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Innovative Watch Dials: The “Rate Dial” Designed to Indicate Speed of Travel

New image transfer techniques at the end of the 19th century also yielded innovative and practical dial designs. 

 The “Rate Dial” Designed to Indicate Speed of Travel, c.1895, Fitted on Hampden Watch Co. Grade 81 Movement
The “Rate Dial” Designed to Indicate Speed of Travel, c.1895, Fitted on Hampden Watch Co. Grade 81 Movement

This “Rate Dial” approximates the speed of travel using the mile marker posts along the railroad track. For example, if six minutes lapses between two mile marker posts, the speed of the train is approximated at 10 miles per hour. Similarly, if only one minute passes between posts, the rate of travel is approximately 60 miles per hour.

Variations of this rare dial design have been seen fitted on Elgin and Hampden watches. While the dial indicates that a patent application was submitted, no patent was issued for the design.

The “CS” monogram trade mark has yet to be identified at this time.

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