The dial gives
the watch its face and an identity of its own.
It also displays the functions – hours, minutes, seconds, date and other indicators of time. Interface between the wearer and the watch’s mechanical movement, the dial has to accommodate all the information provided by the hands and the different apertures in a very small space, while respecting strict aesthetic and legibility requirements.
Dial creation is nothing less than a true métier d’art, or rather the sum of a number of skills, calling for both great artistic expertise and use of state‑of-the-art technology. Rare are the watchmaking companies that, like Rolex, master in-house all the aspects of dial creation, from design to production.
Dial creation is nothing less than a true métier d’art, or rather the sum of a number of skills, calling for both great artistic expertise and use of state‑of-the-art technology.
Mother-of-pearl is by its nature full of mystery and surprises. Depending on its origin, it can be pink, white, black or yellow and, according to the part of the shell from which it is extracted, it can differ in colour intensity and structure. In different lights it can evoke a stormy sky, a clear moon, iridescent reflections in water.
At Rolex, the mother-of-pearl is never artificially coloured. A lot of work and skill goes into simply enhancing its natural beauty and preserving the original hues. All mother-of-pearl dials are unique pieces. An identical dial will never grace another wrist.
Some will see in its reflections a stormy sky about to be torn asunder by a streak of lightning, others a stunning constellation of billowy clouds.
For the uninitiated, platinum can be difficult to recognize. But for those in the know, the ice blue dial is the discreet and exclusive signature of a Rolex platinum watch. Rolex uses platinum, the noblest of metal, for the finest of watches.
These exclusive dials can be found on only two ranges of Rolex watches: the Day-Date and the Cosmograph Daytona.
The distinctive face of a Rolex watch, most responsible for its identity and readability. Characterised by hour markers fashioned from 18 ct gold to prevent tarnishing. Featuring thousands of unique variations in colour, texture and motifs exclusive to Rolex. Designed and manufactured in-house, largely by hand, to ensure perfection. Where an unrivalled dedication to the craft is always on full display.
Once darkness falls, the Chromalight display comes to life. Exclusive to Rolex, the luminescent material used to fill the hands and hour markers emits a blue light that is exceptionally bright and long-lasting, allowing a clear reading of the time regardless of the conditions.
The expressive features of the face
Rolex crown at 12 o’clock, Arabic or Roman numerals, classic or Professional hour markers in geometric shapes or shimmering precious stones in settings – if the dial is the face of the watch, the appliques are the features that give depth to its personality.
Much of a watch’s character can be attributed to the host of details on the dial... colour, gems, hour markers, numerals – Arabic or Roman, all so familiar to us. But how many people are conscious of a special feature of the Roman numeral appliques on a Rolex dial?
Meteorites crossed hundreds of millions of miles to reach Earth — by chance. Rolex integrates metallic material taken from meteorites into some of its watches — by design.
The origins of the "iron meteorites" incorporated into the dial of a select number of Rolex watches could not be further removed from the other materials used in constructing watches — the metal is taken from an asteroid or possibly a planet that has exploded, propelling material across the Solar System until chance brings it into our own planet's orbit and gravity pulls it to Earth.
These formations provide inspiration for the designers at Rolex who create from these configurations a unique treasure for some of the most prestigious Rolex models. Appropriately, given iron alloys' origins, the metal is used to represent the full Moon in the dial of the new Cellini Moonphase.