During early 2010 I started to do some experimentation with dial manufacture techniques, there are a number of dial designs that I know I want to produce, and what I want the finished product to look like, but knew I needed to at least test a few different methods of achieving these.
This design has inspiration from pilots watches, I would make this from a white enamel base, with the markers being solid metal with the minute markers polished, and the 5-minute markers covered with luminous material.
I think this will also work with a black base (though with light numerals at the 3,6,9 & 12) as a more traditional pilots-type watch, and would be quite neat if cut from carbon fibre sheet with the metal and luminous inlayed.
This design I would like to do in a range of materials and schemes,
The most complex being with the diamond pattern done in transparent enamels, so you can see movement parts through the dial, and the mask being carved from gold and held in place over the dial. The more simple versions could be done in two colours or tones and with or without the mask.
I knew that dial designs I want to make will need enamelling, so as far back as 2003 I knew that I would have to learn this technique at some stage, to this end I bought from a colleague a small furnace and some basic enamelling supplies, unfortunately before moving to our current abode there was not a space where I could safely fire up a small metal box to the temperatures required, the garage in our current house is such a place, nice high ceiling, concrete floor in case I happen to drop hot metal or molten glass (very important)
As is normal with these sort of things, design is much easier than manufacture, as will be seen in the next post…