Glashütte Original Dial Manufactory
On artists and their canvases
Glashütte Original is one of the few watch manufactories to make its own dials. The production of highly refined dials from Glashütte Original takes place in our in-house dial manufactory, located 600 km away in Pforzheim.
Design and Blanks
As soon as the design and the material for a future dial have been defined, a team comprised of goldsmiths and dial specialists begin to manufacture them. The Pforzheim dialmaker is one of the few producers to make its own dial blanks as well. Depending on the model, different materials such as brass, German silver, bronze or gold are used.
Milling, Drilling and Surface Treatment
As soon as the dial blank has been produced and the initial milling and drilling completed, the so-called “feet” are mounted on the dial, so that it can be positioned properly on the movement. The surface is then ground and polished, after which – depending on the model – additional processing is performed.
Galvanization and Lacquers
Depending on the watch design, different dials are given their individual character and their “face“ by means of galvanization or the application of lacquer to their surface. In the case of galvanization, metallic material (e.g. silver or ruthenium) is applied evenly to the surface by means of electrolysis. Lacquers are sprayed evenly on the surface by hand and then dried for one or two hours in a kiln.
One of the last and most difficult steps in the process is printing. The so-called pad-printing method makes use of a silicone or rubber balloon to pick up ink from a “cliché” (negative engraving). The inked dial must then be left to dry for 30 minutes. The entire print process is governed manually and takes place under clean-room conditions. With particularly complicated dials – like the one for the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon – 12 different prints must be applied in sequence.
Most of the work involved in making a dial is performed by hand, whether it is the careful mounting of appliques, precious stones or the application of Super-LumiNova.