Henry S. Montgomery’s “Safety Numerical Dial” was introduced to the broad watch market in February 1910. The dial was already being utilized on standard clocks within the Santa Fe Railroad system as early as 1900.
Elgin commenced an advertising campaign at the same time, describing the dial as “A Dial That Almost Speaks The Time.”
Attached are images from the February 12, 1910 issue of The Topeka State Journal. One article describes the dial in detail, and the Elgin advertisement follows a few pages after. Based on the testimony of the traveling representative, it appears the dial was available in limited capacity prior to this time. The article closes by claiming watches produced by Elgin, Hamilton, Waltham, Illinois, Rockford, and Hampden can be purchased “from any first-class dealer” with the dial.