While symmetry and beauty often go hand in hand, it takes true talent to bring balance and harmony to asymmetrical designs. When done right, off-center dials on luxury watches are pure pleasure to look at. From traditional designs to ultra-modern approaches, here are four incredible examples.
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1
The Lange 1 was first unveiled in 1994 as part of the resurrection of the German A. Lange & Söhne brand. The watch was met with immediate success thanks in part to its distinct asymmetrical dial comprising of different sections for the hour and minute subdial, the seconds subdial, the power reserve indicator, and the oversized pair of date windows. Far from randomly placed components, the Lange 1 dial arrangement adheres to the proportions of the golden ratio, thus explaining how the off-centered elements come together in perfect harmony.
Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar
Another German execution of beautifully balanced asymmetrical dials can be found within Glashütte Original’s Pano collection. In fact, dials are a source of pride for Glashütte Original since they create them all in-house at a dial manufacturer in Pforzheim, Germany. As its name suggests, the dial of the PanoMaticLunar watch includes a moonphase indicator. Shaped to mimic the shape of a half moon, the lunar display sits alongside a large date window and two overlapping subdials—one for the hour and minutes and one for the seconds.
Breguet Classique Chronométrie
Dials with an off-center hour ring first made an appearance on Breguet pocket watches back in 1812 and are now a signature design trait of the Swiss manufacture. A particularly attractive Breguet asymmetrical dial lives on the 2014 Aiguille d’Or-winning Classique Chronométrie 7727. Flaunting six different types of guilloché, the dial is home to center hour and minute hands, a subdial for running seconds, and a power reserve indicator. Also on the dial is a tiny 1/10th of a second subdial showing off the speed of the high-beat movement (10 Hz), as well as a triangular insert exposing the upper portion of the groundbreaking magnetic pivot system.
Greubel Forsey GMT Earth
The new Greubel Forsey GMT Earth is unapologetically over-engineered and proudly leaves subtlety far, far behind. There’s so much information to unpack from this watch that both sides of the watch impart information. On the dial side, there’s the hour and minutes subdial housing a constant seconds register. Adjacent to that is the power reserve indicator, followed by a tourbillon cage. Then we come to an incredible three-dimensional globe displaying universal time divided into day and night, and finally the GMT indicator. Flip the watch around and you’ll be met with a world time disk complete with Daylight Saving Time for select time zones next to the other side of the globe.