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  1. #1

    Default AT&SF Train Dispatcher Pocket Watch

    Need some info on a pocket watch that belongs to a friend. 21 jewel brass case pocket watch. Printed on the face is "AT&SF Train Dispatcher" I believe it has what is called a montgomery type dial. White face with black numbers for the hours and the seconds are in red. I cannot unscrew the back but the glass front can be removed and "Swiss" is visible at the very bottom of the face. The back cover has a picture of a steam engine engraved on it. Not asking for a value but was wondering if this was an authentic AT&SF issued watch and the approximate time manufactured. I will try to add a picture. Many thanks in advance.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Registered User richiec's Avatar
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    Default Re: AT&SF Train Dispatcher Pocket Watch (By: survival)

    If you get the back off, you will likely find out that it is a "Swiss Fake" made to look like one of the American railroad watches. A good picture of the movement would be necessary to make this determination though. Some of the others here may have seen one of these and may be of more help.

  3. #3

    Smile Re: AT&SF Train Dispatcher Pocket Watch (By: richiec)


    I agree with richiec that it is very likely to be3 a Swiss Fake.

    To unscrew the back of an SB&B case, hold the watch dial down in the palm of your left hand, with the winding stem, more properly called the pendant, up against your left thumb. Press the palm of your right hand down firmly on the back of the case and unscrew the back by turning it counter-clockwise (or, if its an English case, anti-clockwise). If its difficult to unscrew the back, check again to see that its not a Swing-Ring, or invisible-hinge case. If not, try using one of those circular pieces of sheet rubber, normally used in the kitchen to open tightly closed jars, between your right hand and the back of the watch. A rubber-type coin purse also works very well for this.

    Good luck,
    That guy down in Georgia

  4. #4

    Default Re: AT&SF Train Dispatcher Pocket Watch (By: Kent)

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	133988Thanks richiec and Kent. Using Kents advice I was able to open the back. Attached is a picture of the interior. I have to agree no RR would buy this ornate a watch for its employees. Any idea on how old this reproduction is? Many thanks again!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: AT&SF Train Dispatcher Pocket Watch (By: survival)

    Well, survival, you're at least partly correct. No RR would buy a watch like that, or even a good watch, for its employees, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the degree of "ornateness" of the watch.

    American railroads did not buy watches for their employees, except perhaps during the very early years of railroading. Even back then they did not buy watches for the employees but sometimes signed out a watch to the employee to be used on their run and then returned. That was probably during the 1850-1870 period. One problem with that was the railroads quickly discovered that the employees didn't feel obliged to treat the borrowed watch with the same care as if it were their own.

    Later, the railroads required that employees whose job required a "standard" watch buy and maintain their own watch. It became the practice for railroads to allow the employees to pay for watches purchased from authorized watch inspectors by means of payroll deductions.

    However, typical Swiss imitations of American railroad watches, such as your "AT&SF Train Dispatcher" which tried to emulate the ornate damaskeening of American railroad watches of the period, but none of the quality, would never have been accepted. I prefer to call these watches "imitations" which is how they were described in catalogs of the period, though most collectors seem to prefer the term "Fake". Whatever you call them, they definitely aren't reproductions! As I mentioned, they don't reproduce any of the quality of American railroad watches......just some of the "glitz".

    I would say that your example was probably from the second decade of the 20th century (the 'teens). That's based in part on their use of the Montgomery-style dial. I doubt that they paid royalties to Montgomery like the legitimate watch companies did!

    Larry Treiman
    Last edited by Larry Treiman; 06-12-2012 at 11:53 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: AT&SF Train Dispatcher Pocket Watch (By: Larry Treiman)

    Thanks Larry, Kent, and richiec for all the info. You have been a great help.

  7. #7
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: AT&SF Train Dispatcher Pocket Watch (By: survival)

    Sometimes just the name on the dial gives the Swiss fakes away.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West

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