The skill of the dialmaker

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by novicetimekeeper, Jan 2, 2020.

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  1. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    OK, this is a wristwatch, but bear with me. I'm a PP fan but not a great fan of complicated dials. However those that know me know I collect reasonably early longcase as well.

    Patek Philippe are making a big thing of this dial, and people are going ga ga about the non conformity of the lettering as how it is a hark back to the past.

    While I do see errors on the engraving on my clocks I also see the skill in maintaining a uniform style by hand. When I look at my 18th century and early 19th century pocket watch dials I see the same, great skill in producing a uniform dial by hand.

    Perhaps it is just me, but I don't get what is so great about wobbly letters on this dial, and I don't see it as a hark back to the past. I think they would be horrified.

    Patek Philippe Ref. 5212A Calatrava Weekly Calendar Watch In Depth Hands-On | aBlogtoWatch
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    As compared with these?

    DSCF4535.JPG DSCF3771.JPG

    Hmm.. no contest I think.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Exactly what I had in mind and why I posted here and not in the wristwatch section. It seems ridiculous to me to suggest this dodgy lettering is reflecting some sort of lost skill.
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    Even in 1705 they could do this:

    DSCF1715 - Copy.JPG

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  5. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    They are lovely, but PP don't seem up to that. Clearly you don't get much for £42,000 any more!

    The dial is too busy for me and I don't have that sort of money, but if I did I would expect better.
     
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  6. fuseefan

    fuseefan Registered User

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    PP could sell ice to eskimos.

    Regards
    Aditya
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I think that's probably true. I cannot understand why anybody wants a Nautilus, and most of the complicated watches leave me cold, but I adore my calatrava, which is complicated enough for a date window.
     
  8. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Have you seen the new book by Sunny Dzik "ENGRAVING ON ENGLISH TABLE CLOCKS" It worth every penny just for the photographs, the wife bought it for me at Christmas. (it cost me more-but I love her)
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I've seen it but not bought it. Perhaps we should get one for PP.
     
  10. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I have the PP too and I would not recommend it. It's expensive, with very little history but full of glossy photographs, and of all things wristwatches.
     
  11. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    ? I was referring to the company.
     
  12. Lychnobius

    Lychnobius Registered User

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    It is perhaps only fair to say that the art of painting watch dials by hand seems to be altogether lost. Even that universal genius George Daniels appears to have considered it beyond his scope; in his book Watchmaking, he gives instructions for the engraving of dials but says nothing of the enamelled and painted variety.

    A century and a half ago, The American Watch Company was turning out more than fifty thousand units each year, every one of them bearing a hand-lettered dial whose execution was almost, if not entirely, equal to the standards of the British hand-built watches of the day. (So at least I judge from a Waltham 57 from July 1865 which I once owned.) It must have taken a whole roomful of craftspeople, working at a fair speed, to produce these dials; a handful of devoted specialists, picking away at their work like scribes in a monastery, could not have met a tenth of the demand. Where has their race vanished to?

    Oliver Mundy.
     
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