The widely used materials that most watch dials are made from may seem special and exotic but are actually quite common; materials like: carbon fiber, mother or pearl, onyx, porcelain and more. Now, watchmakers are getting much more creative and reaching to sometimes strange places to get new and interesting materials for their watch for a stand-out, one of a kind look. One example is the Citizen Chronomaster’s use of locally sourced fibrous paper. The soft texture is built from layers of paper and then protected with a clear disc that holds the logo for 3D effect.
Jaquet Droz uses thousands of pieces of broken quail eggshells in its dial in an ultra tiny mosaic style to create an African elephant scene. Another interesting material is Corum’s use of coins; yes real money is used in thin slices for the dial and sometimes the case back. Even the watch case is given a coin-edge treatment to finish the look. One of the more interesting and unusual materials used is the “Fordite” found in a TAG Heuer watch. It’s just layers of car paint from years of painting cars in the Ford factory, sliced to give colorful and fluid like patterns – truly one-of-a-kind as no pattern is quite the same as another. It will be fun to see what bizarre and innovative materials watchmakers will use next.