I have no clue what this is...
With a sequence of click-click-click-click-click pause X'3? ( with an initial click-click ), I'm thinking that this electrical dial was for an alarm, then again it may not be as part of a warning/alert system at all.
Given to my dad by his dad who served in the navy in Nam.
Here's a link to a video I uploaded to YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huHTDpLh9sQ&sns=em