004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread
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  1. #1
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    Off Topic post 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    Dear folks,

    this is going to be rather long initial post, so I will split it in three parts and skip intro in order to save some time...

    Claudio's text follows:

    When designing the dial, we will start from the center to outside.
    What we have till now is this:


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    We can't avoid the date.

    There are two sub-dials: the power reserve and the GMT dial. They are located in these positions:


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    Power reserve has an angle of 120 degrees. This is an important consideration, it is not 180 nor 90, but 120, just remember this when you make your proposal.


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    I'll tell you my thoughts about these two dials first, and then propose you with some alternatives, some interchangeable, some not interchangeable.
    So here I go:


    MY THOUGHTS


    ABOUT POWER RESERVE:


    This is a nice complication to have, but it would be nicest if this was a hand-winding watch. On an automatic, though nice it loses its importance a bit.


    This is not a gas gauge, you don't need to know how much gas you have to know if you have to reload here or in the next gas station…all you must do, if running out of power, is shake your hand a little bit…


    The power reserve is only of some interest only when you take off or put on your watch.


    So, what are the "useful" moments of a power reserve on an automatic, IMHO?
    Well there are only four important moments (three, really):


    EMPTY, or 0: this is not important, you know when your watch do not have power, it's not ticking, but it's here for obvious reasons.


    FULL: this is interesting, you can stop moving your watch or yourself…


    And what I think, are the two most relevant moments:
    When you take off your watch or decide to wear it, you can answer these two questions: If I let it here, or decide to use it tomorrow, will it pass the day ticking? or if I put it aside while sleeping, will it still be working tomorrow morning?


    ABOUT THE GMT:


    GMT sub-dials have many numbers on them (24), so most of the GMT sub-dials out there put only 12. These is a sensible solution I thing we must follow.


    GMT sub-dials sometimes are divided, by a line or a shade into AM/PM (vertical) or DAY/NIGHT (horizontal).
    If we divide it, I strongly recommend and prefer the D/N, (horizontal ), because everywhere there is a day and night (although inaccurate in most places above the equator, is really intuitive) but in many countries, the am/pm are not used at all. And I think military pilots do not used it either (I must check this).


    The last iteration of this project had a semicircular GMT dial, I'm STRONGLY against it, for many reasons.
    First, the size, this sub-dial will be tiny, and it won't grow if we cut it in half…
    Second, the hands will obscure the dials twice as many.
    Third, it's counterintuitive. The last thing we want in this watch.


    The argument was that the citizen has it and it was not that difficult to read…well I have been studying the citizen in detail, and it's a different beast. Is a central GMT with a big sub-dial. The fact that is a central GMT is crucial for many reasons, perceptual reasons (that I won't explain here) but these alone, makes the comparison a mistake.
    (remember we are talking about really tiny things, so 2 mm are a world of difference)


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    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Another consideration about this dial / sub-dials: The planes on which we are basing this watch were designed during the war.
    The first thing that call my attention was how elaborate and "finished" were the american cockpits in comparison to these (the meteor and first gloster).


    This was strange at first, given the incredible amount of ingenuity, expertise and clever ideas, UK had at that time.
    Then I understood: these planes were designed while the country was at war and literally fighting for their lives. This wasn't the case with USA.
    So the framework the designers worked was TOTALLY different.


    If you are "about" to fight, in the future, then you design the best you can, you have time to optimize your design, the manufacture process can allow some discards (lets say you decided to emboss some sub-dials, and you have 5% of your dials unusable…fine) you can experiment, and, just in case, you have a plan b.


    Now if you are fighting (and at risk of loosing or die) you have no plan b. You don't emboss your sub-dials, just print it because this way you have 0% discards (you just repaint) you use what you have to finish as soon as possible within the specs. Hence the "rough" and simpler designs.
    Maybe, but I don't know for sure, this is also the reason the B-uhr dials did have printed indexes.
    Anyway, I would love to replicate this kind of "rough" design and avoid any type of emboss, applied indexes or "luxury" details.
    Last edited by CzechMate; December 7th, 2016 at 20:44.
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  2. #2
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    Re: 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    THE POWER RESERVE:


    FORM AND POSITION:


    The angle, span of aperture this dial is 120º…not 90ª or 180ª.
    About the form of an Spanish "abanico" (fan)…a little triangle with an arc.


    Thinking about this, at first there was only two positions for this little triangle: up or down…then I realize there is another possibility, not discussed here yet: 90º+30º : aligned to one side + a "secure" zone.


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    So now we have, at least 4 positions for this subdial!!! At least 4 that makes sense to me.




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    Besides (and this is a proposition I'm against), we can go to the "chronometer" option: a circular sub-dial. The problem with this is that it takes a lot of space and restricts us for future text on the dial, and it's rather lame (IMHO).


