Did a watch repairman really engrave a secret message on Abraham Lincoln’s watch the day the Civil War began? Abraham Lincoln’s watch has been rumored to carry a secret message, allegedly written by Jonathan Dillon. On NBC’s Today Show, working with magnifying glasses and precise instruments, master watchmaker George Thomas finally opened the back to reveal the underside of the watch movement.
The inscription read, “Jonathan Dillon April 13-1861 Fort Sumpter [sic] was attacked by the rebels on the above date J Dillon April 13-1861 Washington thank God we have a government Jonth Dillon.”
The George Chatterton™ Watch Company released the Lincoln Pocket Watch to bring history’s mystery to life. They have painstakingly recreated the design of the dial and position of the small second hand, and they have even replicated the mysterious engraving on the back of the movement. The design of the hands is especially rare. The movement employs vintage-styled manual winding with 20 jewels and the case is gold-finished and matches the color of the original exactly.