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Private Label Trade Names on American Pocket Watches: “Santa Fe Special” Part 4

Introduction of the Santa Fe Special Watch published in The Topeka State Journal, November 5, 1913.
Pictured: Introduction of the Santa Fe Special Watch published in The Topeka State Journal, November 5, 1913.

On November 5, 1913, the Santa Fe Watch Company officially introduced their new “Santa Fe Special” to the market following a week of clever teaser advertisements. The watch was immediately aimed toward workers on Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, meeting time inspection requirements. 

An article appears in The Topeka Daily State Journal lauding the features of the new watch:

“Santa Fe Special

Alonzo S. Thomas of the Santa Fe Watch Company

Designs Standard Watch, Introduced Today.

Is a Beautiful Watch

Passes Inspection of Santa Fe Time Service

First Watch to Be Made Specially for Topeka Firm.

The “Santa Fe Special,” a standard railroad watch, designed by the Santa Fe Watch Company and manufactured by the Illinois Watch Company is being introduced to the public today. For years, Mr. Thomas of the Santa Fe Watch Co. has entertained the hope that he could interest the Illinois Watch Company in making a watch that would combine the accurate time keeping qualities of the finest railroad watches with the beauty and elegance of a thin model gentleman’s watch and at the same time was allow it to be sold at a price within the reach of every one. Several months’ time was required in making the final arrangements with the factory for the manufacture of the “Santa Fe Special” and only by contracting for enormous orders of these high-grade watches was the deal finally closed.

Eight months’ time is required to finish each watch so accurate is the standard set.

Years of experience in handling, regulating and selling all the various makes of watches of the country have qualified Mr. Thomas for the responsible task he set for himself. He was closely identified with the installation of the first time service of the Santa Fe system and with the introduction of the old “Santa Fe Route” watch which for twenty years was the highest standard of railroad watch.

The fact that about a thousand of those old reliable watches entered the service of the Santa Fe and other great roads and that many of them are still passing the inspection of the rigid time service requirements, speaks highly of the dependability of the “Santa Fe Route.”

Mr. Thomas stands squarely behind his new watch with the assurance that the Santa Fe Special is far superior watch and has every feature of modern improvements and lines of beauty seldom equaled. 

In introducing the new watch Mr. Thomas also springs a distinct sensation in the way of watch cases, the Enamel monogram. This work is without question, the cleverest feature designed to accentuate individuality. At present Mr. Thomas is compiling an elegant catalog, arranging for an extensive campaign which will be conducted direct from Topeka thus placing another rapidly growing Kansas institution in the national class.”The Topeka Daily State Journal, November 5, 1913


Introduction of the Santa Fe Special Watch published in The Topeka State Journal, November 5, 1913.

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