The 20 Most Eye-Catching Watch Dial Options On the Market Today

The 20 Most Eye-Catching Watch Dial Options On the Market Today

 

Watch lovers may be settling into a modern Golden Era of watch dial making, with many brands over the past several ramping up the creativity — experimenting with bolder colors, innovative layouts and textures, and even an array of unconventional materials and processes in their dials' production. This is happening from Kickstarter brands all the way to the top of the watch industry food chain — with independent brands as well as those owned by large luxury conglomerates making a concerted effort to offer watch dial options that set their timepieces apart. We've compiled a list — which many will, of course, find far from exhaustive - of some of our favorite watch dials that you can find on current models from an array of brand

Oris Big Crown Maroon Watch Dial

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date - Maroon Dial

The Big Crown Pointer Date is one of Oris's most well-established signature pieces and it has debuted in some very nontraditional colorways of late, most of which have been very well received. The dial that stands out from our perspective is this maroon version which is rich, warm and luxurious and provides a nice background for the off-white print and lume-treated cathedral hands. Maroon, sometime referred to as burgundy, is a color that has popped up on other brands (like the Rado watch a bit further down the list), and the execution on this Oris watch is among the best we’ve seen; it's also a color that is versatile enough to wear daily. 

References: 01 754 7741 4068-07 5 20 64

Specifications: Price: $1750-$1950, Case Size: 40 mm, Case Height: 11.8 mm, Lug to Lug: 48.2 mm, Strap Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50M, Movement: Auto Oris 754 (Sellita SW200)

Tissot Seastar 2000 Teal Blue Watch Dial

Tissot Seastar 2000 Powermatic 80 - Teal Dial

Blue and green dials are all over the marketplace today, particularly in sportier executions across all different price categories. One of the more interesting colors to come out of this blue-green spectrum has been this teal hue chosen for this Tissot Seastar 2000 Powermatic 80 model. The Seastar 2000 is sharp in any of its three configurations, but this teal dial really stands out, particularly with the ocean wave dial treatment. The dial coloring is also sophisticated, with a vignette cast radially from the center, changing the dynamic of the color as it moves toward the edge of the dial and creating a very pleasing aesthetic.

References: T1206071744100

Specifications: Price: $1025, Case Size: 46 mm, Case Height: 15.8 mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 600M, Movement: Auto Powermatic 80.111


Formex Essence 39 - Degradé Grey Dial

Not quite a household name yet, Formex has been flying under the radar for some time, while releasing some well-executed sports models in its Essence collection. Both the Essence 39 and 43 are executed with a hand-sprayed gradient “degrade” style in grey that ranges from gunmetal silver to nearly black depending on how light hits it. The dial also features milled horizontal lines, reminiscent of those on the Omega Aqua Terra, as well as expertly applied dial indices and balanced hands with plenty of lume when you need it. It’s the combination of machining, color, and design that make this a beautiful dial at a very good price. 

References: 0333.1.6624.722

Specifications: Price: $1280-1390, Case Size: 39 mm, Case Height: 10 mm, Lug to Lug: 45 mm, Strap Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100M, Movement: Auto Sellita SW200-1 COSC Certified

NOMOS Siren Blue Watch Dial

NOMOS Club Neomatik - Siren Blue Dial

Nomos is immersed in the Bauhaus principle of form following function, which  makes the German brand both popular and somewhat polarizing. One area where Nomos has separated itself from the crowd, besides its famously minimalist design ethic, is its use of adventurous dial colors. The Siren Blue dial color is found on several different models, but its best value proposition is on the Club Neomatik, a 37mm, three-hand timepiece that contains the DUW 3001 automatic in-house movement. The bright neon-like blue is accented with orange and white dial elements for a really exciting combination. In a market saturated with blue — pardon the pun — the Siren Blue stands out proudly among its contemporaries.

References: 742

Specifications: Price: $3160-$3480, Case Size: 37 mm, Case Height: 9.3 mm, Lug Width: 28mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 200M, Movement: Auto DUW3001 


Seiko Presage SRPF41 - Matcha Green Dial

While we could pick a number of different Seiko models, for this list we are going to highlight the SRPF41, the limited-edition Presage model with the matcha tea- green dial. Beyond the incredibly attractive vignette-style dark green color that is present on this piece, it’s the texture that takes it to a different level — dial texture, of course, being something that Seiko does better than almost anyone else. This fine granular texture is an ode to the famous Japanese matcha tea powder — hence the color choice — that has been an important staple of Japanese food culture and is now popularizing around the world. For the price, this is one of the most compelling dial concepts currently available. 

