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Art Of Enamelling

ARTICULATE, STUNNING AND DIFFICULT TO MAKE, ENAMEL DIALS NOT ONLY ELEVATE THE PRESTIGE OF A WATCH BUT ALSO STANDS AS AN ART FORM THAT IS AS OLD AS WATCHMAKING ITSELF

ARTICULATE, STUNNING AND DIFFICULT TO MAKE, ENAMEL DIALS NOT ONLY ELEVATE THE PRESTIGE OF A WATCH BUT ALSO STANDS AS AN ART FORM THAT IS AS OLD AS WATCHMAKING ITSELF

The use of enamel on dials of timepieces can be traced back to the 17th century with the arrival of the pocket watch. Offering a lustrous and everlasting sheen, it not only offered better legibility but also helped enhanced a timepiece’s design.  Although it was a prominent feature of timepieces during that period, watchmakers began utilising new materials such as metal for watch dials.

The rationale for that was simply down to manufacturing as enamelling was by in large highly-labour intensive and extremely hard to do.  The process essentially involved melting raw materials such as silica, lead and soda ash before its set like glass. The material is then grounded into a fine powder before it is applied on a metal disc through high heat until the desired thickness and finish are achieved.

Over the years, enamel dials lost ground to other forms such as metal but it still remained an important aspect of watchmaking. Today, a handful of artisans still practice the art of enamelling, reserving them exclusively for high-end luxury watches. These watches listed here are perfect examples of that time-honoured practice.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel

Making its debut just earlier this year, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel features a guillochage enamel dial in radiant blue. The effect is not only stunning but is complements the 39mm white gold case as well as the matching markers and the arms rather exquisitely. Beating behind the stunning face is a JLC Caliber 925 automatic movement, which powers the hour, minutes, and seconds as well as that gorgeous moonphase.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantième Ivory Enamel

When it comes to innovation and aesthetic refinement, few are able to measure up to the calibre of Jaquet Droz. Since 1738, the brand has stood at the forefront of excellence and creativity in watchmaking. The Grande Seconde Quantième Ivory Enamel is a fitting example of that accolade. With a 43mm red gold case paired with an Ivory Grand Feu enamel dial, kitted with the brand’s signature ‘8’ layout. Paired with a black leather strap, the automatic winding dress watch offers a perfect blend of contrasting styles and finesse.

Ball Trainmaster Standard Time

With its classic design, the Trainmaster Standard Time represents a perfect ode to Ball’s historic relationship with the railroad industry. It looks the part of a historic timepiece too, with an effective 39.5mm case in either stainless steel or rose gold paired with a white enamel dial. It is the face of the watch that is the main takeaway of this COSC chronometer-certified piece as it is features tritium tubes on the dial and hands for optimum eligibility.  The retro effect of the watch is further accentuated with a rugged double stitched leather strap.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer

A lot of eyes were raised when Omega lifted the covers of its first world timer. That’s mainly because the Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer was simply stunning in form. Powered by an Omega 8939 automatic world timer movement, the timepiece featured a 43mm case made from platinum with gold markers and hands with a highly-detailed and textured multi-coloured map made entirely from enamel as its main centrepiece. The newer editions now feature maps made out of platinum but in terms of artistry, this original piece broke new ground for the art of enamelling.

The use of enamel on dials of timepieces can be traced back to the 17th century with the arrival of the pocket watch. Offering a lustrous and everlasting sheen, it not only offered better legibility but also helped enhanced a timepiece’s design.  Although it was a prominent feature of timepieces during that period, watchmakers began utilising new materials such as metal for watch dials.

The rationale for that was simply down to manufacturing as enamelling was by in large highly-labour intensive and extremely hard to do.  The process essentially involved melting raw materials such as silica, lead and soda ash before its set like glass. The material is then grounded into a fine powder before it is applied on a metal disc through high heat until the desired thickness and finish are achieved.

Over the years, enamel dials lost ground to other forms such as metal but it still remained an important aspect of watchmaking. Today, a handful of artisans still practice the art of enamelling, reserving them exclusively for high-end luxury watches. These watches listed here are perfect examples of that time-honoured practice.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel

Making its debut just earlier this year, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel features a guillochage enamel dial in radiant blue. The effect is not only stunning but is complements the 39mm white gold case as well as the matching markers and the arms rather exquisitely. Beating behind the stunning face is a JLC Caliber 925 automatic movement, which powers the hour, minutes, and seconds as well as that gorgeous moonphase.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantième Ivory Enamel

When it comes to innovation and aesthetic refinement, few are able to measure up to the calibre of Jaquet Droz. Since 1738, the brand has stood at the forefront of excellence and creativity in watchmaking. The Grande Seconde Quantième Ivory Enamel is a fitting example of that accolade. With a 43mm red gold case paired with an Ivory Grand Feu enamel dial, kitted with the brand’s signature ‘8’ layout. Paired with a black leather strap, the automatic winding dress watch offers a perfect blend of contrasting styles and finesse.

Ball Trainmaster Standard Time

With its classic design, the Trainmaster Standard Time represents a perfect ode to Ball’s historic relationship with the railroad industry. It looks the part of a historic timepiece too, with an effective 39.5mm case in either stainless steel or rose gold paired with a white enamel dial. It is the face of the watch that is the main takeaway of this COSC chronometer-certified piece as it is features tritium tubes on the dial and hands for optimum eligibility.  The retro effect of the watch is further accentuated with a rugged double stitched leather strap.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer

A lot of eyes were raised when Omega lifted the covers of its first world timer. That’s mainly because the Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer was simply stunning in form. Powered by an Omega 8939 automatic world timer movement, the timepiece featured a 43mm case made from platinum with gold markers and hands with a highly-detailed and textured multi-coloured map made entirely from enamel as its main centrepiece. The newer editions now feature maps made out of platinum but in terms of artistry, this original piece broke new ground for the art of enamelling.