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William A. Gabriel’s Patented Repeating Watch Mechanism

In addition to creating one of the most iconic works of art in American horology, William A. Gabriel also designed a repeating watch mechanism while chief designer at the Elgin National Watch Company. 

Mr. Gabriel’s incredibly complex invention was patented on August 3, 1897 – more than five years after the original application was filed. The invention consists of a repeater mechanism that can be applied to a standard watch movement by means of an encapsulating frame. Despite the patent being immediately assigned to the Elgin National Watch Company, this repeating mechanism was never adopted into production. 

While most patent applications feature a single page of illustrations, Mr. Gabriel’s application contained 12 pages of drawings detailing every part of the repeater design and an 8-page description of the functionality. This diligence and intense dedication is characteristic of every project Mr. Gabriel touched.

U.S. Patent #587574

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