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Early Pinned Dials on American Watch Movements


Early dials were attached to watch movements using small tapered brass pins. Holes were drilled in the pillar plate to allow the dial feet to project through after the movement was assembled. Holes were also drilled into the side of each dial foot to receive the brass pin, allowing the dial to be effectively mounted to the movement. 

The tiny brass pins are notorious for causing watchmakers frustration. When they are not flying across the room into the void, they can be difficult to maneuver through the holes in the dial feet. Fortunately, in the 1870s, these pinned dials were replaced with dials that could be easily attached with small screws mounted along the edge of the pillar plate.

Pinned Dial, American Watch Company (Waltham)
Grade P.S. Bartlett – 18-Size, Model 1857, 11 Jewels, c.1868, Serial No. 318825.


  1. Luckily I have only one watch with dial pins, a Walth. ’57 PSB. Dial screws are another matter. I have lots of them but rarely the size needed, and quite a few watches I’ve bought are missing 1 screw or worse one stripped and jammed in the plate. (Not to mention the many that have sprung of into another dimension from the bench!)

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