Enamel dial help needed
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Thread: Enamel dial help needed

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Hong Kong

    Enamel dial help needed

    I am keeping my eyes out to add a watch with enamel dial to my collection. Among the Swiss names, the price is in the stratosphere even for a simple grand feu white dial. I have come across some Chinese alternatives which, based on my research, uses the some of the same techniques described in the link below, but at a substantially lower cost. This is where I need some expert help, in case I am overlooking something obvious.
    Enamel Explained: The Art of Cloisonné, Grand Feu, Champlevé, Paillonné, Flinqué & Other Enamel Techniques | Perpétuelle

    For example, Beijing offers the following enamel dial watch using (as far as I can tell from its description) the proper champleve technique on a pure silver base plate. The price is slightly over $1,100 USD, which is orders of magnitude off from a Swiss equivalent. The description emphasizes that it's a 45-step process that takes 20 days to complete a single dial, and that less than 10% of dials make it to the finished product; colors are hand-applied, but the base plate is machine-carved. It's a limited edition of 299 pieces.

    What do the experts think ? Is this proper enamel ? Why so inexpensive, relatively ? What factors account for the vast price difference vs. a Swiss-made enamel watch ? How favorable do experts view the Chinese (or Beijing) enamel dials relative to Swiss ?

    thanks in advance
    (repost from Watchmaker Forum)
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  2. #2
    Member kclee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Re: Enamel dial help needed

    'swiss made' and the brand itself justified the premium.. 1.1K for a shanghai/seagull enamel watch is a fair price.. but many are willing to pay 20x...40x for a VC/PP enamel..

    as you aware, some Swiss brands are acquiring the enamel dial from China. You can't tell the difference for really high quality ones...

    Traditionally use of enamel implies ever lasting (there are cracks, but can be repaired by experts).. u can still see some nice enamel dial from the 1900s from ebay....
    Last edited by kclee; July 17th, 2015 at 16:11.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Hong Kong

    Re: Enamel dial help needed

    Thanks for that - and the link - very informative.
    I suppose (1) the Swiss premium, and (2) the quality of the enamel ware itself, (3) quality of the movement plus assembly all add up to the price difference.
    Obviously $1,100 doesn't buy you a top-quality enamel dial. Unfortunately, not sure if my budget allows anything other than an entry-level, but at least decent, enamel.

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  5. #4
    Member SethThomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Re: Enamel dial help needed

    You can get Mira "Swiss" watches with aventurine dials (a translucent mineral like glass containing small reflective particles, basically an enamel) for about $2000. Kind of funky watches though:

    hkbob likes this.

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