References: SRPF41

Specifications: Price: $480, Case Size: 38.5 mm, Case Height: 11.9 mm, Lug to Lug: 45 mm, Strap Width: 20mm, Crystal: Hardlex, Water Resistance: 50M, Movement: Auto 4R35.

Grand Seiko Birch White Watch Dial

Grand Seiko SLGH005 - Birch White Dial

Grand Seiko recently released the SLGH005 with its white birch dial texture that represents the thriving forest located in Shizukuishi, Japan, just outside of the Grand Seiko headquarters. This dial is manufactured very much in the same spirit as the popular SBGA011 and SBGA211 Snowflake, upon which you have two kinds of textures: a larger texture that creates these prominent wavy bark-like features that articulate vertically across the dial as well as a much finer granular texture that adds incredible depth and character.  While this is among the more expensive watches on this list — with a retail price of $9,100 — it is testament to the fact that Grand Seiko is producing some of the best dials anywhere in the world, regardless of price point. 

References: SLGH005

Specifications: Price: $9,100, Case Size: 40 mm, Case Height: 11.7 mm, Movement: Auto 9SA5

Alpina Gyre Blue Watch Dial

Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre - Reverse Vignette Blue Dial

Alpina’s limited edition Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic’s reverse vignette configuration is a refreshing take on the ever popular blue dial. Instead of the dial getting darker as you move to the outside edge, this dial gets brighter the further out from the center you go. Starting with a deep navy blue center, the dial quickly transitions into a sky blue. Large white luminous dial elements add to the ocean inspired colorway we see here. Alpina puts together an interesting aesthetic with this Gyre limited edition. 

References: AL-525LNB4VG6

Specifications: Price: $1595, Case Size: 44 mm, Case Height: 12.15 mm, Strap Width: 22mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 300M, Movement: Auto AL-525.

Longines BigEye Blue Watch Dial

Longines Avigation BigEye - Blue Dial

As the winner of the 2017 GPHP Revival Price award, the Longines Avigation BigEye brought back the inspired looks of aviation chronographs from the 1930s. Originally released in a retro black dial to pay homage to the original vintage models, Longines added an exceptional fumé blue dial (called Petroleum), that features black sub-registers, beige Super Luminova treated hands and hour markers as well as bold contrasting white print against the black of those sub-registers. The dial has a granular metallic finish and texture to it that darkens as it approaches the edge of the dial creating a “tropical” effect. The blue dial is the more popular of the two dial options and stands out from other similarly styled aviators.

References: L2.816.1.93.2

Specifications: Price: $3225, Case Size: 41 mm, Case Height: 14.5 mm, Lug to Lug: 45 mm, Strap Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 30M, Movement: Auto L688

MeisterSinger Neo Bordeaux Watch Dial

MeisterSinger Neo - Bordeaux Degradé

Meistersinger offers a range of really compelling dial colors and configurations that give the brand a distinct aesthetic to stand out in a very crowded market of small watch startup types. The German Bauhaus styling is prevalent and, like it’s more famous stylistic contemporary Nomos, the use of color is helping define the brand. Recently, Meistersinger launched their Bordeaux Degrade (gradient) dials to add to the impressive arrays of colors already present. Deep purple and ruby red tones flood the sunburst dials with a dark gradient effect that we’ve seen grace this list more often than not. These rich, lush colors provide excellent contrast to the simplistic white elements of the large open dial. 

References: Neo Bordeaux Degrade

Specifications: Price: $3225, Case Size: 36 & 40mm, Case Height: 9.7 mm, Crystal: Acrylic, Water Resistance: 30M, Movement: Auto Sellita SW200

Breitling Super AVI Curtiss Warhawk

Breitling Super AVI Curtiss Warhawk

 

Breitling’s Classic AVI collection revives the aesthetic of a much-beloved, aviation-inspired model from 1953, nicknamed the “Co-Pilot,” and adopts the distinctive livery of classic warplanes. The Super AVI Curtiss Warhawk watch screams “military” with its dark olive green dial and red and white details that recall the 1938 fighter jet’s legendary shark-mouth nose art. Its case measures a stout 46 mm in diameter, with an oversized screwed crown and a knurled bidirectionally rotating bezel. The three-register dial includes displays for running seconds, two chronograph counters, and a second time zone via a red-tipped GMT hand. Breitling’s in-house, automatic Caliber B04 ticks inside the watch, behind a caseback adorned with an illustration of the namesake aircraft, storing a 70-hour power reserve.

