Rare 23 Jewel Ball Hamilton Grade 999N – The Official Railroad Standard Pocket Watch

Little known fact: the Ball Watch Company didn’t make pocket watches. They rebranded other watchmakers’ timepieces. There’s a significant upside: Webb C. Ball exerted stringent quality control over the style, accuracy and durability of the finished product, resulting in some of America’s finest railroad pocket watches. 

I bring your attention to this wonderful example: a pristine Ball 999 pocket watch available for sale at The Pocket Watch Guy. A little history. . .

On May 10, 1893, just west of Batavia, New York, Empire State Express Locomotive No. 999 set a world speed record of 112.5 miles per hour. Although there’s doubt that the train exceeded 81 miles per hour, the “fast train” service between New York to the World’s Fair was a national sensation. 

Never one to miss a marketing opportunity, Webb C. Ball Ball started marking Hamilton Watch Company movements grade 999. By 1911, when this watch was born, Ball was selling “his” very best pocket watches as “Official Railroad Standard.” He fixed a gold emblem on the movement to separate these high end 999’s from their brothers. 

This triple signed (all-original) Ball 999 wears the emblem proudly. From its flawless dial, to its beautiful blued hands, to its immaculate and accurate movement, it is the ultimate embodiment of Webb C. Ball’s fanatical attention to detail. 

The 999’s rose gold-filled case – complete with the sought-after stirrup bow – deserves special consideration. It is, in a word, magnificent. Another? Unmolested. A perfectly preserved home for a highly-prized 23-jewel, open face, level set masterpiece, one of just 800 made that year. 

If you buy one American railroad pocket watch – and we’ve yet to meet a customer who has – this Ball 999 Official Railway Standard is the ideal choice. It’s everything Webb C. Ball wanted a pocket watch to be, and more: a historically significant timepiece that’s as beautiful and useful today as it was 109 years ago when it left Cleveland, Ohio.

Click the link to check out this Ball Hamilton 999 pocket watch at www.thepocketwatchguy.com, just posted this morning for 3750. 

If you have any questions about this or any other or our high-end American pocket watches, please feel free to email me jeff@thepocketwatchguy.com or call 310.486.0572.

Thank you for your time and stay safe. 
Jeff Brook
The Pocket Watch Guy