Montgomery / Marginal Minute Dial Variations

Rhett Lucke

Board Secretary
Director
NAWCC Member
Feb 18, 2001
2,052
821
113
rrstd.com
Country
In response to Jeff Hess's thread on Montgomery Safety Numerical Dials, I thought it would be interesting to post a few pics of some Montgomery / Marginal Minute Dial Variations

Starting with a couple of 16 Size "1920 Patent" Variations

ELG1920Mont.jpg Ham1920Mont.jpg

ELG1920Mont.jpg Ham1920Mont.jpg
 

terry hall

Registered User
NAWCC Brass Member
Apr 12, 2001
7,033
414
83
Central North Carolina
Country
Region
goood stuff
been a while since i've seen those elgin RN dials....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike M.

Fred Hansen

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Aug 18, 2002
5,377
399
83
Country
18 size Waltham ...

911.jpg

... with the dial design that was patented by Waltham Watch Co. President Ezra C. Fitch on March 26, 1901.

911.jpg
 
Last edited:

Larry Treiman

Registered User
Jan 18, 2009
3,293
65
48
So. Calif.
16 size Hampden
221730.jpg
Wow! Talk about freakish and confusing!

That probably wouldn't have been accepted on ANY railroad.....not even Lionel Lines or American Flyer! It definitely would have given Webb C. Ball conniptions if it was made before 1922! And it is an insult to Montgomery as well!

It certainly belongs in a dial collection, but not on a railroad watch!

Larry
 
Last edited:

Rhett Lucke

Board Secretary
Director
NAWCC Member
Feb 18, 2001
2,052
821
113
rrstd.com
Country
Fred

Love that Hampden dial.

The Fitch dial is also great and one of at least three color combinations (white, red and black). I'm still in search of the black version ;)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Mike M.

Rhett Lucke

Board Secretary
Director
NAWCC Member
Feb 18, 2001
2,052
821
113
rrstd.com
Country
There has been much written and discussed regarding whether or not the examples which do not include the "6" in the seconds bit should be considered true Montgomery dials. To date, I have not seen any documentation which confirms, either way, if at least some of these dials should or should not be attributed to Mr. Montgomery.

The image below, supplied to me by Mr. David Nicholson, who in 1985 authored the book "Santa Fe, How It Governed It's Timepieces Throughout The System" is interesting for many reasons. Of particular interest is the fact that it is of the 1920 design shown in my initial posting, but is clearly void of the number 12. If Montgomery's firm would allow the 12 to be eliminated in favor of the indicator bit, then I believe it is certainly reasonable that they may have allowed the same concession for the seconds bit. It should also be noted that this dial came to Mr. Nicholson directly from H.S. Montgomery's grandson.

Wal16MaxDial_1920Mont.jpg

Wal16MaxDial_1920Mont.jpg
 
Last edited:

Larry Treiman

Registered User
Jan 18, 2009
3,293
65
48
So. Calif.
Maybe the Santa Fe Railway official who had a Premier Maximus and reportedly insisted that it be included in the Santa Fe's list of approved watches just wanted the latest Montgomery dial for his watch.


Larry Treiman
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike M.

Rhett Lucke

Board Secretary
Director
NAWCC Member
Feb 18, 2001
2,052
821
113
rrstd.com
Country
A couple of family pictures supplied to me by Mr. Nicholson. The first is H.S. Montgomery and his daughter, while the second is a later pictures which shows the entire family - including H.S. Montgomery's grandson.

H.S. Montgomery & daughter Peggy.jpg H.S. Montgomery family.jpg

H.S. Montgomery & daughter Peggy.jpg H.S. Montgomery family.jpg
 

Rhett Lucke

Board Secretary
Director
NAWCC Member
Feb 18, 2001
2,052
821
113
rrstd.com
Country
A hard to find stock certificate for Montgomery's Safety Dial Company. Very interesting piece which documents that stock was sold in the company. Notice the watermark of a dial in the center of the certificate.

Montgomery Dial Stock Cert. Front.jpg Montgomery Dial Stock Cert. Back.jpg

Montgomery Dial Stock Cert. Front.jpg Montgomery Dial Stock Cert. Back.jpg
 

Jeff Hess

Moderator
Sponsor
Gold Business Member
Sep 3, 2000
7,150
393
83
Florida
www.ballwatchusa.com
Country
Region
An 18 Size Waltham

221531.jpg
so .... help me here.... if this is genuine... then why not the one I posted. My antiques dealer friend in Colorado followed the other thread closely and now is following this one. The one I posted (that belongs to the Colo dealer) looks very close to this one.

Jeff Hess
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike M.

Kent

Registered User
Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,489
1,872
113
Country
... The one I posted ... looks very close to this one.

Jeff Hess
Yes, but with two significant differences.

The dial posted by rrstd has the hour figure '6' in the seconds bit.

That dial is signed "WALTHAM", not "THE WALTHAM"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike M.

Rhett Lucke

Board Secretary
Director
NAWCC Member
Feb 18, 2001
2,052
821
113
rrstd.com
Country
Jeff,

Whether or not it 100% conforms to what has generally been considered a "True Montgomery Dial", it is obvious (in my opinion) from the markings that it was intended to be sold as such.

In regards to it being marked "THE HAMILTON" versus just "HAMILTON", I don't see why this would make any real difference.

