They are the face of the watch and the focus of considerable attention. Simple or monochrome, extremely structured, supremely refined backdrops for artistic crafts… or merely functional and legible : dials come in a wide range of interpretations. Sometimes their very absence amplifies the beauty of a watch.
Bulgari Octo Grande Sonnerie – A fine example of what happens when the dial simply vanishes, in order to give pride of place to the mechanical intricacies of the movement. And when the latter features a four-hammer Grande and Petite Sonnerie as well as a tourbillon, its technical splendor easily matches that of the most beautiful dial. CHF 580’000.–
Octo Grande Sonnerie © Bulgari
Montre Rotonde de Cartier jour & nuit Mystérieux – Cartier’s iconic mystery display and its equally emblematic day & night display are combined for the first time in this model on which the sun and moon appear and move in turn, as if levitating, in order to tell the time. Price available on request
Montre Rotonde de Cartier Jour&Nuit Mystérieux © Cartier
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon The brand’s unmistakable overlapping subdials forming a figure 8 are complemented by the mystery of an ultra-accurate astronomical moon phase, adding the midnight blue touch of its night-sky background to the ivorycolored Grand Feu enamel background. CHF 29’700.–
Grande Seconde Moon © Jaquet Droz
Patek Philippe Référence 5131/1 Heure Universelle – The prestige of platinum, the splendid colors of the Earth portrayed in cloisonné enamel adorning a dial featuring 24 times zones and a day/night indication, all driven by self-winding Caliber 240 U. Travel has never been quite so refined ! CHF 115’000.–
Returning to the dial side only for a more serious departure, the Patek Philippe Watches Making 5170P is an interesting beast. The watch marketplace as it’s suffers no shortage of platinum-clad, diamond-brazen watches — but something is telling me nobody in the hippie-hoppie music sector will be viewed rocking the 5170P in any of the videos anytime soon. No, the 5170P is more like a wealthy grandpa with gemstone cufflinks: weird, but face-to-face you’re probably going to need to keep your view to yourself.The Patek Philippe 5170P is intriguing because I can envision it to be far over the top to get a few, and rather stale in the eyes of many others. On a personal note, once all is said and done, I actually think it’s simply perfect. It is, because it takes that stealth-wealth only lug-diamond and complete platinum nonsense to another level by proudly showing a number of the lion’s teeth around front. I mean, without the diamonds and in lowly increased gold, this already is a ~$75k view, so why don’t you let it live a little?Last thing worth thinking about is how there could be a certain charm to brilliantly implemented watches from big brands that still show off a bit — and the 5170P is near to being a good case at that. But when we talk of brilliance in execution, reflective crystals really shouldn’t be a part of the discussion. Legibility should not be forfeited for any reason, and that is why the baguette markers work so nicely: they work to style while also being exorbitantly extravagant and unnecessary. The exact same cannot be said about the ruined crystal. I understand it allegedly works in the boutique, but it’s an inexplicable and total fail everywhere else. It’s like rocking this view with an ideal tux — then walking everywhere with a blot on your lapel.
Référence 5131/1 Heure Universelle © Patek Philippe