View Full Version : What constitutes "Fancy"?

Greg Davis
05-08-2003, 10:21 AM
I see a lot of auctions that claim to have fancy dials. When I get there, many of them have metalic dials with embossed centers. Personally, I don't consider ANY metallic dial to be fancy.

Other times I see colorful painted dials described as fancy. Okay, maybe they are pretty... but Fancy? I don't think so. No such thing as a fancy painted dial.

To rise to my definition of fancy, the dial must be made of porcelain, have at least some colorful features (color wash zones, golden markers, some sort of image in the porcelain, etc.)

Okay, but with such a narrow definition as mine, would Moorhouse dials be "fancy"? Not really. They have fine curlicues and stylized numbers and signatures, and they are certainly collectible... but not "fancy".

I guess for me "fancy" has connotations of being effeminate. I think in terms of whether the dial would be prefered by a "dandy" or a woman, versus a working man with manly friends, if you take my meaning.

How do you define fancy?

- Greg

05-08-2003, 10:27 AM
kirxklox(Sam Kirk)

NAWCC MB (http://nawcc-mb.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x)

05-21-2003, 04:28 AM
To me there are:

colored, fancy dials

Runic dials

artistically enhanced dials

special dials

painted dials


get ready

are you ready?

m e t a l d i a l s http://webhorology-mb.infopop.cc/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Jon http://webhorology-mb.infopop.cc/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Jon Hanson, nawcc#8801
Founder & President chapter 149. 46 year collector & researcher of early American pocket watches

Greg Davis
05-21-2003, 11:14 AM

I quite agree... each of your categories stands apart.

One other thing I've noticed... you can tell me if I'm anywhere near accurate. As far as I can tell, fancy dials tend most often to be found on common movements. So far I have never seen a fancy dial originally paired with a high grade movement. Quite the contrary. The fancier the dial, generally speaking, the more common the movement.

I think this stands to reason, too. Fancy dials were preferred by women, and women were (as a general rule) not as interested in function as they were form when it came to timepieces. Thus, there are an abundance of low end watches (New York Standard, for example) and middling grades (Hampden, Waltham, Elgin, et al) that sported the colorful dials and Louis XV hands. By middling grades, I mean anything with less than 17 jewels. Most of the watches I've seen with fancy dials have 7, 11 or 15 jewels.

I am coming to believe that among the most common are New York Standard and Hampden. At least I can say that I see more of those than I do the others.

- Greg

05-21-2003, 11:45 AM
Greg: You are forgetting the greatest incentive of all.


kirxklox(Sam Kirk)

NAWCC MB (http://nawcc-mb.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x)

05-30-2003, 08:02 PM
Hi Greg,

aLSO,fancy dials exist for:

Seth Thomas
South Bend

Commonest are:


However, rare watches and other earlier ones also exist with FD, such as:

Howard (early)
Western-extremely rare
US Marion-rare


Jon Hanson, nawcc#8801
Founder & President chapter 149. 46 year collector & researcher of early American pocket watches

05-30-2003, 09:49 PM
I haven't seen many Hampden fancy dials. I am sure I am not looking in the right place. The most interesting Hampden dial I have seen are unsigned (interesting boring for Hampden) and dials signed "Hampden, canton, OH"
Of course I don't tend to look at many of the ladies watches (too focused on the ladies http://webhorology-mb.infopop.cc/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif )

Wes; Chap 149 Member 149

05-31-2003, 03:04 PM
after Elgin, Waltham, NYS, etc. Hampdens are the next most common!


Jon Hanson, nawcc#8801
Founder & President chapter 149. 46 year collector & researcher of early American pocket watches