Originally Posted by apropos
I think the traditional material for dials is brass, not silver. As you're probably well aware enameled dials are traditionally either gold or copper.
Silvered dials are not traditionally plated, but rather painted with silver nitrate, which is a very different process.
While I agree with the point re: batons & hands, I'm not sure I see the inherent superiority of a silver dial over a brass dial except in perceived value for money.
In most cases I would argue that manufacturers should pay attention first to other dial things like riveted v glued batons, vitreous vs cold enamel dials, and general finish of the dial as opposed to the underlying dial material, etc as opposed to dial material.
For some reason you've just reminded me of another one of my pet dislikes - power reserves on automatics...
Oh, and another one - painted blue hands on many JLC Master models.
Yes and no, the traditional material for high-grade watches in the vintage era prior to the 70s was solid silver, for less expensive watches it was brass. I notice that now most watches from the big 3 use brass dials and call them "silvered". You are right that enamelled dials are done on gold, but I've never heard of copper.
Parmigiani used to use only gold dials exclusively, but I've noticed that even they have dropped this of late.
My mistake, I meant painted and not plated. Cognitive error!
Well there is no inherent superiority of silver over brass dials, nor solid gold hands/batons over plated, but when you pay 5 digits these are little luxuries you should receive. Otherwise the brands are fleecing you by using the same materials as in low-end brands.
Riveted batons can be found in some inexpensive brands, even around the under-500 dollar mark. I would be grossly disappointed to see glued batons on any watch with a 4 or 5 digit price tag, but I wouldnt be surprised with all the cost cutting going on and the equivalent rise in production volume. Witness JLC's dip in quality control over the last 5 years.
I had no idea the JLC Masters use painted hands. That is truly inexcusable, considering you can get heat blued hands on a Stowa going for 10% the JLC