The Sundial closure first appeared in 1895. It was aptly named because of its resemblance to the design of its time-telling namesake. Also, known as “Quick-slide”, because of its easy method of attachment to the shirt cuff; the closure never achieved high popularity. The Sundial’s failure was attributed to a lack of tension in its grip; cuff ends often slipped from within its grasp and separated. And, because this fastening device was prone to slipping off the sleeve’s fabric, it resulted in the loss of many a cuff link. Cuff link manufacturer and retailers soon grew tired of the complaints. By 1905, the device vanished permanently from jewelry benches and store shelves.
Originally designed as a mechanism for attaching pocket watch fobs to a gentleman’s vest pocket, turn of the century jewelers soon adapted it for . use as a cuff link fastener. Though the . Sundial” closure was evident in the United States, England and Germany, there are no known patents in any of these countries.
Cuff links bearing the Sundial closure are very rare; though there are still many “singles” in the marketplace, it’s believed that less than 3000 complete pairs are in existence. Demand for good condition pairs is high; they are sought by earers and collectors alike. Wearers especially enjoy the look and conversation piece value; collectors regard them as a “missing link” in the evolution of cuff fastening devices.
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