Ferguson Dial: Decoding the Swiss Style Codes Marked on Reverse

Nathan Moore

NAWCC Business
Dec 29, 2011
436
635
93
Country
Ferguson-Dial-Swiss-Style-Codes.jpg


Shortly after the Ferguson Dial Company was organized by Louis Buck Ferguson, dials were imported in larger batches from an unidentified company in Switzerland.

The back of each dial was marked with the patents issued in various countries and stamped with a large four-digit number to signify the style code.

While most dials were produced in 18-Size and 16-Size, dials were also available for 12-Size movements. The first two digits of the style code indicate the dial size:

81: 18-Size
61: 16-Size
21: 12-Size

The last two digits of the style code represent the manufacturer and model of movement for which the dial was designed.

The following is an incomplete list of known style codes associated with each manufacturer:

Hamilton:
18s - 8112
16s - 6112

Elgin:
18s Full Plate - 8100
18s “Veritas Model” - 8102
16s - 6102

Illinois:
18s - 8142
16s - 6143

Rockford:
18s - ?
16s - 6162

Hampden:
18s - 8123
16s - ?
12s - 2112

Waltham:
18s Model 1892 - 8182
18s Model 1883 - 8180
16s - 6182

E. Howard:
18s - 8132
16s - 6132

Howard (Keystone):
16s - 6130

South Bend:
16s - 6172

Further research is required to compile a comprehensive list of Ferguson Dial Swiss style codes. If you have a dial that fills in missing information or is in conflict with the above list, please post images of the dial front and back.

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Fred Hansen

NAWCC Member
Aug 18, 2002
5,448
599
113
Country
Good topic! A few more styles of Swiss made Ferguson can be added to the list ...

  • Howard (Waltham) 16s
  • Ball-Hamilton 18s
  • Ball-Waltham 16s
  • Illinois 12s

... don't think I have photos handy for the codes on the rear of any of these, but will post back if I come across them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bila and Kenny S.

Nathan Moore

NAWCC Business
Dec 29, 2011
436
635
93
Country
Good topic! A few more styles of Swiss made Ferguson can be added to the list ...

  • Howard (Waltham) 16s
  • Ball-Hamilton 18s
  • Ball-Waltham 16s
  • Illinois 12s

... don't think I have photos handy for the codes on the rear of any of these, but will post back if I come across them.
Thanks, Fred. I will add these to the list as well. Please post photos when you are able. Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bila

Nathan Moore

NAWCC Business
Dec 29, 2011
436
635
93
Country
With the notable exception of the 12s Hampden dial, the third digit appears to be associated with the manufacturer:

0: Elgin
1: Hamilton
2: Hampden
3: Howard (E. Howard and Keystone Howard)
4: Illinois
5: ?
6: Rockford
7: South Bend
8: Waltham
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old rookie and Bila

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
6,805
3,078
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region
I have recorded a couple of 16-size Waltham-Howard Ferguson dials with the code "6132" on the back and I can confirm that the dial feet match a Waltham movement. I see this number also reported above for E.Howard and wonder if it wasn't from another Waltham-Howard.
dial-f.jpg dial-b.jpg
It amazes me that Ferguson would make a unique dial for movements of such limited production as a 16-size Howard with Waltham dial foot locations. There were no more than a couple thousand movements that could use such a dial --- and most did not.
 

Nathan Moore

NAWCC Business
Dec 29, 2011
436
635
93
Country
I have recorded a couple of 16-size Waltham-Howard Ferguson dials with the code "6132" on the back and I can confirm that the dial feet match a Waltham movement. I see this number also reported above for E.Howard and wonder if it wasn't from another Waltham-Howard.
View attachment 651906 View attachment 651907
It amazes me that Ferguson would make a unique dial for movements of such limited production as a 16-size Howard with Waltham dial foot locations. There were no more than a couple thousand movements that could use such a dial --- and most did not.
Thanks, Jerry. I believe you are correct. The 6132 is for the Waltham-Howard. I will update the list accordingly.

I agree. Production for this one was an odd choice.
 

Nathan Moore

NAWCC Business
Dec 29, 2011
436
635
93
Country
Updated List:
As of May 4, 2021


Elgin:

18s Full Plate – 8100
18s “Veritas Model” (8/9) – 8102
16s – 6102

Hamilton:
18s – 8112
16s – 6112

Hampden
18s – 8123
16s – ?
12s – 2112

E. Howard:
Ns – 8132

Howard (Keystone):
16s – 6130

Howard (Waltham):
16s – 6132

Illinois:
18s – 8142
16s – 6143
12s – ?

Rockford:
18s – 8162
16s – 6162

South Bend:
16s – 6172

Waltham:
18s Model 1892 – 8182
18s Model 1883 – 8180
16s – 6182

Ball (Hamilton):
18s – ?

Ball (Waltham):
16s – ?
 

PatH

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Dec 5, 2014
2,226
1,678
113
Texas
Country
Region
Hampden
18s – 8123
16s – ?
12s – 2112
Is there a transposed number for the 12s, or is this an anomaly from all the other findings?

Thanks for all your work pulling this together and sharing it!
 

179

NAWCC Member
Sep 16, 2008
766
267
63
As Greg well knows the red hour hand is just about unobtainium.
 

Greg Frauenhoff

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Aug 25, 2000
4,833
1,794
113
Fred,

I had several of the red 16s hour hands at one time but they were among some items stolen from a storage unit when I was in the process of moving. I do have some 12s ones.

Greg
 

Nathan Moore

NAWCC Business
Dec 29, 2011
436
635
93
Country
Is there a transposed number for the 12s, or is this an anomaly from all the other findings?

Thanks for all your work pulling this together and sharing it!
The 12-Size follows the same transposed size code for the first two digits as other examples (21). However, the recorded Hampden dial is intriguing because the last two digits would be expected on a Hamilton dial. This is the only code recorded that falls outside of the standard manufacturer codes that have been determined based on other examples.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PatH

Nathan Moore

NAWCC Business
Dec 29, 2011
436
635
93
Country
This informative thread had me going through my old slides and this one popped up. I don't have a picture of the back but it does show what the correct hour hand looks like on one of these.

View attachment 653038

Thanks for posting, Greg. To add to this wonderful example, here is (1) an ad published in the November 5, 1913 issue of The Jewelers' Circular Weekly showing the dial/hands combination and (2) an original box with dial/hands. Notice the request in the box lid for old dials to create "an interesting collection of those replaced by these."

Ferguson-Dial-Ad-Jewelers-Circular-Nov5-1913.jpg


Ferguson-Dial-And-Original-Box-With-Hands.jpg
 

Forum statistics

Threads
167,064
Messages
1,455,880
Members
87,286
Latest member
GigEm76
Encyclopedia Pages
1,057
Total wiki contributions
2,914
Last edit
E. Howard & Co. by Clint Geller