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“The Wells Dial” Featuring Four Time Zones

The Wells Dial - Elgin Grade 149
Pictured:
“The Wells Dial” – Elgin Watch Co. Grade 149 – 18-Size, Model 2, 21 Jewels, c.1900, Serial No. 8489005.

This unique dial exhibits one of the first attempts to indicate time for multiple time zones on a watch dial. Each of the primary time zones in the United States is represented in a dedicated ring: Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific.

While the dial is signed “Patent Applied For,” indicating a possible patent for the design, no patent documentation has been found.

Identical dials have been seen on other 18-Size Elgin movements, but the origin of the dial remains a mystery, and even the identity of “Wells” is unknown.

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