How to make a high-end watch dial

How to make a high-end watch dial

Hello, today we are going to see how we
produce a dial. We are at Quadrance, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, which belongs to the
Parmigiani Group and we are going to see the different steps until we have a
final dial, which is a very special piece of a watch, it is the face of the
watch. In fact so let’s go and discover how we make very beautiful and exclusive
dials. Quadrance & Habillage is specialized in the production of high-end dials and
this involves a lot of manual operations. Usually a dial is made out of brass but
precious metals can also be used such as gold or silver for instance. The height
of a dial varies between 0.4mm to about 1.5 mm. In
this case we are going to focus on one special dial which is the dial of the
Parmigiani Tonda 1950 in a cream color. The first step in the fabrication of a dial
is to create all the plans and all the procedures for the production. Then the
first operation consists in polishing the dial to have a perfect surface which
is completely clean and rid of any impurity because as the dial is
the face of the watch, it must be impeccable. Then the micro dial at 6 o’clock is
created with the machine tool. Precision is necessary at every step that’s why
the operators will verify constantly the precision of every action. The operator
will brush the dials with a special mixture made out of powder of silver, salt
and water. This will create a first structure on the surface of the dial. Then the operator will amplify this effect by using cream of tartar which is
a kind of silicon powder to reinforce the effect and to give also the final
color to the dial. So it is ready to be lacquered in order to stabilise the
treatments and also to put a protection on the whole surface. It is now time to
put all the writings on the dial using a stamping system. The operator puts ink on
a mold before printing the dial afterwards. At this stage the dial is
almost finished, what is missing are the index and each index has two pins in the
back that will go on the dial firmly maintaining them. The operator will mix
the metal of the pin with the metal of the dial.This is how is produced a
classical pure dial but of course dials can be much more complicated than
that with several colors, with several forms and also layers and each of them
are a new difficulty for all the operators and during all the process.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. It still amazes me at not only the amount of engineering that goes into a watch of this calibre, but just how much delicate work also is involved in creating a masterpiece like this.

    Thank you for the video and keep em coming!

  2. I have a Rolex OysterDate Precision ref. 6466 ( Midsize ) and I need to repaint the DISC DATE , could you help me ? Thank you !

  3. What is they made a fired enamel dial disk plate out of Nivrox, wouldn't it resist hairline fractures of the enamel over time better than brass?

  4. I have better designs for you ,at least you owe it to these machines to create better. although you might be selling well but design is so important. these need to be taken to another level.

  5. Extra info:

    Cream of Tartar is not silicon based, but Potassium based. (Potassium bitartrate KC4H5O6)
    It's a byproduct of winemaking and used in cooking and/or cleaning.
    So you can buy it at any shop at the cooking/cleaning department i guess.
    In Dutch it's called 'wijnsteen'.

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