Many of us know how getting our first Dornblüth leads to wanting to get another (yes, Roger, looking at you). Often this is oriented around wanting a different movement/complication, but sometimes it arises from wanting a different dial, particularly since they are all variations of the marine deck watch theme and are all very beautiful.
One of the difficult things about making these choices is our reliance on photos, since Dornblüths are not widely seen nor are there many AD’s to drop in on. The problem is most acute when comparing the three light-colored Dornblüth dials: the silver, the engraved, and the enamel (I think the black and blue dials photograph fairly well).
So putting aside questions of availability and watch model, I’d like to get the community take on the dials that come with the lovely blued hands. If you have several models and can compare, or if you’ve been lucky enough to visit Kalbe and seen these in person, please weigh in! And if you haven’t, well, give an opinion, and why, anyway!
Below is my take, even though the only Dornblüth I have is black-dialled…
- traditional Dornblüth, and the original “matte, grainy finish”
- appears to be great fine detail: printing, concentric circles in subdials, etc
- sterling silver base – can’t see it, but a very cool detail
Questions: do you still prefer this dial, given the later introductions of the engraved and enamel dials?
- evokes the tradition of ship’s chronometers, which typically had engraved dials
- better depth from the engraved and filled numbers
- created in-house
- possibly customizable?
Questions: is the level of detail achieved by engraving equal to the printed silver dial?
Is the silver finish on the dial the same or different from the standard printed dial?
- rarity and beauty of true fired enamel
- long-term stability
- marine deck watch traditional for at least some historical examples
Questions: How does the whiteness of the dial appear? Clean/pure, or antiseptic?
How is the quality of execution? No criticism at all intended, but I have seen enamel-dial photos from other manufacturers that frankly look average compared to high-quality printed dials.
Value: this is not an inexpensive option. Is it worth it to you?