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I few years ago I decided to make some modern replacement dials for the SB 12s and I though I'd try something special or at least some very noticeable. I had a partner with me, George Rittenhour. The overlying inspiration for the design is the Illinois Bunn Montgomery dial and then some things were added or changed. I'll explain that later.
The dials arrived from Switzerland and I immediately thought they looked stupendous. I did the 20x Loupe test on the dials and was thoroughly amazed. At 20x magnification the paint still looked smooth, with crisp edges and of course not a break or a bubble to be found. Then I used the 50x scope and, wow, still nice smooth curves, with crisp edges. The dots in the "I's" in Railroad and timing are .4mm in a square. But this quality was expected, the company that I used for those dials also does dials for ETA Group.
Looking at the dial, I feel the Montgomery design dominates but doesn't cramp. The layout feels natural. If you look closely you'll see how the designers subtly shifted this number and that so they wouldn't touch. And none of the numbers on the outer ring touch, where it is most crowded.
This is how this dial was specifically patterned after the 23j Bunn Special with 60hr and motor barrel. The curvature of the name for Studebaker, the straight words under replace the "Bunn Special" text and substitute "Motor Special" and then the text following the curvature of the second sink, the latter substitutes "Railroad Timing Approved". It's really a great layout and they saved it for the 23 jewel watch!
I haven't used any of these dials yet but I believe my partner has, they're being spotted out in the wild. Some people will get tricked or let themselves be tricked. It will always be some knowingly and some unknowingly. Anyone studied in Pocket Watches would probably just dismiss this watch out of hand. Some less learned will think about for awhile and then remember that 12s watches were never used for any official timing on trains.
Now after reading this monologue you know about this dial and you know that it is an aftermarket production. Even with one of these dials on a mail-order Studebaker it would still not qualify. It does not have that motor barrel that would of matched the dial. Ah, but even with that, no official organization, presumably connected with the railroad, ever "Approved" the 12s Studebaker. 12s watches are not used in the operation of the railroad.
Just the same, a super looking dial with a lot of imagination.
I need a dial for my mail order & I promise not to use it on the railroad!
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