January23 , 2023

    What Is A Watch Dial? Why You Should Care?

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    If you’re new to the world of watches, you may not be familiar with the term “dial.” But, as you’ve stumbled upon this article, you may have heard about the significance of an interesting dial and how it can impact the value of a watch. When looking to purchase an expensive timepiece, it’s crucial to know what makes one dial more valuable than another.

    This post will dive into everything from why watches are considered works of art to how dials can elevate the value of your watch collection. We’ll also show you some watches with interesting or unique designs to help you better understand what we mean by an interesting dial.

    In-depth Read: The Anatomy of a Watch: A Guide to the Components of a Timepiece

    What Is A Watch Dial?

    When shopping for a new watch, there are many factors to consider, from brand reputation to how it looks on your wrist. One of the most important considerations is the watch dial.

    The dial is the face of the watch and what you’ll look at when checking the time. It can be simple or decorated, which sets luxury watches apart from more common timepieces. Additionally, many watches have additional features on their dials that serve different purposes.

    Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet with skeleton dial
    • Chronographs measure elapsed time
    • Calendars display day, date, month, and year
    • Tachymeter scales measure speed over distance
    • GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) indicators show local time in two zones simultaneously.
    • Moon phase displays show the phases of the moon
    • Power reserve displays show how much battery life is left in an automatic watch

    In short, the watch dial is an important part of a watch, not just because it looks nice but also because it has important functions. It’s important to consider the dial design and features when choosing a new watch.

    Watch Face vs. Watch Dial? What Is The Difference?

    When talking about watches, it’s common to hear the terms “watch face” and “watch dial” used interchangeably. But while they may seem like the same thing, they actually refer to two different parts of a watch.

    A watch face, also known as a watch crystal, is the transparent cover that sits over the dial and protects it from damage. It’s typically made from mineral glass, sapphire crystal, or plastic, and it can be flat or slightly curved. The watch face is what you look through to read the time on the dial.

    Jacquet droz The Rolling Stones Automaton – one of the most unique watch dial

    The watch dial, on the other hand, is the part of the watch that displays the time. It’s the background on which the hour and minute hands, and sometimes the second hand, move around. The watch dial can be simple or complex and come in a variety of designs, materials, and colors. With the rise of smartwatches, people often use the term “watch face” to refer to the visual design of the smartwatch, but in reality, the watch face is just the protective cover.

    In summary, the watch face is the protective cover that sits on top of the dial, and the watch dial is the part of the watch that displays the time and it is the background on which the hands move around on. Both of these elements are important in a watch, as they work together to tell the time and make a watch look good. And that’s why you should care about the watch dial when you are considering a new watch.

    Related reading: PVD Coating: Enhancing the Beauty and Durability of Watches

    Type Of Watch Dial

    You might think that all watch dials look the same, but there’s actually a lot of variation out there! Different types of watch dials can give a timepiece a completely different look and feel. Here are a few examples of the different types of watch dials you might come across:

    • Analog dials: These are the most traditional type of watch dial, and they feature hour and minute hands that point to numbers or markers on the dial to show the time.
    • Digital dials: Instead of hands and numbers, digital watch dials display the time using digits. They’re often found on sporty or casual watches.
    • Skeleton dials: These watches have a transparent dial that allows you to see the inner workings of the watch movement. They’re often considered to be a more high-end option.
    • Guilloche dials: These are watch dials that feature a pattern of interlacing lines or waves. They’re often considered to be a more elegant or luxurious option.

    These are just a few examples, but there are plenty of other types of watch dials out there. Each one has its own unique style, so it’s worth considering the different options when you’re shopping for a new watch.

