Do you have a Fancy Dial Pocket Watch? If so, come into Vermillion Enterprises today for a no hassle free valuation. Not sure if yours is a Fancy Dial? No worries! Come on in today anyway! We will be happy to evaluate your piece and offer the best price available.
Get Fancy With The Fancy Dial Pocket Watch
The Pocket Watch
The first pocket watch was invented by Peter Henlein in 1510 in Nuremberg, Germany. It was the status quo. High society. Even heirloom. Often handed down through generations. A treasure typically made of gold or platinum. It does not mean that those with less means were not privy. They too had pocket watches made of silver or brass. Which were often handed down through the generations as well. With the same treasure and sentiment as one made of gold or platinum. The difference being either metals, case designs, or manufacturer. However, it has remained highly fashionable throughout time to wear one.
Just as much as case designs and sizes can change, so can the dial. There were several dial options when choosing or finding a pocket watch, beyond just the outside case. First choosing whether it was metal or porcelain enamel. Etched, hand painted, or printed design. Deciding on how many hour markers there were – For instance, the Railroad Dial has an inner and outer hour marker. The inner typically being reserved for the first 12 hours of the day and the outer being the last 12 hours of the day. Surrounded by smaller numbers representing the minutes of an hour. But there’s one dial that caught our fancy!
What’s so Fancy?
Before the turn of the 20th century it was highly fashionable for men to wear pocket watches that, when opened, revealed a fancy dial. This “fancy dial” typically depicted flowers or soft hues of pink and powder blue. With or without gold accents, as well. Keep in mind though, the fancy dial is not limited to just flowers or hues of pink and blue. It includes elaborate art and colors as well. However, they can be imitated or over-painted. Neither of which makes it a true fancy dial.
A true fancy dial is layered with ground enamel powder (or finely ground glass essentially) onto a metal (typically copper) and fired/baked. Ensuring a stiff and durable dial. Polished. Then hand-painted with a porcelain enamel or printed design and baked once more. Typically finished with a clear glaze over top.
Often, over time, becoming very brittle. Hence, the reason some have been known to be over-painted. Aka – painting over the original design to either make it look like a “Fancy Dial” or to “repair” the brittleness such as cracks or peeling.
Porcelain-enamel dials retain their beauty and color forever. However, they can be somewhat fragile. Meaning, over bending or dropping them can cause some damage – chipping or cracking. Over-tightening the dial-foot screws can also cause cracks.
Hairline cracks or small chips in the surface of an enamel dial are not unusual. It may not be “as desirable” as the same dial in perfect condition but most buyers recognize that a few light hairlines are a normal part of many vintage watches. Large chips or missing chunks of enamel can seriously detract from both the appearance and value of a vintage watch though.
Fancy Dial = Fancy Upkeep?
Metal dials are relatively easy to refinish. Whereas enamel dials are much more challenging to repair. They may be filled, patched, or glued, but there’s nothing that will magically “heal” the broken enamel. Much like glass. The cracks don’t just “go away.” Do note: Often, hairline cracks are visible because they are dirty and careful cleaning can significantly improve the appearance of a dial by reducing the visibility of the hairline cracks.
When you look at antique pocket watches, or any watch for that matter, the first thing your eye is instantly drawn to is the dial, or ‘face’ of the watch. The condition can leave a lasting impression and can make a vital difference in the aesthetic appeal and value that pocket watch holds.
Maintaining your pocket watch is simple:
- Clean the outside of the pocket watch with a microfiber cloth – don’t use cleaners or water as these can damage the surface and internals.
- Mechanical pocket watches should be wound every day. Take care not to over wind as this can damage the internal mechanisms.
Common Designers of Fancy Dial Watches:
- Illinois Watch Co.
- Avance Retard
- Howard & Co.
- Many more other manufacturers as well!
Examples of Fancy Dial Pocket Watch(es):
Whether you were handed one down from generations before you or happened to find one on a treasure hunt through an estate or garage sale, or maybe you used to wear it and now you don’t. No matter the story, Vermillion Enterprises is interested in buying your Fancy Dial Pocket Watch!
So come on down to Vermillion Enterprises! If you live in or near Spring Hill, Lutz, New Port Richey, Hudson, Crystal River, Inverness, Brooksville or surrounding Florida counties – Pinellas, Hillsborough, Citrus, stop in and say hi! Vermillion Enterprises: Where great customer service meets honest, fair practices.