Reference: AB04452A1L1X1

Specifications: Price: $10,100, Case Size: 46mm, Case Height: 15.9mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100m, Movement: Automatic Breitling B04 

Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph

H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Funky Blue

 

Moser has long been known for its dazzling fumé dials, and the brand’s signature “Funky Blue” dial makes its latest appearance on this recent iteration of the Streamliner, a daringly different type of chronograph that takes its name from the high-speed trains of the 1920s and ’30s remembered for their rounded, aerodynamic curves. Accordingly, the watch’s ergonomically curved steel case integrates fluidly into the supple bracelet.  Following the Moser ethos of simplicity outside and complexity inside, the watch has its chronograph readouts cleverly incorporated into the edge of the dial, rather than on subdials, for an overall clean look. The engraved crown is at 4 o’clock and the chronograph pushers are unusually placed at 10 and 2 o’clock, evoking the “bull’s head” designs of vintage stopwatches. Moser developed an entirely new movement, Caliber HMC 902, for the watch, which features a hidden rotor for automatic winding and thus allows the decorative plates and bridges to shine through the exhibition caseback.

Reference: 6902-1201

Specifications: Price: $43,900, Case Size: 42.3mm, Case Height: 14.2mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 120m, Movement: Automatic HMC 902

Glashütte Original SeaQ Reed Green

Glashütte Original SeaQ Reed Green

The SeaQ dive watch hails from Glashütte Original’s Spezialist collection of sport-luxury timepieces inspired by the Spezimatic Type RP TS 200, a watch developed by the German brand’s ancestor for recreational divers and released in 1969. Its stainless-steel case measures 39.5 mm in diameter and has an assortment of polished and brushed finishes. Both the dial and the ceramic inlay of the unidirectional rotating dive-scale bezel are in a rich “reed green” color developed by the brand. Like its brethren in the Spezialist collection, the SeaQ meets the (German) DIN 8306 and (international) ISO 6425 standards for dive watches, and its solid engraved caseback protects the in-house Glashütte Original Caliber 39-11, with its 40-hour power reserve, from water pressures down to 200 meters. 

Reference: 1-39-11-13-83-70

Specifications: Price: $9,000, Case Size: 39.5mm, Case Height: 12.15mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Automatic Caliber 39-11

Montblanc Heritage Pythagore Small Seconds 

Montblanc Heritage Pythagore Small Seconds

Montblanc’s Heritage collection is composed of modern timepieces heavily influenced by historical ones made by Minerva, the legendary watch manufacturer that became part of Montblanc’s watchmaking division in 2009 when it was bought by parent company Richemont. The Pythagore Small Seconds revives a style of watch (and a style of movement) that Minerva produced in the 1940s and dresses it up for today’s audience with the addition of a radiant brown-tone dial with two different finishes for its center and its outer edge. The dauphine hands, small seconds sundial and railroad minute track are callbacks to the vintage model, and inside the rose-gold case ticks a manually wound, elaborately decorated movement based on the historical Minerva Caliber 46, which boasts its own modern upgrade, namely an 80-hour power reserve.

Reference: 128667

Specifications: Price: $21,445, Case Size: 39mm, Case Height: 9.5mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50m, Movement: Manual-wound Caliber MB M14.08

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Orange 

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Orange

 

Bell & Ross consulted professional divers and other underwater experts on the design of its BR 03-92 Diver Orange, whose bright orange dial, used here for the first time on a Bell & Ross dive watch, matches the color of rescue divers’ suits. The professional-grade dive watch comes in Bell & Ross’ hallmark squared case in satin-brushed steel and includes a unidirectional rotating bezel calibrated for 60 minutes to set dive times. Contrasting with the painted orange surface are white applied hour indexes and black skeleton hands. Inside the case, which resists water pressure to 300 meters, is a soft-iron inner cage shielding the self-winding movement — the BR-Cal.302, based on the Sellita SW 300.1 — from the effects of magnetic fields.

Reference: BR0392-D-0-ST/SRB

Specifications: Price: $3,900, Case Size: 42mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Automatic BR-CAL.302

 Rado Captain Cook Burgundy Bronze

Rado Captain Cook Burgundy Bronze

 

Rado resurrected its little-remembered 1960s dive watch, the Captain Cook, several years ago and the retro model has become a somewhat surprising success for the avant-garde design-oriented brand, available in a number of contemporary colorways and case materials. The standout is this model that combines a 42-mm brushed bronze case with a sunburst burgundy dial and matching dive-scale bezel insert (made of ceramic, of course, as per Rado’s specialty). Rado also makes a smaller version, at 37mm, and a larger one, at 45mm; this model is the happy medium, The hands and markers are in a yellow-gold color that matches the case’s bronze tone, and at 12 o’clock sits a similarly hued anchor logo on a ruby background that swings subtly with the motions of the wearer’s wrist. A solid titanium caseback protects the movement, a self-winding ETA C07.611.