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    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    STYLES AND TEXT:


    We can put numbers, the empty/night/day/full text, empty/full only text or nothing at all (only a + -).


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    Incredible enough the day/night text is written in some place in the cockpit!


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    We have many "style" options:


    A simple line, which is my preference.
    A railroad: too navy for my taste.
    A gauge: ok, but this is not a gauge per se


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    We can use another "crazy" form, taken from this dial (but the hand will not follow it, perfectly, since its path will still be circular):


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    Or whatever you have in mind!!!
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  3. #3
    Member CzechMate's Avatar
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    Re: 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    GMT SUBDIAL

    This subdial has little options, regarding the form. It can grow only till the hands touch the centre. So it's size is also heavily restricted.


    The day/night division is something nice to have but it won't be voted here, because it depends on the overall design of the dial so once we finish, when deciding colors or in the final "round up" voting, I will make some examples and we'll discuss a little about this.
    Believe me, I'm not being arbitrary, sometimes this ruined an otherwise fine design, and sometimes it enhanced the designs I've explored.


    TEXT (NUMBERS):
    I prefer 12 numbers or none. 24 are too many (they are a lot even around a bezel).




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    TYPES, STYLES:
    It can be a line, a simple circle, a "path" with the number on it, etc.
    I have tried many designs but in the end I realized the simpler the better.




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    And a final words before the proposals: we must remember this is a step by step design. This means we will be adding more things to this dial. It's better to maintain a discreet tone, like a chorus, the full volume is achieved when everybody sing. If we choose a "strong" option, then we risk to end up with a lot of elements shouting inside a tiny case.






    THE FINAL PROPOSALS
    (as usual in order of (mine) preference):



    REMEMBER: we are choosing style not size, because size will be decided along with the rest of the dial. It will not vary a lot, but minor changes can be made.


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    Re: 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    Wow, great work Claudio and CM! Lots to chew on here. Initial thought/feeling is 3a - love the fuel gauge in this orientation, with the idea that down is bad - same for flying. Also, GMT dial looks simple and clean.
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    Re: 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    To me, 2a or 2b is most appealing. And that "crazy" shape is very unusual, yet it remains faithful to the jet cockpit of Meteor (and I admit that we are not strictly bond to replicate Meteor cockpit here)... It is so striking, it could differentiate the watch from anything on the market and become a unique feature of our watch, something like mercedes hands on a submariner, something others will try to replicate or copy...
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    Re: 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    Great work guys.

    Nice to have something to look at again! My initial reaction is to knock out all the A's day and night on a power reserve doesn't make any sense to me. We'd be putting that on just to replicate the cockpit not because it performs any function. So like CM I LOVE 2b with that weird shape but would want to see how the hand would track, it might look odd. If it does 1b is the next stand out. I'll ponder some more later. I've got the final episode of The Bridge Season 3 to watch!
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    "A problem shared is a problem two people have got." - Arthur Daley


    Collection In order of acquisition: Omega SMP 300 | Accurist |TW Steel | Breil | Victorinox Groundforce | Orient Mako |Orient Mako XL | Steinhart OVM | Suunto ambit 2R | Smiths Everest (Timefactors) | Christopher Ward C60 Trident 600 Pro | Christopher Ward C3 Malvern Chrono | Seiko Recraft SNKN01 | Christopher Ward C8 Pilot Mk2 Vintage U-2, And that's it. NO MORE. Vostok Komandirskie 1965 | Laco Aachen | Christopher Ward C8 Flyer Mk1 | Seiko SRP315K1 Monster | Christopher Ward C7 Automatic | Steinhart Aviation Automatic | Christopher Ward C65 GMT.

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    Re: 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    1b or 2b

    The PR and GMT should be as uncluttered as possible.
    Decorative day / night markings make zero sense and simply add clutter.

    Simple line (maybe with the weird arch, maybe not) for the PR.
    E and F for the reserve markings only, but regardless of whether we go E F or + -, please let's keep them horizontal, and not rotated to match the curvature of the marking.

    Also, no red for the E / - . It looks much cleaner monochromatic!
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    Re: 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    Good job on this. Personally, I'm not a fan of the night-day. I also would prefer something like 1b or 4. If 1b, then green lettering near the F and red near the E. Otherwise a Red yellow green gradation from left to right on the #4 is something I would like.
    CzechMate likes this.
    -----
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    Re: 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    4 for me please
    omega planet ocean, speedmaster, chronostop, rolex submariner, nauticfish waterwall, autozilla, Enzo Mechana V001,
    TNT RATTRAPANTE “CHALLENGER”

  11. #10
    Member chirs1211's Avatar
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    Re: 004 - Project THOR - Dial design thread

    I don't like the night & day either, doesn't make sense to me apart from that they all look great, need to peruse the renders a little more to pick a favourite :)

    Chris
    OKEAH Final Edition. 1976-2011. Proud owner of the original watch. Serial number: 251/300

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