Talk about taking things at face value. These watches with the most beautiful dials promise to make a great first impression with created by age-old techniques and cutting-edge technology. We take a look at some of the most mesmerising timepieces.
Our favourite watches with the most beautiful dials
This new rose gold Ref. 7130R-014 Ladies’ World Time model replaces Ref. 7130R-013 with an ivory opaline dial. Boasting a modern yet elegant olive green, its dial centre honours rare handcrafts with a finely hand-guilloched old basket-weave motif that is utterly hypnotic. The rich green shade is picked up on the city disc, where the white-printed names are easily legible. The local time in the time zone selected on the city disc at 12 o’clock is indicated by lozenge-shaped hands and applied pink gold arrow-type hour markers. A row of 62 Top Wesselton Pure diamonds on the bezel completes the elegant adornment of this slim 36mm model, which is driven by the self-winding 240 HU calibre.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Beyond its charming looks, the dial of the rose gold Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier is inspired by Swedish botanist Carl von Linné’s floral clock concept. Named Horologium Florae, the hypothetical garden plan comprised various plants, whose flowers would bloom and close at specific moments of the day to tell the time. Similarly, the number of open blooms on the dial indicates the time. As seen here, 12 open flowers mean it’s 12 o’clock. The sequence of open bouquets for every hour will be different the next day. Telling the time is completed by a minute display through a window on the side of the 38mm diamond-set case. Accentuating the mother-of-pearl dial are blue butterflies nestled among the corollas.
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Presenting the new Tag Heuer Carrera Plasma, featuring lab-grown diamonds created via chemical vapour deposition (CVD) technology. A major milestone in the manufacture’s over 160-year history and the watch industry, the use of the carbon material opens up another realm for endless creativity and design. The main highlight of this new watch is the specially created polycrystalline diamond dial, whose dazzling effect is a sum of crystals that were grown as one diamond piece. Two subdials feature a black polycrystalline diamond plate each, while every white gold index is set with a lab-grown diamond. Cast in lightweight sandblasted anodised aluminium, the 44mm case is adorned with 48 irregularly shaped lab-grown diamonds, as well as a 2.5-carat diamond crown. Equipped with the Tag Heuer Nanograph movement, the calibre carries the groundbreaking in-house carbon hairspring, developed by the Tag Heuer Institute and brought to life by the same CVD method used on the lab-grown diamonds.
A meeting between Hermès and the Neuchâtel-based Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) in 2018 led to a project for a silicon wafer dial, which was to feature the intimate and refined Crépuscule (dusk) motif by designer-graphic artist Thanh-Phong Lê. Typically used for producing semiconductors, the silicon wafer for the Cape Cod Crépuscule quartz watch is purely chosen for its aesthetic qualities. The dial is created from a single 0.5mm-thick plate, which is coated precisely with a tiny 72-nanometre film of silicon nitride to obtain the desired intense blue hue. Next is the photolithography stage, in which the wafer is exposed to a blue light to print the pattern. The process involves several baths before the gold-coating stage, then followed by more baths to remove superfluous material. Finally, the plate is cut to the shape of the 29mm by 29mm steel case.
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The Glashütte-based manufactory revives the historic handcraft of tremblage with this anniversary model. Executed on a German silver dial base, the laborious and intricate engraving method involves the use of a range of burins, or chisels, to create a fine, uniform granulated texture. What’s also impressive is that the numerals, logo, minutes track and seconds circle are raised elements – not applied, created from removing German silver by hand from the same base plate before the tremblage process. Offered in a 41mm case in stainless steel or rose gold, as shown here, the Tremblage timepiece with outstanding dial is driven by the manually wound calibre 100.1 that can be admired via the transparent caseback.
One of Grand Seiko‘s five new Evolution 9 Collection Spring Drive sports timepieces is the SLGA015. Made from high-intensity titanium, the focal point of the 200m dive watch is its unique dial. The serious diver would know that the oceans surrounding the Japanese archipelago are criss-crossed by powerful water currents, such as the Kuroshio Current. Also known as the Black Stream, it flows northwards past Japan towards the North Pacific and is also one of the world’s largest ocean streams. The dynamic tides caused by the Black Stream are the inspiration for the deep black hue and richly textured dial of this stylish 43.8mm model. Driven by the Spring Drive Calibre 9RA5, it offers an accuracy rate of ±10 seconds per month and a five-day power reserve.
Adding refined whimsy to the house’s second high watchmaking collection is the G-Timeless Moonlight, pictured here. The Gucci calibre GGV838.MP, an in-house movement, boasts a striking moonphase complication that shows two moons in their phases – from a delicate sliver to a luminous full moon – depicted in pink and white gold. The timepiece with outstanding dial is crafted from statement-making natural meteorite, which is accentuated by planets and glistening diamonds for stars in the rotating celestial disc.
Art Direction: AARON LEE KUAN LENG
This story first appeared on PrestigeOnline Hong Kong