Different Types Of Watch Dials | The Most Simple Explanation

By Emma Watson

Most people open this page because of their own curiosity. They like the title which is “Types of watch dials“. Many people like this title, and the detail which is given under this title.

There are some questions that will be answered in this article, and these questions include the followings: How many types of dials? Are there any differences or are they all same? What are their best qualities? By answeres these questions, we will try to clarify the ambiguities among the users, who often ask about the uses and types of dials.

Types Of Watch Dials

Here we will share with you 19 different types of watch dials:

1) California Dial

It dates back to the 1930s. There are Roman numerals on top, and Arabic numerals below. The best thing about these dials is that on some dials the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions are replaced with a dash instead of a numeral and an inverted triangle in place of the 12. The best modern example of this is Basecamp Cali by Undone.

California Dial

2) Co-Signed

It is one of those dials which can be easily recognized because of its focus on the inscription. There are many dials that indicate the brand and collection of the timepiece, but a co-signed dial indicated both the name of the brand and the retailer. Such type is very famous among luxury brands. Because of its partnership with luxury brands, this is very costly more than the normal prices. It is also very famous in the market because of its attraction.



This was very famous among mid-century dress watches like Omega Seamaster DeVille. it is best recognized by its horizontal and vertical line which is intersecting at the middle of the case. There may be differences among the length and thickness of the lines depending on the watch model. Some may extend to the edge while some are shorter.


4) Enamel

These dials are very required and these require mastery to create. The material is a type of glass that is soft and is composed of silica, red lead and soda.

When it is heated to about 1200 degrees Celcius, then it will change into liquid followed by the bond with the other materials. After mixing, it can result in various colors like grey, green, and red. But it all depends on the metal it is mixed with.

The best example of this dial is the Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon’s blue enamel dial. There are also some major subtypes of this dial which are described below.


5) Cloisonne

It is a form of enamelling. Therein lies the outline of the design which is drawn on the dial and then very thin gold wires which were being laid among the mentioned outline. There are also five layers of enamel that will be poured within the wires, followed by firing after every year.

6) Grand Feu

It means “Great Fire”. it is the most complex technique of enamelling but it also produces the most durable dials. These dials are very minimalist and they are also uniform in colours, which are mostly white and cream.

7) Champleve

It uses a metal dial plate to create channels which will servse as a sunken outline. The outline will be filled with enamel, fired, and then polished.

8) Flinque

With this technique, the metal dial is already engraved. After this, an enamel coating is added to create a particular texture and increase the height seriously.

9) Grisaille

It covers the dial first black enamel. The layer is then fired in a kiln. After this, the white weight is applied to create the desired effect. This might be an illustration of moon, stars, etc., on a night sky.

10) Gilt

It is based on the gilt technique which means to cover thinly using a gold leaf or gold paint. It also endoreses the features and elements of the dial using gold paint. This can be seen on the markers, hands, brand name, etc. The best example is 1954 Rolex Submariner.

11) Guilloche

It is also called as engine-tuned dials. the elegant feature of these dials is that they have engraved repeating patterns on them. These patterns were hand-crafted with the help of different types of engraving engines such as the hand-cranked rose engine, straight-line engine, and brocading machine.

Nowadays, there is an era of innovation and due to innovation there are dials that are not hand-crafted, rather these are done by a machine. The best example is the Hamilton H32515155 Jazzmaster Viewmatic.


12) Linen

It is a textured dial with tiny vertical and horizontal hatch marks creating a linen-like texture.  Rolex Datejust Ref. 1603 and the vintage Bulova Surf King 17J 11AL. are the best examples of this type.


13) Marquetry

It is an art form. The best thing about this dial is that it is composed of various materials and elements such as mother of pearl and jewels. These are then carefully laid on the dial by a craftsman to form an image or pattern.

14) Meteorite

Meteorite dials are made from polished slices of meteorite. There are different meteorites around the world, and each piece is cut and polished individually. One important thing is that each meteorite dial is different from the other. Invicta is the well-known brand of creating a number of meteorite watches.

15) Porcelain

These dials usually contain white and some amount of clay. Notwithstanding the minimalist look, these dials are very difficult to create. The best example of this type of dial is the vintage Seiko Presage Arita.

16) Sector

It is also called the scientific dial. It can be expected from the name that these dials are composed of contrasting concentric circles with thick lines that divide the dial into different sectors. Hour dials are much common, but there are also minute sector dials. The best example of this type of dial is the Art Deco watch.

17) Skeleton

The best thing about these types of dials is that they are still common. These can be seen around because these are not difficult to make. These dials need transparent materials such as mineral glass or sapphire crystal.

The best thing about these dials is that they use a movement that is very attractive. Skeleton dials are mostly used tih mechanical watches which can show the intricate mechanism that drives the watch. The best example of this type of dial is Specialty Watch 23533.

Also, There are the best skeleton watches for you because skeleton is one of the best watch brand which is available at reasonable cost.


18) Tapisserie

It is somewhat similar to the mentioned guilloche dial. It is also famous by its pattern composed of tiny squares separated by thin channels.

A pantograph is being used to create such a design. The machine traces the pattern from a larger design which then engraves a smaller copy on the watch dials. The process can take up-to 20-50 minutes. The best example of this type of dial is Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.


19) Teaked

It is the last type of dial in this list. It is quite simple but it also adds to the elegance and class to the watch face. The best thing about this dial is that it comes with engraved vertical stripes. The stripes may vary in color, thickness, and finish, but it all depends on the brand. One very famous example of this type of dial is the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra.



Now, we have tried our best to make you familiar with some amazing types of dials. All the dials are very much common in the market and these all are increasing their value day by day. They just need attention when you go for purchasing them. You can choose a decorative dial or a patterned one. The best thing is to select according to your choices.

Reference Source: 

These Are The Crazy Things Watch Dials Have Been Made Of


A Professional blogger, Since 2017, I have worked on 100+ different blogs, Now i am a CEO of Watchbuzzy.com. Also, I am a watch Enthusiast.

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