Reference: R32504407

Specifications: Price: $2,600, Case Size: 42mm, Case Height: 12.5mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Automatic ETA C07.611

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds - Green Dial

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s iconic Reverso — whose hallmark two-sided, pivoting case was originally developed for polo players — marked its 90-year anniversary in 2021 and celebrated with a number of notable tribute pieces, including this attractive Small Seconds limited edition with a green lacquered dial and matching green leather strap. All the Reverso’s enduring Art Deco-inspired elements are on hand, including the gadroons on the top and bottom of the swiveling case and the dial’s elegantly faceted hour markers and sharply drawn sword hands. The rectangle-shaped, manually wound movement inside, Caliber 822/2, is made in-house and amasses a power reserve of 42 hours. The green leather strap is made by Casa Fagliano, a venerable Argentinean firm that makes some of the world’s best polo boots. 

Reference: Q3978430

Specifications: Price: $8,750, Case Size: 45.6mm x 27.4mm, Case Height: 8.5mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Manual wound JLC Caliber 822/2

IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph Edition "AMG"

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG”

IWC melds the worlds of aviation and automobile racing in the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG,” developed by the Swiss watchmaker in collaboration with its longtime partners at Mercedes-AMG. It’s the first Pilot’s Watch Chrono with a titanium case and making it even more notable is the woven carbon fiber dial, made using the same process that the German carmaker uses to produce aero components to achieve its layered textile look. Adding contrast and contributing to the watch’s sleek motorsport dashboard aesthetic are the silvered subdials for the chronograph displays. Beating behind a tinted sapphire caseback window with an AMG logo is IWC’s manufacture Caliber 69385.

Reference: IW377903

Specifications: Price: $9,100, Case Size: 43mm, Case Height: 14.9mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 60m, Movement: Automatic IWC Caliber 69385

Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown 

Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown

Hublot is known more for sporty boldness than understated stylishness but the watches from its Berluti series, produced in partnership with French high-end shoemaker Berluti, are among its most elegant, at least among the brand’s more male-targeted pieces. An exceptional example from recent years is the “Cold Brown” limited edition, the first Berluti watch to use the Big Bang Chronograph as its base model. The unique dial construction encases Berluti’s own brown patina leather between two pieces of sapphire glass, which have also been carefully cut out to reveal the gears of the movement in the center. The leather’s natural hide has been treated to ensure an unchanging “frozen in time” surface, and the hour numerals have been embossed into the leather for an even greater sense of depth. Hublot even incorporated the leather — treated differently to achieve a patina over time — into the hallmark Big Bang octagonal bezel.

Reference: 411.CI.0500.VR.BER20

Specifications: Price: $26,200, Case Size: 45mm, Case Height: 16.4mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100m, Movement: Automatic Hublot Caliber MHUB1242

Tutima Flieger Slate Grey 

Tutima Flieger Slate Grey

The Tutima Flieger (named for the German word for “flier” or “pilot”) makes a handsome monochromatic statement with its slate-gray dial and tone-on-tone Horween leather strap. The 41-mm stainless steel case frames the degradé-effect dial that radiates from light grey at its center to nearly black at its periphery. The triangle with two dots at the 12 o’clock position, luminous-coated along with the hands and indexes, identifies this watch’s military-descendant heritage and its red central seconds hand provides an elegant contrast that helps ensure this watch can transition seamlessly from the cockpit to the boardroom. German-based Tutima uses the Swiss automatic ETA 2386 as the base for the modified Tutima Caliber 330, which maintains a 42-hour power reserve.

Reference: 6105-31

Specifications: Price: $1,650, Case Size: 41mm, Case Height: 13mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100m, Movement: Automatic Tutima Caliber 330

Rolex Datejust 36 Fluted Watch Dial

ROLEX DATEJUST 36 - Fluted Motif

The new fluted motif dial on the 2021 Datejust 36 isn’t just good looking and totally interesting, it’s also a future classic in the making. Of course, expect the oystersteel blue dial Rolesor variant to be in immediate short supply, but just perhaps the market will blink long enough on the two tone variants for some regular accessibility, as unlikely as that may be. Right now, Rolex is only making these dials for the 36 collection but it probably won’t be shocking to see these dials make their way into the Datejust 41 in coming years.

Reference: m126233-0039, m126233-0040, m126203-0040, m126234-0050, m126200-0022, m126200-0021

Specifications: Price: $7300-$18,900, Case Size: 36 mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100M, Movement: Auto Rolex 3235

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