During the early evolution of the “Burlington Special” watch, the Burlington Watch Company offered customers a small selection of dial options.
When the “Burlington Special” was first introduced to the market, the watches were illustrated in advertisements with a double-sunk dial marked “Burlington Special.” The Arabic hour numerals were standard, consistent with other dials produced at the Illinois Watch Company. It is unclear whether these dials were furnished on early “Burlington Special” watches before the familiar custom dial design was implemented.
Most early “Burlington Special” watches were furnished with the distinctive dial characterized by the whimsical hour numerals with curly flourishes. The center was marked “Burlington Special,” and red five-minute figures were applied around the dial’s perimeter. This style was exclusive to watches manufactured for the Burlington Watch Company and was referenced in catalogs as admittedly “a bit different from the usual run of watches, handsome and artistic and easily legible.”
Around 1910, the company began offering a Montgomery Dial with continuous marginal minutes around the perimeter, a style created by Santa Fe Railroad time inspector Henry S. Montgomery. Customers were required to pay a premium of $0.25 for the Montgomery Dial, a fee that paid the royalty charged by Montgomery.
The c.1911 Burlington Watch Company catalog illustrates the two dial options offered at the time – the whimsical double-sunk dial and the Montgomery dial.