1. Dial type

There are the following types depending on the type of characters that represent the time numbers.

roman index
roman index

This type has Roman numerals that indicate the time.
It has a classical atmosphere, and in fact, many old watches from around the 18th century have Roman indexes.

arabic index
arabic index

This type has Arabic numerals that indicate the time.
Because it is easy to read, practical watches such as railway watches and military watches often have Arabic indexes.

bar index
bar index

This type has bars (scales) instead of numbers indicating the time.
This is often seen on relatively new pocket watches from the 1950s onwards.

turkish clock

Some watches exported to Turkey use Turkish numerals, while others use both Roman and Arabic numerals.

2. Dial material

We will introduce some typical dial materials.

It is difficult to distinguish the three other than the metal dial just by appearance.

porcelain (porcelain)
porcelain dial

This dial is created by shaping clay and baking it at high temperatures.
Although it is transparent and beautiful, it has the disadvantage that it is sensitive to impact and easily cracks.

Enamel (enamel)
enamel dial

This dial is created by baking a glassy glaze onto a metal base plate.
Some have colorful decorations.

metal dial

This dial is made from a metal plate.
Some are highly decorative with gold plating and carvings.

resin dial

This dial is made of melamine resin or plastic.
It is lightweight and hard to break, and is used in relatively new and popular pocket watches.

3. dial decoration

Let me introduce some of the dial decorations.
In addition to this, there are various other decorations.

thunk dial
double thunk dial

This is a decoration that gives the dial a three-dimensional feel and improves visibility.
There is a "single thunk" in which only the second hand (small seconds) part is recessed, and a "double thunk" in which the center part of the dial and the second hand part are recessed in two stages.

cartouche dial
cartouche dial

This dial has raised index portions.
On the other hand, a dial with a concave shape is sometimes called a "telephone dial."


Pocket watches have larger dials than wristwatches, so the "face" of the dial is very noticeable.
We have introduced some typical ones here, but there are infinite variations in terms of font, scale, color, decoration, etc.
There are various designs of needles, so I will introduce them in another article.