Ball Pocket Watches and Wristwatches

1879 - 1969

Identifying the Ball Regulator


Search for Ball pocket watches in inventory

Search for Ball wrist watches in inventory

Webb C. Ball, of Cleveland, Ohio, was the General Time Inspector for more than 125,000 miles of railroad in the United States, Canada and Mexico, A collision of two Lake Shore and Michigan Southern trains at Kipton, Ohio in 1892 caused by an engineers watch stopping for four minutes then starting again, resulted in the commissioning of Mr. Webb C. Ball by the railroad officials to establish the time inspection system. Mr. Ball realized the key to the safe operations of the railroads was the manufacture of a standard watch that was sturdy enough to withstand the hard usage of railroad service and be an accurate time keeper. The first watch made for Ball and Company was an 18-size 3/4 plate by E. Howard. In 1893, the Hamilton Watch Company manufactured for the Ball Watch Company a 16-size to Mr. Ball's specifications. This was followed by a 16-size made by the Waltham Watch Company and afterwards by an 18-size made by the Elgin National Watch Company.

A minimum of 17 jewels were specified Adjustments to temperature and 5 positions were required. The 5 positions of adjustment were dial-up, dial-down, pendant up, 9-up and 3-up. Later a sixth position was added, pendant down. The watch had to be accurate in temperatures from 30 to 95 degrees fahrenheit. Ball watches were required to be lever-set, as a pendant set watch could pull out in the pocket and change the time. A clear white dial was specified with Arabic numerals and 5-minute markers. Railroad watches were required to be inspected by a time inspector every two weeks and a tolerance of 30 seconds plus or minus, for the period was required. Webb C. Ball, was instrumental in the formation of the Horological Institute of America organized in 1921.

A Large View of an Hampden 18 size 15 jewel Superior Grade Ball open face pocket watch movement

A Large View of an Hampden 18 size 15 jewel Superior Grade Moorhouse like Ball open face pocket watch Dial

A Large View of an Elgin 18 size 17 jewel 333 Ball pocket watch movement

A Large View of an Elgin 18 size 17 jewel 331 Commercial Standard Ball pocket watch movement

A Large View of an Elgin 18 size 17 jewel 331 Commercial Standard Ball pocket watch Dial

A large view of a Hamilton Ball Ball's Standard 18 Size pocket watch dial

A large view of an 18 Size 17 Jewel Hamilton Ball Railroad Watch Co. Ball's Standard pocket watch movement

A large view of an 18 Size 21 Jewel Hamilton Ball Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen pocket watch movement

A large view of an 18 Size 21 Jewel Hamilton Ball Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen pocket watch dial

A large view of an 18 Size 19 Jewel Hamilton Ball Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Engineers pocket watch movement

A large view of an 18 Size 19 Jewel Hamilton Ball Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Engineers pocket watch dial

A large view of an 18 Size 17 Jewel Hamilton Ball Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen Standard (Type One) pocket watch movement

A large view of an 18 Size 17 Jewel Hamilton Ball Official Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen Standard (Type Two) pocket watch movement

A large view of an 18 Size 17 Jewel Hamilton Ball Official Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen Standard (Type Three) pocket watch movement

A large view of an 18 Size 17 Jewel Hamilton Ball Official Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen pocket watch dial

A Large view of a Hamilton Ball Wm. Kendrick"s Sons Louisviille, Ky. 18 Size pocket watch dial

A large view of a Hamilton Ball Wm. Kendrick"s Sons Louisviille, Ky. 18 Size 17 Jewel 999 Ball pocketwatch movement

A Large View of a Hamilton 18 size 17 jewel 999 Ball pocket watch movement

A Large View of a Hamilton 18 size 17 jewel Signed (Curved) Motor Barrel 999 Ball pocket watch movement

A Large View of a Hamilton 18 size 17 jewel Signed (Straight) Motor Barrel 999 Ball Movement

A Large View of a Hamilton 18 size 19 jewel Signed Double Roller 999 Ball pocketwatch movement

A Large View of a Hamilton 18 size 19 jewel Signed Adjusted 5 Positions Double Roller 999 Ball pocketwatch movement

A Large View of a Hamilton 18 size 21 jewel 999 Ball pocket watch movement

A Large View of a Hamilton 18 size 21 jewel Motor Barrel 999 Ball pocket watch movement

A large view of a Hamilton, 16 size, 23 jewel 998, Elinvar, Ball pocket watch movement

A large view of an Illinois, 16 size 23 jewel Ball pocketwatch movement

A large view of an Illinois, 16 size 23 jewel Ball pocket watch Dial and Hands

A Large View of a Hamilton 16 size 23 jewel 999 Ball pocketwatch ovement

A large view of a Hamilton, 999B, 21 jewel Ball pocketwatch movement

A Large View of a Hamilton 16 size 21 jewel 999 Ball pocketwatch movement

A Large View of a Waltham 16 size 19 jewel Ball pocketwatch movement

A Large View of a Waltham 16 size 17 jewel Ball BRT pocketwatch movement

A Large View of a Waltham 16 size 17 jewel Ball BRT pocket watch Dial

A Large View of a Waltham 16 size 17 jewel Ball Marked Adjusted 5 positions pocketwatch movement

A Large View of a Waltham 16 size 17 jewel Ball Marked Adjusted positions pocket watch movement

A Large View of a Waltham 16 size 21 jewel Ball Marked Adjusted 5 positions Gold Seal pocket watch movement

A Large View of a Waltham 12 size 17 jewel Commercial Standard Ball pocket watch movement

A Large View of a Waltham 12 size 17 jewel Commercial Standard Ball pocket watch dial

A Large view of a Swiss Avia 435C Ball 21 Jewel pocket watch movement

A Large View of a Ball Canadian Railroad 24 hour pocketwatch Dial

A Large view of the inside of Ball pocket watch Case

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