Hubert Burda Media

Trainspotting: 3 Watches Inspired By Railroads

It comes with no surprise that the world of horology has deep ties with transport. What good would travelling ever be if you had no way of calculating the time it would take? With the advent of flight and marine chronometers, it’s easy to forget railroads and the importance they played in the earlier days. As with any form of transportation, watches have paid tribute to rail transport. We look at some of our favourite pieces that tie both the worlds together.

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Ball Official Railroad Watch Power Reserve
When Webb C Ball, the founder of Ball Watch USA was appointed as the Chief Time Inspector for American railroads, his aim was to develop a reliable timepiece that would establish the highest standards for precision in railroad chronometers. In the modern update of the Official Railroad Watch, we see history preserved. The blued steel hands are a gorgeous contrast to the pure white face of the watch, absolutely reminiscent of the pocketwatches used by rail operators in the past. Ball would later then go on to become vice president at another American watch brand which produced our next favourite piece.

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Hamilton Railroad Auto Chrono
The evolution of pocket watches to wristwatches have been well-documented but none presented as charmingly as Hamilton’s campaign. The brand took a page out of its own history and developed a chronograph that echoed the pocketwatches that it used to be famous for. It’s this sort of tribute that makes us lean towards Hamilton. It helps that Hamilton watches are backed by Swiss movements, presenting the best of modern timepieces.

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Mondaine Stop 2 Go
If you’ve been to Switzerland, the chances of knowing Mondaine or finding it familiar are quite high. The Swiss brand’s clocks are perhaps one of the most iconic station clocks that can be found across the entire country. Having this icon on your wrist puts the Mondaine Stop 2 Go on our list just by the sheer cool factor alone. Acting exactly like the clocks, the watch’s second hand pauses after a minute for two seconds then jumps forward, correcting itself. It’s not that the watch is slow. The reason for the jump comes from a synchronisation across all stations to ensure absolute precision. We’re liking the piece for how ridiculously legible it is as well.