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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I fished another interesting item out of the 'Bay - the 1969 Time Service Regulations of the Canadian National Railways.

Who is required to have a Railway Grade Watch:
Train Personnel: Conductor, Engineman, Fireman, Trainman.
Yard Personnel: Trainmaster Master Mechanic, Roadmaster, Signal Supervisor, Yardmaster, Yardman, Outside Hostler
... and such other employees as the Railway may direct.

Approved Railway Grade Watches (April 1969):
Pocket:

Ball 435B (21 jewels)
Elgin BWR[aymond] 571 (21 jewels)
Hamilton 950B (23 jewels) and 992B (21 jewels)
Waltham - Vanguard sn > 33,300,000 (23 jewels)
Zenith RR 56 Extra (21 jewels)
Wrist:
Bulova Accutron "Railroad Approved" 21014 and 28014
Girard Perregaux 307 HF (17 jewels)
Longines Railroad 280 (17 jewels)
Universal Geneve Railrouter Chronometer (17 jewels)

Dials: 24 hour dial required.
Variation: maximum of 30 seconds per week

Watch Inspection: Every May and November watches must be submitted to a Watch Inspector and form 755 must be completed by Inspector and signed by employee and must be carried by employee at all times when on duty.

Regulation: Regulation is performed only by Watch Inspectors and is free of charge. "Watches should be wound in the morning or at the beginning of work shift as this puts the spring in better shape to absorb jars received in the course of duty."

Cleaning and Repairing: Watches must be cleaned once every 24 months (except the Bulova Accutron which does not require periodic cleaning).

Batteries: Accutron watches must have a fresh battery installed at intervals not exceeding 12 months. (It is recommended that this be done at the time of the employee's birthday so as to make it easy to remember the date of change.)

Purchase: Employees may purchase a standard railway watch from a Watch Inspector with payment via periodic payroll deductions.

Very interesting!!!
 

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My Ball 435C, Canadian 24hr dial. 21 Jewels. Adjusted 5 pos. + Isoc & Temp.

In a similar document to yours (dated 1957, I believe), Ball 435Cs were allowed.

Can I hop onboard now?
 

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Dials: 24 hour dial required.
That might explain the US military's love of dual dials going to 24....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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*Waves paper and hops onboard*
 

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Fancy that, railroad employees were REQUIRED to have one of these
watches to do their job and they had to buy them themselves.

That was so kind and thoughtfull that the companies allowed the employees
to pay for these expensive watches a little at a time deducted straight from
their payroll.

OR... were the required personnel issued with the watches and to PURCHASE was
an option rather than a requirement?

Interesting document.
 

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Fancy that, railroad employees were REQUIRED to have one of these
watches to do their job and they had to buy them themselves.

That was so kind and thoughtfull that the companies allowed the employees
to pay for these expensive watches a little at a time deducted straight from
their payroll.

OR... were the required personnel issued with the watches and to PURCHASE was
an option rather than a requirement?

Interesting document.
No, you had to buy yourself a watch, when you were promoted, or hired on as a Conductor, Engineman, Fireman, Trainman, Trainmaster Master Mechanic, Roadmaster, Signal Supervisor, Yardmaster, Yardman, or Outside Hostler

There are a number of expensive items that were required for various jobs through out the years. It has only been rather recently the companies have been generous enough to provide them to their employees for their use free of charge.

Draftsmen were require to have their own set of drafting instruments, engineers, usually drafting tools and a good slide rule, and any engineering tables and charts they might require.

At one point in time, mine workers had to provide their own picks, shovels, drills and hammers (or purchase them from the company, deducted from their wages).....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fancy that, railroad employees were REQUIRED to have one of these
watches to do their job and they had to buy them themselves.

That was so kind and thoughtfull that the companies allowed the employees
to pay for these expensive watches a little at a time deducted straight from
their payroll.

OR... were the required personnel issued with the watches and to PURCHASE was
an option rather than a requirement?

Interesting document.
Tradesman's tools are traditionally owned by the tradesman. That way they are not treated like rental cars.

I believe all trainsmen were required to buy their own watches. This is why with railroad grade watches, unlike normal commercial watches, you would see a top of the line movement in a gold filled or 'silveroid' case -- the worker didn't want to add to the expense.

Studies show a railroad grade pocket watch used to cost the trainman about a month's pay... though this was certainly not true by 1969.
 

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Thank you Lysander and Eeeb for your replies.

