In watch collecting, it’s easy to get caught up in movements, complications and rare references. It’s also easy to forget that one of the best things about vintage watches is that they’re all so damn unique. In the past, watchmakers seemed more willing to experiment and try new things when it came to dial design, and, while there are certainly some oddities out there, unique dials can be stunning, too. Because there were so many players back in the 20th century, more obscure designs can be had at relatively bargain prices — as such, here are three.
What we like: This Longines is one of the countless quartz watches the brand made during the ’70s. While there’s not much differentiate it from others inside the watch case, the dial is astoundingly unique. A host of black dots are set against a field of blue, laid out in a way thats half old Atari game, half your old aunt’s dining room wallpaper (in the best way imaginable).
From the seller: Original dial. The quartz movement is dead accurate. The crown is original “Longines” signed. The crystal is sapphire.
Louis Super Automatic
What we like: Louis seems to be one of the many defunct watch brands that came and went during the 20th century, a fact that makes this stunning watch all the more intreaguing. Its a slim, 34mm watch packing an automatic movement. But the centerpiece is undoubtedly that dial. It’s stainless steel with a pinstripe-like texturing, made all the more allouring with eye-popping red text.
From the seller: Fantastic original condition overall with minor honest wear consistent with age and light use; sharp solid stainless steel case with twisted lugs and original bevels. Original textured metallic silver dial with all Radium lume plots present and in tact.
Certina Automatic DSS 288
What we like: While slim dress watches of the 20th century were the more approariate venue for dial creativity, this hulking, 44mm Certina from the ’70s is proof that gorgeous examples can be found elsewhere. The face of this diver is comprised of a light blue gradient dial and a brushed finish. And, for what it’s worth, it appears to be in absolutely perfect condition.
From the seller: In super minty condition with original signed Certina bracelet … new old-stock condition. Screw down case back features Certina turtle logo and original blue protective film. Guaranteed genuine and offered with our one-year warranty of accurate timekeeping and operation.