On July 31, 1894, George E. Hunter was granted a patent for his notched dial foot design, created to easily and securely fasten watch dials.
Hunter’s design, implemented in production for a short time at the Elgin factory, includes a notch in each of the dial feet to effectively receive the dial screw and prevent the dial from loosening over time.
Hunter also described a method to create the notch in such a way as to draw the dial closer to the movement when the screws were tightened.
In the patent application, Hunter claimed that “the screw causes no strain laterally upon the dial foot, and is itself effectively locked in place by its prescribed engagement therewith.”
Interestingly, the example image accompanying this post exhibits evidence of the dial being over-firing, possibly indicating problematic steps in the manufacturing process required for Hunter’s notched dial feet.