For those who may not be following your original thread which triggered my initiation of this thread, I am including a link and a copy of your image below.

https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?119255-Montgomery-s-standard-numerical-dial

Ham18MSND.JPG

Ham18MSND.JPG
 

Frank N

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Feb 16, 2004
60
9
8
Chicago area
Country
Region
A question about dates, I have a "SANTA FE RAILWAY SYSTEMS STANDARD DIAL" marked ELGIN and am curious about the time frame when they were made. Were all of the Montgomery dials patented by him?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike M.

topspin

Registered User
Dec 14, 2014
1,439
203
63
Country
Region
Question about the number 6. Let us imagine some of today's big-name IT companies have all started doing pocket watch-type gadgets, apps, websites, games, etc. Imagine one of them (say, Apple) has tracked down and bought the original patent for marginal minute dials. Assume the patent does show a number 6 in a picture, but without specifically mentioning it. Let us suppose one of the smaller players has recently been using a slightly different marginal minute dial, and so now they all find themselves in court with the lawyers arguing over whether they can still use it in a product that carries the Apple name or logo...
Would the arguments not go way beyond the simple yes/no of having a number 6 and into the realms of its exact positioning, size, font, colour etc? For example, does it have to be consistent with the 5 and the 7? Does it matter whether it is above the hole for the seconds hand, below it, or surrounding it?
Also would it count as a separate innovation if one company was the first to design a marginal minute dial wherein the number 6 was consistent with the other numbers (without being disrupted by the middle of the seconds hand,) and the sub-seconds dial did not intrude on the 5 and the 7?
 
Last edited:

Kent

Registered User
Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,489
1,872
113
Country
Frank:

Great dial! Thanks for posting it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike M.

John Cote

Director
Director
NAWCC Member
Aug 26, 2000
4,305
695
113
Midwest USA
www.interstatetime.com
Country
My understanding, from long talks with David Nicholson, is that Montgomery wanted the 6 on his dials but considered that even dials without the 6 were covered by his patents and trademarks. He was critical and tried to fight for his royalties on dials with and without the 6. David has patent and trademark drawings which outline all sort so details of what makes a dial a Montgomery and he feels that Montgomery would have thought that what Hamilton, for instance, called marginal minute but without the 6 were a violation of his patent/trademark even if he did not really authorize of approve a dial without the 6.

Obviously, a lot of dial makers and watch companies did not agree with him and did not want to pay him.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike M.

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Donor
Oct 25, 2018
1,848
2,730
113
36
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
When looking for a 571, the dial was the most important thing. This awesome dial is the one I wanted. Not uncommon or anything, just really simple, easy to read, and attractive.

3df8ee644e494a878e4b56f35da1ea14.jpg

Those "1920 Patent" dials shown are unreal! Really great! Thanks for showing off your dials everyone.
 

Nathan Moore

Registered User
NAWCC Business
Dec 29, 2011
359
431
63
Country
My understanding, from long talks with David Nicholson, is that Montgomery wanted the 6 on his dials but considered that even dials without the 6 were covered by his patents and trademarks. He was critical and tried to fight for his royalties on dials with and without the 6. David has patent and trademark drawings which outline all sort so details of what makes a dial a Montgomery and he feels that Montgomery would have thought that what Hamilton, for instance, called marginal minute but without the 6 were a violation of his patent/trademark even if he did not really authorize of approve a dial without the 6.
Is this referring to Montgomery's 1920 patents? No patents were issued for his earlier dial design.
 

musicguy

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Donor
Jan 12, 2017
6,573
3,324
113
New York State
Country
A couple without a 6


John Cote said:
Hamilton, for instance, called marginal minute but without the 6 were a violation of his
patent/trademark even if he did not really authorize of approve a dial without the 6.
1950 Hamilton 16s 992B, 21 jewels Rail Road  (3).jpg 26.jpg ham151.jpg 2268255361_6742de818f_o.jpg

here is an Elgin without the 6 on the seconds area.
veritas (2).jpg


Rob
 

musicguy

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Donor
Jan 12, 2017
6,573
3,324
113
New York State
Country
Two with an 18 in the seconds area

1903 elgin 240.jpeg 20190629_172446iuh.jpg


Rob
 

musicguy

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Donor
Jan 12, 2017
6,573
3,324
113
New York State
Country
A few regular ones, but I do like the size of the 6 on the Waltham Riverside

F23684C0-D324-431B-BE23-54794A08E803.jpeg plumb hands.jpeg.jpg


Rob
 

musicguy

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Donor
Jan 12, 2017
6,573
3,324
113
New York State
Country
And the another variation is this Montgomery dial with Invar marking
I have owned a few of these and given one to my son(the 6 is hand painted ).
20200330_143231.jpg 20200330_144355.jpg


Rob
 

rrwatch

Registered User
Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Sep 4, 2000
1,444
309
83
74
Pooler, GA USA
www.antiquewatchmaker.com
Country
Region
I don't think this one has been posted before.
It's a Ferguson Marginal Minute dial on an 18 size Hampden "Dueber Watch Co." 21 jewel movement. The central lettering is "FERGUSION DIAL - PAT. APPL'D FOR". This variant was shown in the original Ferguson Patent application, see patent application below, but this dial was made before the Patent was granted. In my experience all of the Marginal Minute Ferguson dials are quite scarce, and can be hard to find.
EBU 18161 Hampden Dueber Watch Co. MM Ferguson 21J OF Dial.jpg EBU 18161 Hampden Dueber Watch Co. MM Ferguson 21J OF Mvt.jpg Ferguson Patent p.1composit.jpg
 
Last edited:
Our 2021 National Meeting in Hampton Roads Virginia
Topic related ad experiment
Know Your NAWCC Forums Rules!
RULES & GUIDELINES

Find member

Forum statistics

Threads
160,704
Messages
1,394,574
Members
82,808
Latest member
RickAlbernaz
Encyclopedia Pages
1,099
Total wiki contributions
2,778
Last edit
Beat Setting 101 by Tom McIntyre