Some Of The Coolest Textured Dials Introduced In The Past Year
It’s all about texture in this selection of watches presented over the last 12 months
Every week we compile a list under a certain topic of watches that we think is interesting to you, our readers, with our buying guides. And as we are a team with mixed preferences, these topics can be about anything really. We tend to search for interesting variations on a common theme, such as accessible dive watches, or the best sports watches, or even the diversity of a single model by a single brand. And today the topic is all about textured dials. Here are some of the coolest watches presented over the last 12 months that feature some form of texture on their dial, from nature-inspired patterns to classic high-end guilloché.
Grand Seiko SLGH005 White Birch
Some might argue the dial for the Grand Seiko SLGH005 White Birch isn’t exactly all that white, but nevertheless, it remains one of the best dials introduced this year. The SLGH005, nicknamed “White Birch” for the distinct vertical patterns in the silvery-white dial inspired by the bark of birch trees in a forest close to the Grand Seiko Shizukuishi facility. Shimmering vividly under direct light, the dial is seriously impressive. The Zaratus-polished hands and applied indices suit the dial very well. Inside the sport-chic 40mm wide steel case is the Calibre 9SA5. This in-house, hi-beat automatic movement has a Dual Impulse Escapement and Grand Seiko free-sprung balance. More details in our hands-on in-depth review.
Quick Facts: 40mm diameter x 11.7mm height – steel case and bracelet, Zaratsu-polished and brushed – sapphire crystal front and back – silvery-white textures dial inspired by “Shirabaka” white birch trees – polished hands and applied indices – calibre 9SA5, in-house – 47 jewels – Direct Impulse Escapement with GS Free-sprung balance – 36,000vph – accurate within +5/-3 seconds per day – 80h power reserve – EUR 9,500
For more information, please visit Grand-Seiko.com
Andersen Geneve Jumping Hour 40th Anniversary
In celebrating his 40th +1 year anniversary working as an independent watchmaker, industry legend Svend Andersen has created not one, but three celebratory watches. One of those three certainly stands out for its intricate and simply stunning décor on the dial; the Andersen Geneve Jumping Hour. With a signature BlueGold dial, it is decorated with what is called a “Magic Lozenge” pattern. This guilloché pattern took three different rose engine lathes to create and results in an architectural, maze-like dial. The shimmer of the material paired with the guilloché and the minimalistic indications are simply gorgeous. The red gold or platinum case (seen here) houses the Frédéric Piguet 11.50 calibre, with an in-house jumping hour module on top. The 18ct yellow gold rotor has been given a barleycorn guilloché pattern.
Quick Facts: 38mm diameter x 9.22mm height – red gold or platinum case – 21ct BlueGold dial with Magic Lozenge guilloché pattern – in-house jumping hour module on top of Piguet 11.50 calibre – handmade 18ct yellow gold rotor – BlueGold framing ring with special engraving – limited to 40 pieces in platinum – CHF 41,600
For more information, please visit Andersen-Geneve.ch
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Titanium 26530TI
It’s understandable if you’re expecting some sort of tapisserie dial to be fitted on an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, but it’s not always what the company decides to do! In a surprise move, AP has put an exquisite grained dial in the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Titanium. It’s part of a trio of complicated flying tourbillons by AP, but only this one comes with such a dial. The watch has a 41mm wide titanium case, another unusual choice as it’s mostly reserved for limited editions. The sand-blasted, slate-coloured dial perfectly blends in with the lightweight material and allows for a full view of the exquisite flying tourbillon. Depending on the light, it turns almost dark anthracite grey, or shift towards a silvery tone. The in-house Calibre 2950 was presented in 2019 in the Code 11.59 collection and has now found its way to the Royal Oak family.
Quick Facts: 41mm diameter x 10.4mm height – grade 5 titanium case and bracelet – sandblasted slate grey dial with grained texture – Calibre 2950, in-house – automatic winding – 21,600vph – 65h power reserve – flying tourbillon escapement – part of the permanent collection – CHF 133,000
For more information, please visit AudemarsPiguet.com
Oris Big Crown ProPilot Okavango Air Rescue Limited edition
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but with the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Okavango Air Rescue L.E. it quickly becomes apparent it has a nature-inspired theme. The lush, grassy green dial takes cues from the grasslands found surrounding the Okavango river delta in Botswana. It’s a stark contrast against the tool-like case and knurled bezel of the ProPilot. Botswana might not be the first place you’d think of perhaps, but Oris has collaborated with Okavango Air Rescue. This is an organization set up by Swiss entrepreneurs Christian Gross and Dr Misha Kruck. Its goal is to provide medical care to some of the most remote locations in Botswana. This collaboration results in quite a striking looking watch, something rather unexpected in an Oris Big Crown ProPilot.
Quick Facts: 41mm diameter – stainless steel case with fluted bezel -green textured dial – applied Arabic numerals with Super-LumiNova – calibre Oris 781 (Sellita SW 220-1 base) – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 38h power reserve – green textile strap by Erika’s Originals (Oris exclusive) – Limited Edition of 2,011 pieces – CHF 2,300
For more information, please visit Oris.ch
Ming 20.11 Mosaic
While we’ve featured more traditional decorations or textures inspired by nature, we finish this list with the high-tech dial in the Ming 20.11 Mosaic. Ming is still a young brand known for giving a creative spin to an original, minimalistic dial. The brand was launched by famed watch photographer Ming Thein and has gathered quite a following in its 4 years of existence to date. The Ming 20.11 Mosaic is a perfect example of what makes the brand stand out from others. This high-end watch, equipped with a Schwarz-Etienne micro-rotor movement, has a rather special laser-etched sapphire dial. The dial has a complex, almost pixelated texture. A high-power femtosecond laser is used to etch 2,650 squares of varying opacity, resulting in a remarkable effect. Depending on the angle, the pattern can become almost indistinguishable. Quite an interesting package!
Quick Facts: 41.5mm diameter x 14mm height – grade 5 titanium case – recessed matte blasted DLC caseband – sapphire crystal front and back – sapphire dial with lasered checkerboard-like pattern – sapphire crystal hands – Calibre ASE200.2, made by Schwarz-Etienne for Ming – automatic winding with micro-rotor – 86h power reserve – limited edition of 50 pieces, sold out – CHF 14,500
For more information, please visit Ming.watch
Bonus – the accessible Baltic MR01
Ah yes, we admittedly cheated a little by throwing in a bonus watch. This recent launch just had to be included as it is a rather fine watch at a very attainable price. The Baltic MR01 was presented last week and is a modern take on the classic Calatrava style dress watch. But, Baltic being Baltic, it comes with a few interesting twists, one of which is the dial. The dial has a grained texture and comes in silver, blue or (our favourite!) salmon colours. The polished Breguet numerals are interrupted by an offset small seconds subdial. All this is set in a 36mm wide steel case with a slightly widened bezel on top. What keeps this watch so affordable is partly the choice of movement, which is a Hangzhou ELA05MN micro-rotor movement.
Quick Facts: 36mm diameter x 9.9mm height – stainless steel Calatrava style case – domed Hesalite glass – grained dial in silver, blue or salmon – polished Breguet-numerals – small-seconds subdial between 6 and 9 o’clock – Hangzhou ELA05MN micro-rotor movement – 28,800vph – 42h power reserve – calfskin leather strap – EUR 650
For more information, please visit Baltic-Watches.com