Silver Powder Gives Luxury Watch Dials their High-End Finish

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    From the Silver Institute..


    Silver Powder Gives

    Luxury Watch Dials

    Their High-End Finish


    For generations, luxury watchmakers relied on a treatment known as ‘graining’ to produce an aesthetically pleasing finish and also to protect the base metal dial from rusting. Traditionally, the graining treatment was difficult and expensive to undertake and only the most exclusive brands were capable of producing such a finish. Graining was first attributed to the widely-known 18th century French watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, who used mercury to achieve a frosted effect. Other watchmakers have since used aggressive acids. Both methods are unacceptable in modern watchmaking because of the materials’ toxicity to workers.


    Today’s luxury watchmakers want the same graining finish without the dangerous materials. Now, three new models by Swiss watchmaker Urban Jürgensen exhibited at Baselworld 2016, the global watch and jewelry show, sport a grained dial that gives the much-desired frosted effect. To achieve this look, Urban Jürgensen begins with a disc of fine silver engraved with numbers and markings.



    Layers are then added step-by-step as a proprietary mix of silver, salts and other ingredients are hand-brushed onto the dial. Throughan electrochemical process, the surface becomes pearled, giving a silvery, frosty surface with depth and granularity. Because the treatment is done by hand, no two watches are the same, which the company says adds to their individuality.



    Silver powder helps to give this Urban Jürgensen Reference 1741 Platinum watch dial its frosted effect.