Watch's origin: American
Number of jewels: 21
Case: Star Watch Case Co.
Type of Watch: Pocket
In the nearly two decades Strickland Vintage Watches has been providing works of horological arts to clients, one of the most frequently asked questions is "What constitutes a fine watch?"
It's a great question, one upon which we've expounded at length over the years. No one maker has quantified the answer. Fortunately for those of us who collect and curate, fine watches have been crafted by various makers over the last few hundred years. However, when it comes to the quintessential pocket watch, combining excellent timekeeping with resilience, beauty and the romance of history; one particular group of timepieces emerges as most impressive: American railroad watches.
Apparently the art world has taken note: The panache of these mechanical marvels seems to be growing exponentially. Fine American railroad watches are being appreciated, collected and carried by discerning patrons around the world and the better examples are, quite simply, disappearing into the either of museums, collections and private hands.
Chief among the great American railroad watchmakers is Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While they have venerable peers, Hamilton produced exquisite works of horological art that, while yet underappreciated, are quickly being seen for what they are: Brilliant.
For example, this exceedingly uncommon 21 ruby-jeweled "992" railroad pocket watch by Hamilton is a thing of beauty. From its perfect, ultra-rare "Adjusted for Railroad Service" porcelain dial fired in Hamilton's own kilns to its hypnotic mechanism, it is a joy to behold. Such achievements elicit deserved reverence.
Take a moment to admire this American classic. Look at the images and study how it was constructed. Notice the polish; the beauty; the elegant symmetry of the thing. Those of you who have asked me over the years: "What constitutes a fine watch?"
I encourage you to continue to appreciate such fine things. Soak up their influence when you can; study them and all things about them; hold them, listen to their beating hearts if you can. If you feel moved by their beauty, make them yours. And when you're admiring them; don't rush. Take your time.