I often see British railroad watches for sale and although these are generally of
a more pedestrian quality, they are stamped B.R or G.N.E.R etc which I assume
means that these watches were issued and remained property of the railroad
companies, I don't know if this was a general policy in the UK or not.

It is fortunate that the drivers didn't have to supply the engines and the conductors the rolling stock.:-d
 

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Fancy that, railroad employees were REQUIRED to have one of these
watches to do their job and they had to buy them themselves.

That was so kind and thoughtfull that the companies allowed the employees
to pay for these expensive watches a little at a time deducted straight from
their payroll.

OR... were the required personnel issued with the watches and to PURCHASE was
an option rather than a requirement?

Interesting document.
Hi Radger,

If you worked on the railroads and required an accurate pocket-watch to conduct your duties, you were required to pay for it out of your own pocket. In this case, as the document states, you paid for the watch through regular installments which were deducted from your wages/salary.

As you may also have noticed, the watches had to be serviced regularly. It's my understanding that the local time-inspector would provide you with a LOAN POCKET-WATCH to use on the railroads while he serviced your personal watch and that you returned the loan watch when your own watch was ready for use again.

Railroad men were forbidden from tampering with their watches - they couldn't open the insides and fiddle around with the gears and regulators or anything like that...one interpretation of the rules would be that you could only...and ONLY...wind up the watch each day to keep it going, and were forbidden to do anything else. I believe that, apart from daily winding, you were, if it was necessary, allowed to reset the time on your watch, if the watch had wound down due to a failure to wind it regularly, but that was the only exception. Otherwise...hands off!
 

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Thanks Shangas, I wonder if they had to pay for the sevicing cost as well!
and I'll bet the Railroad Approved servicing shops would be far from competative
having a captive clientel so to speak.
I can see the necessity for the strict rules concerning tampering with these
watches but isn't it ironic that you could technicaly own this tool....and yet
not really.
 

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I have *no* idea if railroadmen had to pay for the servicing themselves...considering how frequently the watches had to be serviced and how much servicing costs...I damn well hope not!

...Does anyone know?
 

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Periodical inspection was paid by the railroad company. However if the watch failed inspection the employee had to pay for the servicing himself (example from Wabash Western Railroad in 1887).
 

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Thanks Shangas, I wonder if they had to pay for the sevicing cost as well!
and I'll bet the Railroad Approved servicing shops would be far from competative
having a captive clientel so to speak.
I can see the necessity for the strict rules concerning tampering with these
watches but isn't it ironic that you could technicaly own this tool....and yet
not really.
Actually, probably quite the opposite. The Railroad Company would probably contact servicing of company owned timpieces on a competivative basis and throw in the servicing of the railroad used, but not company owned, watches as well in the contract. This would boost the number of watches to be serviced every years to a number where you could make serious money.*

That way, the cost would be as low as practical, and, once again, the cost could be stopped from the wages if the owner did not have the cash.

_________________________
* For example, if the number of watches required for biennial servicing is 200, you could charge $5.00 a service and be assured $500 worth of work every year, quite a bit in pre-WW1 America. If you had to split that work among two of three of your competitors, you would have to charge twice as much and still not make as much.
 

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Just a note on the military using a 24hr dial. The importance of using railroads for mobilization was such that during the early days of WWI when politians realized that they were heading towards a war no one wanted they couldn't stop it. So the close association between the railroads and military is very likely the source of the military use of the 24 hr dial.
 

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Possibly, but 24 hour dials don't pop up on US military watches until after WW2...
 

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My understanding for the reason Canadian watches were required to have 24hr dials is that the CPR published their train schedules in 24hr time. I don't think most american rail companies did.

As far as buying your own watch, I remember reading that back in the 1800's, railroads <did> provide the watches, but they had such a hard time with theft (or "accidental loss") that it made more sense to require the railroaders to acquire their own.
 

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Requiring employees to buy their own tools (at least some of the basic ones) and/or uniforms is something that was common and continues to this day in many industries.
 

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Is other type of Hamilton 950, except 950 B, and other type of 992 an official railroad watch?

I just bought a Hamilton 992 E, it seems I chose the wrong model.:-(
 

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Is other type of Hamilton 950, except 950 B, and other type of 992 an official railroad watch?

I just bought a Hamilton 992 E, it seems I chose the wrong model.:-(
All Hamilton 992, 992E, 992B, 950, 950E and 950B are railroad grade and railroad approved. Unless it was one of the pendant set versions or had a non-railroad approved dial.
 
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