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Boyle Pocket Watches

Catching the iconic script “William Boyle” on the interior workings of your pocket watch means you’ve landed a treasure: a timepiece by acclaimed British watchmaker William Boyle. Boyle pocket watches are synonymous with style and sensibility, there time-keeping as reliable as their timelessness.

Pocket watches that bear the signature of Boyle date to the late 18th and early 19th centuries and thus reflected the more refined mechanisms and design characteristic of the age.

Earlier pocket watches were typically heavier and more hulking, but innovations in watch movements made them lighter and less cumbersome. Complementing these lightweight mechanics were more graceful decoration, with the watchcases themselves decorated in more delicate designs.

Quick Facts

  • Boyle pocket watches are incredibly rare and thus appear on the market very infrequently. The last to pop up, a brilliant George III silver gilt cased pocket watch signed by Boyle on its interior, was at Bloomsbury Auctions in 2013
  • Before the 17th century, most time-telling contraptions did not have a minute hand; they simply tracked the hours
  • The pocket watch was popular across 19th-century society, but it was most requisite on the railroad yards. To ensure safety on the tracks, many mandated that workers possess a “railroader’s watch” designed to keep the most accurate time possible

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