    Watch Dial Design & Styles

    Watch dials come in a variety of designs and styles, each with its own unique look and feel. Here are a few examples of different types of watch dials:

    • Plain dial: This is the simplest type of watch dial. It’s usually a round or rectangular piece of metal with minimal markings and the brand name engraved or printed in small letters on one side.
    • Textured or patterned dial: These dials feature a textured or patterned surface, which can be achieved by techniques such as sandblasting, guilloche etching, or engraving. The patterns are usually very fine and delicate, and the surface is often shiny. High-end luxury timepieces and dress watches often use this type of design.
    • Linen dial: This type of dial has a subtle linen texture, which is achieved by using a special machine to create a series of ridges that resemble the linen fabric. It’s often found on high-end watches.
    • Tapisserie dial: This type of dial has a raised pattern or design on its surface, often including geometric shapes, decorative patterns or different textures. It adds a unique and visually striking element to the watch face.
    • Guilloche dial: These dials feature a repeating geometric pattern, which is typically created using a machine called a rose engine lathe. The pattern looks “wavy” or “woven” and is considered elegant and sophisticated. High-end watches, especially ones that look classic or old, often have Guilloche dials.
    • Marquatery dial: This type of dial is decorated with inlaid pieces of wood, mother of pearl, or other materials arranged in a pattern or design. Marquetry is an ancient art form that requires high skill and precision, adding a sense of exclusivity and rarity to the watch. Brands like Breguet, Girard-Perregaux, and Audemars Piguet are known for incorporating marquetry dials into their designs.
    • Teak dial: These dials have a wood grain texture on their surface, usually made by carefully machining fine-grained wood like teak. They’re often found on sporty or casual watches.

    It’s worth considering the different options when you’re shopping for a new watch as each one has its own unique style.

    Watch Dial Material

    The materials used in watch dials can range from metal, glass, to enamel. When choosing a watch dial, you should think about the pros and cons of each material.

    Metal watch dials are the most common and are usually made from steel, gold, or platinum. They are durable, resistant to wear and tear, and easy to read. However, metal watch dials can be heavy and are prone to scratches.

    Jaeger-Lecoultre with a dial made from meteorite

    Glass watch dials are made from mineral glass, sapphire crystal, or acrylic. They are lightweight, scratch-resistant, and easy to read. However, they can be fragile and break if dropped or hit by something sharp.

    Enamel watch dials are made from enamel powder that is fused to the metal watch dial. They are durable, scratch-resistant, and have a unique, glossy finish. However, they can be expensive and difficult to produce.

    With all the information above, here are a few things that might make you choose one material over another:

    Price: If affordability is important to you and there are no other factors influencing your decision, then price should definitely play an important role in your decision making process.

    Durability: This will depend on how hardy each substance is against scratches and dings.

    Style: Each type of metal has its own look and feel, so this should also influence which one suits you best.

    Examples Of Interesting Watch Dial Out There

    When it comes to watches, the dial is often the first thing that catches your eye. The dial is the face of the watch, and it can be simple or decorated, but in any case, it sets the tone for the watch. Here are a few examples of interesting and unique watch dials that you may come across in the market:

    • A dial made from a rare or exotic material: Some watches feature dials made from materials such as mother-of-pearl, enamel, or meteorite. These materials are not only visually striking but also add a sense of rarity and exclusivity to the watch.
    • A dial with a unique color or finish: Some watches feature dials with unique colors or finishes, such as a gradient effect or a mirrored surface. These dials often add a touch of modernity and luxury to the watch.
    • A dial with a complex or intricate design: Some watches feature dials with complex or intricate designs, such as detailed maps or intricate patterns. These dials often add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the watch.
    • A dial with a special feature: Some watches feature dials with special features, such as a tourbillon or a jumping hour display. These special features not only add a touch of luxury but also offer a unique and interesting way to display time.
    • A dial with a retro or vintage-inspired design: Some watches feature dials with a retro or vintage-inspired design, such as a distressed finish or old-fashioned numerals. These dials often add a touch of nostalgia and history to the watch.
    • A dial with complications, such as a perpetual calendar, a moon phase display, or a power reserve indicator. These complications add a touch of luxury and exclusivity to the watch and offer a unique and interesting way to display time.

    In short, when shopping for a new watch, it’s worth considering the dial design and features, as they can add an extra level of interest and uniqueness to a watch.

    Conclusion

    So there you have it, a watch dial is the front part of your watch. It keeps time and gives it some personality at the same time. It’s an important part of any watch design because it’s what you see most often when wearing one. Ideally, this article has given you some insight into what goes into making a dial so unique, from materials used to colors chosen by designers. We hope that now, when someone asks about your watch or its design, they will know what makes it special!