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Alex11

Custom Dial Makers - Bedford Dials

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I'm looking into getting some custom dials made for a bespoke watch I'm making, I've searched and fount this UK maker. I look the look value much, just waiting on a quote.

I can't link the site due to forum rules but google Bedford Dials.

Anyone used them? Any thoughts/comments?

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Yes I've emailed them and I'm waiting for a quote. I'd much rather pay more for a professional job that do it myself to be honest...

Are you making some bespoke watches?

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I'm modifying an Invicta Pro Diver. I came up with the fish dial design since it is a dive watch. I live here in Hawaii and the fish on the dial is the State Fish. The Humuhumunukunukuapua'a.

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I'd be keen to see how it goes with them. My own searches for dial printers has come up with not much at all.

It's a pity that on their site you can't browse their designs. They say they've got heaps but I can't find any.

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Got the quote. Here is what they said...

Dear Mr Stevens,

Many thanks for your enquiry.

The steps to make a dial are first to make up the design and printing pattern, and then to set up to make the pinned component dials which are painted and printed.

"As a guide, it costs from £140 + vat to make up a new bespoke design and printing pattern. The cost to then make a batch of dials starts at £40+ vat to set up our machines, and then as an example, a 30mm flat dial made from 0.4mm brass, coated matt black, then printed white could cost about £20 + vat each. If Luminova was required, this would make the batch set up cost £60 + vat, and the dial price £24 + vat.

If a special size and recessed sub ring is required, a minimum batch would perhaps be 50 pcs, and the cost to make these will depend on the final details. The addition of the recess adds quite a lot to the cost, as this has to be machines to a very accurate depth. If you can send accurate dimensions please, we can work out the cost to create this. If you wish to save cost, then you could just print the seconds ring on the same level as the rest of the dial?

Timescale is normally 6 to 8 week, and making prototypes involves the same steps of making the printing pattern and making up a batch of dials."

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That's so expensive isn't it...

What shall I do ?!

What d'you reckon of getting the dial printed onto good quality glossy card/paper and then stick it onto a dial?

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I suspected that it would be expensive. Set up costs especially. You can make your own dial if you have some artistic talent and some crafting abilities. I designed my own dial and printed it on clear waterslide paper to get the effect that I wanted. White decal paper is also available. I used the original dial that I sanded off to the bare metal. I once tried to use sticky back paper but it was too thick and it interfered with the placement of the hands. I finally put together the watch I was working on. You can see images of this watch and a description of it at PMWF under MOD CENTRAL. btw. I've never eaten Humuhumu.

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Couldn't I just order a dial to fit the movement, sand it, get my dial design printed onto some paper/card and then stick it on?

What d'you reckon to that?

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Couldn't I just order a dial to fit the movement, sand it, get my dial design printed onto some paper/card and then stick it on?

What d'you reckon to that?

not really, you would not have enough clearance for the hands by thickening the dial with sticking paper/card to it , even if you sanded the dial to compensate the acid n the paper would buger it up pretty quick and tbh, i ve seen it done on some old watches and they look..well.... like they have bits of printed paper on the dial :P

Edited by pugster

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There's always the bay. Find a dial either NOS or from a donor watch. Might have to be a case of as close as you can find.

Cos that quote is a bit pricey. Your call.

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But I want my own custom dial? I still think buying a dial and getting something printing and putting it on top could work?

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I've done a lot of experimenting and the best way to make your own dial is using decal paper.

One of my experiments can be seen here. http://www.pmwf.com/Phorum/read.php?30,341692,341692#msg-341692 Or you can go to Fewsome. They'll make a watch for you with your own dial design. With a discount you can have a 20atm automatic with sapphire crystal and your own dial design for about $180. I've never seen one of their watches in person so I can't say how good they look or the level of quality.

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That's very interesting. Where can you purchase the decal paper in the UK? Also, can you print it from you computer printer at home onto the decal paper?

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It looks good to me. So what did you do from start to finish? Buy a dial, sand it, paint a base coat, design decals, print onto decal paper, and apply them, lacquer and done? :-)

something along those lines?

Alex

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That's very interesting. Where can you purchase the decal paper in the UK? Also, can you print it from you computer printer at home onto the decal paper?

You can get the decal paper from ebay in single sheets , you print the design on it using a normal inkjet printer then spray with 3 coats of clear laquer , then its ok to put in water and use.

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That's very interesting. Where can you purchase the decal paper in the UK? Also, can you print it from you computer printer at home onto the decal paper?

You can get the decal paper from ebay in single sheets , you print the design on it using a normal inkjet printer then spray with 3 coats of clear laquer , then its ok to put in water and use.

So lacquering before the decals are taking off the paper and applied to the dial?

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That's very interesting. Where can you purchase the decal paper in the UK? Also, can you print it from you computer printer at home onto the decal paper?

You can get the decal paper from ebay in single sheets , you print the design on it using a normal inkjet printer then spray with 3 coats of clear laquer , then its ok to put in water and use.

So lacquering before the decals are taking off the paper and applied to the dial?

Yes you have to as the ink is not waterproof so you have to seal it with the laquer

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And then you are able to cut out the decals, and apply them to the dial? D'you think with practise and skill you could make professional looking dials using this technique? :-)

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