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Dial of a Watch

Dial of a Watch: Different Styles and Finishes You Should Know About

The dial of a watch is one of the most significant features of it. It serves as both the face of the watch and the primary means of displaying time and other information. Different watch dials can convey different styles, functions, and aesthetics. Therefore, in this article, we explore the most common types of watch dials and factors that sets them apart.

Different types of dial on a watch

Watch dials vary based on the brand and type of watch you are dealing with. There are a plethora of different dial styles and sizes available today. Hence, we have decided to provide you with an insight into the most common dial of watch you see in the market today.

  • Chronograph dial
  • Classic dial of a watch
  • GMT dial
  • Skeleton dial of a watch
  • Moon Phase dial
  • Tachymeter dial of a watch
  • World timer dial
  • Digital dial of a watch
  • Dive watch dial

Chronograph dial

A chronograph watch dial typically consists of multiple sub-dials that allow the wearer to time specific events. A conventional chronograph dial includes three sub-dials arranged symmetrically on the watch face.

The largest of the three sub-dials measures elapsed time in seconds, while the other two sub-dials are used to measure elapsed time in minutes and hours. Chronograph watch dials are commonly found in sports watches, particularly those designed for racing.

Chronograph Dial Watch

Classic dial of a watch

Classic watch dials feature a simple, uncluttered design with minimal embellishments. Watches with a classic dial design usually have hour markers at each hour and minute markers around the edge of the dial.

The hands on a classic dial watch are slender and easy to read, enabled by a contrasting color on the dial. Additionally, classic watch dials are often seen in dress watches that are designed to be worn on formal occasions.

GMT dial

Another dial that is famous in the watch community is the GMT dial. Watches with a GMT dial feature an additional hour hand that indicates a second time zone. The GMT hand is commonly set to Greenwich Mean Time, which is the standard time used by the world’s time zones.

Watches with a GMT dial are designed with a 24-hour scale around the edge of the dial. This allows the wearer to read the time in both time zones simultaneously.

Watch Dial

Skeleton dial of a watch

The most unique and skillful watch dial is the skeleton dial. Timepieces that feature a transparent dial, reveal the inner workings of a watch’s movement. Watches with such dials may be partially exposed or fully exposed, with only a few internal components hidden from the view.

A skeleton dial watch is often used in high-end luxury watches, where the intricacies of the movement are a key part of the watch’s appeal.

Watch Dials

Moon Phase dial

Moon phase watches feature a dial that displays the phase of the moon. A moon phase watch dial features a small circular window that shows a small image of the moon.

This image moves through its phases as the actual moon does, usually completing a full cycle every 29.5 days. Watches that feature a moon phase dial are highly valuable and are typically found in luxury watches.

Tachymeter dial of a watch

Tachymeter watches are designed with a dial that features a tachymeter scale around the edge. This scale enables the wearer to measure speed over a particular distance.

To use this function, the wearer must start the stopwatch at the beginning of a particular event and stop it when the event comes to an end. The tachymeter scale then indicates the speed of the event in units per hour.

World timer dial

World time watches display the time in multiple time zones around the world. A world timer dial is commonly designed with a rotating bezel. Subsequently, some world time watches feature an inner ring that allows the wearer to adjust the time zone display.

World time dials are often used in travel watches, which are designed for frequent travelers who need to keep track of time in multiple locations.

Digital dial of a watch

Digital watches as the name suggests are timepieces that use an LED or LCD display to showcase time and other details. Digital dial watches display additional information, such as day of the week, date, alarm settings and more.

Watches with a digital dial are well-known for their accuracy and ease of use. Digital dials are often found in sports or fitness watches.

Dive watch dial

Finally, we have the dial of dive watches, dials that are specially designed for underwater use. The dial of a dive watch is designed with large, luminous hour markers and hands that make the dial more legible in dark or murky water. This type of dial may also feature a unidirectional rotating bezel, which allows the wearer to time their dive.

Dials can hugely affect the watch’s value

The dial of a watch can be responsible for either spiking up or bringing down the value of the watch. A classic dial on the Rolex Oyster Perpetual changes the price of the watch in the secondary market just by its color. For instance, a Turqoiuse Dial OP41 exchanges hands for around AED 100,000, whereas a class black dial can be bought for around AED 36,000.

This is due to the rarity and exclusivity of some dials. The rarity increases when a particular dial gets discontinued by the manufacturer. In the above example, the Tourqoiuse Blue dial is only selling for such a premium due to its discontinuation. There are many many examples of prices of watches sky-rocketing due to the dial getting discontinued. One of these examples is the John Mayer Daytona. As soon as the green dial Daytona was discontinued, the prices of the watch just went to the roof in the secondary market.

Unique dial of a watch

Types of Watch Dial

Now that you have a clear understanding of the different types of dial options available in the watch market, you may choose the one that suits you best. Perhaps if you are looking for a luxury watch that offers more than one type of dial option in its lineup, you can choose to buy a Rolex in Dubai.

Rolex is one of the only Swiss watchmakers, known for producing a versatile collection of watches featuring different dial options. Considering the investment value of these watches and the availability of different dial options, a Rolex watch would be a great choice.

Shravan Poojary
Written By


Having had a passion for all things watches, Shravan Poojary has spent his time learning and understanding the world of horology. He is a content writer at WatchMaestro, responsible for writing and providing information about all the latest collections, must-haves, and detailed comparisons of the best luxury watches.

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