Professional Jeweler Archive: Dial Deluxe: Beyond Standard

November 2002

For Your Staff/Selling Watch Styles

Dial Deluxe: Beyond Standard

We continue our series devoted to selling different watch types. Learn the selling points for watches that feature fine-grade dials to make your job more interesting and more profitable


Enamel dials are a glass-like substance colored with metal oxides, typically applied by hand in multiple coatings and heated after each application. The result is a rich color. More rare are cloisonné enamel dials with karat gold partitions separating the colors of the design.

Selling Points: Discuss the rarity of the dial and point out the rich color by comparing it with standard dials of similar hue. Note the labor required for such a handcrafted finish.

The Much More model depicts Europe in hand-painted enamel. Roger Dubuis, Wilkes Barre, PA; (570) 970-8888.


This hand-crafted technique engraves straight or wavy lines to create a dial pattern. The pattern is made line by line using a manual device developed in the 19th century. Many dials now stamp this look, though the results are said to be less nuanced.

Selling Points: Made by hand (determine this first), purists will appreciate the individualized results of different dials. Show how the light plays off the dial.

The new RGM 151 features hand-crafted guilloché dials with a wave pattern. RGM Watches, Lancaster, PA; (717) 653-9799,

Mother of Pearl

This shimmering dial treatment is most popular in women’s watches, though it’s found in some men’s models also. The nacre found on pearls is the basis for the light reflection and hue changes typical of mother of pearl. Various colors are available.

Selling points: Familiar to many women who already enjoy pearls. Wider array of colors in recent years allows for ensemble mixing and matching.

The women’s size of the “12-4-8” model features a mother-of-pearl dial, available in several colors. Available with or without diamond bezel. Bonneville Watches, Anaheim, CA; (714) 666-1999,

Carbon Fiber

From the world of automotive design and now found in many familiar products (pens, bicycles, snowboards and skis), carbon fiber consists of highly polished ribbons of graphite. The three-dimensional look creates texture and depth and typically appears on the dials of sporty watches.

Selling Points: Likely to attract auto buffs familiar with its depth and strength. Customers interested in industrial design may be intrigued also, as well as those in search of a unique look.

The Sport Retro uses carbon fiber in the center of the dial on this retrograde model. The large window displays hours, the hand indicates minutes. Gerald Genta, New York City; (212) 315-9700.

– by Michael Thompson

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications