What Materials are Used for Watch Modding Dials?
Watch manufacturers showcase craftsmanship in high-end timepieces with amazing results. The watch industry takes something simple, like a twelve hour watch dial, and makes it special.
Watch dials are one of the best ways to show off both design and execution, as they are one of the most visible parts of a watch. If you want to use watch mod parts to make something amazing, the watch dial is a big consideration.
Source: First Classe
A watch dial is literally the face of a watch, and it is also the most important part from the standpoint of functionality. The face and hands of a watch tell the time, but the dial is the stage on which time plays out.
If you are looking for a dial that fits your vision of watchmaking perfection, you have loads of options if you like Seiko mods. There are many watch dials to choose from, and they all contribute something special to Seiko Mod Watches, no matter what you love.
Common Watch Dial Materials
There are many ways to make a watch dial, and we stock different styles to choose from. Here are some of the most common watch dial materials, and what they can give your next custom watch build.
Copper / Brass
Watch dials can be made from a range of materials but the most common is some form of metal. They are typically copper or brass but some use silver or bronze.
Every dial type has the possibility of oxidation, or tarnishing, therefore, it will be coated to seal the surface and help prevent the metal from changing color.
Source: Belmont Watches
However, this process does not guarantee that the color will not develop a slight patina over time. Other forms of metal finishing use electricity and a water bath to achieve different colors via electrolysis.
In addition, metal dials have the advantage over other dials made of other materials as they are able to be refinished, or even modified if desired. In fact, most of the other dial materials on this list use metal to back the top layer, which is why most watch dials are at least partially metal.
Metal dials can be stripped down, refinished, and made to look good as new, although this may impact the value of some collectable watches, so make sure you don’t rob yourself!
At one time, the most common material to cover watch dials was enamel. The creation of enamel dials is a painstaking process that is labor-intensive, and is still used on some high-end watch dials.
Making enamel dials sits somewhere between art, science, and alchemy. The art of decorative enameling dates back a long time, it is one of the oldest crafts that is still practiced in the watch industry today.
The production of enamel dials must be carried out by experts, as the risk of failure is high. There are a lot of impressive enamel dialed timepieces out there, and Seiko still uses them in its Presage and Grand Seiko lines.
Enamel dials are normally made by firing a layer or layers of ground enamel powder onto a substrate of metal, usually copper.
The enamel will be applied to both sides to provide more firmness. Then, the numerals or markers will be applied on top. It will be then fired again, producing an attractive, finished dial.
Making dials with this process is not only painstaking but many defective pieces get rejected and thrown away. However, when everything goes correctly, the results are lovely, and last a very long time.
If you want to add an enamel dial to your next SKX007 mod, or any other Seiko mod, check out our selection of top-tier enamel dials.
We all love the Sapphire crystal that has been used to replace scratch-prone acrylic and mineral glass as the crystal on watches. It’s quite durable, and ultra clear.
Now, dials made of Sapphire are a perfect way to see the movement in a timepiece, or add color if the sapphire is tinted. Sapphire dials are widely available and used in luxury watches, with some spectacular results.
With a sapphire dial, you can see into the backside of the movement, which makes these perfect for a build with a skeletonized movement. We created a few incredible sapphire dials that would look amazing on your next mod.
Sapphire dials are also super tough, so don’t worry about anything going wrong with their appearance for a long time. For the moment, sapphire dials are still a little rare, so they add something special to a custom watch build.
Where would the watchmaking industry be without exotic materials?
There are a few lovely dial material options that use materials you wouldn’t think would work, but look amazing when done right!
Citizen, another major Japanese watch manufacturer, has used multiple layers of Japanese paper to make the Citizen Chronomaster‘s dial.
The paper is sandwiched between a layer of solar panels and a clear disc to protect it. The clear disc holds a printed logo and makes it look much deeper.
The Chronomaster is Citizen’s answer to Grand Seiko (in some ways), so don’t expect to see this intriguing paper dial on many models.
Source: SJX Watches
Jaquet Droz used quail egg shells cracked into thousands of pieces to make dials. The shells were chosen for color to create an artistic micro-mosaic in an African elephant.
This process takes an artist around 200 hours to produce, then, the completed design is covered with a layer of clear lacquer. The results are wonderful.
Source: Watch Collecting Lifestyle
Hublot is another brand where you can find experimentation with amazing materials and techniques - and the dials are no exception.
One example is the Classic Fusion made with a denim dial. The watch uses a blue denim dial that matches the denim strap, and looks interesting - especially if you love denim.
What is the Perfect Watch Mod Dial for You?
Watch modding lets you make the watch you love – your way. With the OEM Seiko spare parts we offer, you can use whatever Watch spare parts you want to make an incredible timepiece.
At namokiMODS, we offer loads of dials that will fit standard Seiko movements, and make any mod look like a high-end watch. Have a look at our selection, and make your next watch mod special.