch Evaluation:

How to Determine the Value of your Vintage or Antique Watch

How to Determine the Value of Your Vintage or Antique Watch

Want to know the value of your watch? Learn the keys to understanding antique pocket watch value. Read more...

How to Become a Smarter Vintage Watch Buyer

How to Become a Smarter Vintage Watch Buyer

Whether you are an avid collector, a first-time buyer, or just someone who appreciates the timeless beauty of a vintage watch, there are certain factors you should always consider before purchasing ANY vintage watch. Here's our best advice to help you become a smarter vintage watch buyer. Read more...

How to Tell if Your Vintage Watch Case is Gold or Gold-plated article

How to Tell if Your Vintage Watch Case is Gold or Gold-plated

Is your vintage pocket watch in a gold-colored case? Learn how to tell whether your vintage watch is gold or gold-plated case. Read more...

Vintage Watch Basics:

How to Identify Pocketwatch Case Types

How to Identify Pocket Watches and Case Types

Hunter case or open face? Learn how to identify different case types. Read more...

How to Open Various Types of Pocketwatch Cases

How to Open Various Types of Pocketwatch Cases

Screw-off back, snap-off back, hinged-back, or swing-out case? Learn how to open each type of pocket watch case. Read more...

How to Wind Your Vintage Pocket Watch

How to Wind Your Vintage Pocket Watch

Key-wind or stem-wind pocket watch? Learn how to wind different type of pocket watch. Read more...

How to Set Your Vintage Pocket Watch

How to Set Your Vintage Pocket Watch

Key-set, pendant-set (stem-set), lever-set or pin-set pocket watch? Learn different type of setting mechanism and the correct way to set each type of pocket watch. Read more...

Photo Instructions: How to Set a

Photo Instructions: How to Set a "Lever-Set" Pocket Watch

Lever-setting was a feature of high-end (often railroad-grade) pocket watches that prevented them from being accidentally reset to an incorrect time. Learn the correct way to set the time on your lever-set watch. Read more...

All About Vintage Pocket Watch Dials

All About Vintage Pocket Watch Dials

If you love railroad pocket watches, then few things are more appealing than the crisp, clean elegance of a beautiful old enamel watch dial. This two-part article examines one of the most visible features on any vintage pocket watch: the dial.

How Pocketwatch Dials are Attached to the Watch Movement

How Pocketwatch Dials are Attached to the Watch

Learn about the different methods commonly used to attach vintage pocket watch dials to watch movements. Read more...

What does

What does "Adjusted to Temperature and Positions" Mean?

It's not unusual to see a vintage watch movement marked "Adjusted" or "Adjusted to Temp. & Pos." or "Adj. 5 Pos" or some other proclamation of superior "adjusted" quality. Learn what these markings mean. Read more...

Why watches have jewels

Why Watches Have Jewels

Jewels are used within the mechanism of the watch itself. Learn why jewels are used in watches, the types of watch jewels and typical jewel placement in watches. Read more...

What's a Bezel?

What's a Bezel?

We identify that part of the watch known as the "bezel," and explains why your watch needs one. Read more...

All About Vintage Pocket Watch Crystals

All About Vintage Pocket Watch Crystals

Pocket watch crystals come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This article shows you the more common styles (and a couple of less common styles) and provide a little information about how they were used. Read more...

Mainspring Barrels

Mainspring Barrels

The mainspring is the source of motive power for a watch, and the mainspring "barrel" is the little can which holds the mainspring. What are the different types of mainspring barrels and winding mechanisms used in vintage watches? Read more...

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Side-Winder and Side-Second Watches

On this page, we'll go into greater depth about side-winder and side-second pocket watches. In fact, we'll explore several possible combinations of movement, case and dial. Read more...

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Vintage Watch Reference Information:

How to determine the size of your watch

How to Determine the Size of Your Watch

Watch movements are measured in an arcane English system of measurement called the Lancashire system or Lancashire Gauge. Learn how to measure your watch and use our table to determine your watch size. Read more...

Key Wind Pocket Watch Key Size Chart

Key Wind Pocket Watch Key Size Chart

To determine what size key is needed for winding or setting your vintage pocket watch, you'll need to accurately measure the size of the winding and/or setting square. Read more...

How to use our vintage watch serial number / date tables to find the age of your watch

How to Use Our Vintage Watch Serial Number / Date Tables to Find the Age of Your Watch

Learn where to find the serial number on your watch and how to use our tables to determine when your watch was manufactured. Read more...

Selected Books for Watch Enthusiasts and Collectors

Selected Books for Watch Enthusiasts and Collectors

Find information about vintage and antique watches and their values, learn more about the history or current market value of an antique watch, get involved in the fascinating hobby of watch collecting. Read more...

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