The writing on dials

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Amor Vincit Omnia
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The writing on dials

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

I’ve just been reading another thread where people were discussing about the word “chronometer” being put on dials. This is something I have been thinking about for a while, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a great fan of writing on dials.

Brand name and/or logo, fine. I suppose you have to have Swiss Made at the bottom.

But come on, I know my watch is an automatic – I don’t need the dial to remind me. I know a different watch is hand wound, and although the dial doesn’t remind me of the fact I remember that as well. I know my watch is a chronometer and I don’t need the dial to remind me of that either. At least in the case of the C9SS it is engraved on the rear of the case. Not many people will get close enough to read my watch dial anyway, and I suspect even fewer would be remotely interested.

So I have to say: why? What are people’s thoughts on this?

Mind you, I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that labels should be on the inside of clothes as well. And I’m not so keen on cars that emblazon the bodywork with their attributes, but it seems you can hardly avoid it.
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by iain »

Writing on dials is one of the features of a watch I tend not to really notice when it’s on my wrist. The writing is usually too small to read what it says and to be honest it doesn’t really bother me that much.

I even once bought a CW super compressor that I knew has the text misaligned on the dial. Despite some owners being disappointed with their watches when the issue came to light, it never bothered me at all.

In fact I’m wearing my CW Pro300 as I type, I can read the word Chronometer as it’s quite large but the depth rating underneath might as well be written in hieroglyphics for all I can make out.
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by missF »

I like it as a bit of watchie history where the watch is shouting out what is the most snazzy technological feature that it displays. Automatic is still a badge of honour - a defiance against the ravages of the quartz crisis, otherwise I don’t think we’d see it any more. Waterproof written on an old skin diver is quite cool but I’d scoff at it more readily today. Then there’s all the -chrons and -matics and -trons that were shouting about how technologically whizzy the world was in the 50s and 60s...

Today it can be something to beef up your flex - 5 lines of pretty redundant text? But for me it’s usually a visual thing - a balance to the dial. In modern watches I miss it when there isn’t a redundant bit of storytelling at 6 o’clock. :thumbup:
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

iain wrote: Tue Sep 26, 2023 7:41 pm …the depth rating underneath might as well be written in hieroglyphics for all I can make out.
Just remember it’s eye before flea, except after sea.
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by JAFO »

I mentioned this in the "new sealander" thread.

I definitely want my watch to declare its COSC credentials, especially as the certificate can go astray. We pay a lot for the COSC. Maybe it could put the COSC at the bottom.

SWISS MADE COSC, or just SWISS COSC as a permitted variant.
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by rkovars »

Some of it is tradition. Like the 'smiley' Rotor Self-Winding on vintage Tudors. Back then it was pure marketing. Advertising certain features.

Some of it is there to balance the mark (word or otherwise) at 12.

A dressier piece doesn't need too much. I think the text stuff is more associated with tool watches where they want to shout about the specs.

It is pretty easy to get wrong I think. If you put too much text it can again become unbalanced.

This made me inspect a few that I own.

Rolex GMT Master - there is a book written under there but that is very Rolex. More marketing than anything else I think. Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified. Certified by who?
20230926_154800592_iOS.jpg

C63 Sealander - Automatic and depth (to @iain's point you can't see it) two lines to balance out two line Christopher Ward. I think this works but I prefer the Sealander of the LE instead of the Automatic.
20230328_122252753_iOS.jpg

C65 Super Compressor - like @iain's I have the original misaligned text. I like the quirkiness of the error and never once thought about getting it changed out. Again 2 lines to balance out 2 lines. I like that it says Super Compressor but I couldn't tell you that without a Loupe. Also to @iain's point the 300 says Automatic not Chronometer :lol: So there you go.
20230724_200143293_iOS.jpg

70's Seiko 5 - I like the simple Automatic at 6 to balance out the logo and really like the script font.
20200226_175237416_iOS.jpg

C60 Ombre - Chronometer and depth rating at 6 to balance the logo. The depth is really small. The Ombre effect makes it very difficult to even see let alone read.
20200917_151018421_iOS (2).jpg
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

JAFO wrote: Tue Sep 26, 2023 8:05 pm I mentioned this in the "new sealander" thread.
It’s why I started this one, to avoid the other one going off topic.

Totally subjective, of course, but for me this is about as close as a dial gets to perfection in my watch box:


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Re: The writing on dials

Post by JAFO »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Tue Sep 26, 2023 8:16 pm
JAFO wrote: Tue Sep 26, 2023 8:05 pm I mentioned this in the "new sealander" thread.
It’s why I started this one, to avoid the other one going off topic.

Totally subjective, of course, but for me this is about as close as a dial gets to perfection in my watch box:


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I could tolerate those elegant Roman numerals.
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by ajax87 »

@Amor Vincit Omnia I agree, your C9SS is as close to perfection as a watch can get. It has the small seconds to balance out the brand/logo on top. Without that though, the dial can appear a bit sparse which apparently watch brands think most people see as a negative. I am one of those people. I like a bit of text to balance it out.
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by iain »

rkovars wrote: Tue Sep 26, 2023 8:08 pm Also to @iain's point the 300 says Automatic not Chronometer :lol: So there you go.
You’re correct, the majority of them do, but not all.

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Re: The writing on dials

Post by ajax87 »

missF wrote: Tue Sep 26, 2023 7:49 pm Today it can be something to beef up your flex - 5 lines of pretty redundant text?
We both have chronometers! So cool! Is yours superlative? No? Hm. Is it at least officially certified? Oh, well I'm sure it works just fine for you.
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by JAFO »

It's hard to pick just one dial, but if this watch was more accurate it would be hard to beat. I think the blue AR coating heightens the blue dial.
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by missF »

ajax87 wrote: Tue Sep 26, 2023 8:26 pm
missF wrote: Tue Sep 26, 2023 7:49 pm Today it can be something to beef up your flex - 5 lines of pretty redundant text?
We both have chronometers! So cool! Is yours superlative? No? Hm. Is it at least officially certified? Oh, well I'm sure it works just fine for you.
I think that superlative chronometer is the best ever text-flex, and I’d genuinely love to own a watch with that on the dial :D
Or smiley text like rotor self-winding or the Yema Wristmaster. :thumbup:
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by JAFO »

There is no superlative chronometer. It's either a chronometer or it's not.

It's like MIB 3, and Boris the Animal. "It's Just Boris". :D
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Re: The writing on dials

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

ajax87 wrote: Tue Sep 26, 2023 8:24 pm @Amor Vincit Omnia I agree, your C9SS is as close to perfection as a watch can get. It has the small seconds to balance out the brand/logo on top. Without that though, the dial can appear a bit sparse which apparently watch brands think most people see as a negative. I am one of those people. I like a bit of text to balance it out.
As I said, totally subjective but it seems to have got people talking. 8)
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