The Hong Kong Dial
In January 2023, The Armoury’s Creative Team went on an expedition through Europe visiting our favourite suppliers at their respective headquarters. On our journey through Scotland, we made a stop in Glasgow to catch up with anOrdain and Paulin. We were particularly smitten by a yet-to-be-released 1970’s style C-shaped case in a charming 34mm diameter and we wanted to make a special Armoury version of this very attractive and wearable watch. Thus was born the Hong Kong Dial, a riff on the classic California Dial configuration of half-and-half Roman and Arabic numerals, and a very appropriate combination given The Armoury’s Eastern and Western background.
The origins of the dial’s design actually hark back to Rolex’s earliest marketing of this style of dial which was known as “Error-Proof” but for various reasons is better known as a “California Dial”. These dials emphasized clear legibility using heavy graphics, such as the triangle at 12, and fonts, which matched well with Paulin’s bold graphic style. We adapted Chinese characters to suit these characteristics and were especially pleased to be able to use Chinese for the bottom half of the dial as 4, 5, 8 and 9 are visually the most interesting of the 1 - 12 required on a dial.
For more info about the “Error-Proof” and “California Dial” history, please see - https://revolutionwatch.com/california-love/
We have a soft spot for thin, center-hand watches and one of the most economical and effective ways to achieve this is by using a quartz movement, which can be made thinner than a traditional manual wind movement. Furthermore, a quartz movement is convenient. Instead of having to wind the movement or re-setting the time when the watch has stopped, you simply change the battery every few years.
We love working with the people at Paulin and anOrdain. Unusually for a watch company, they make little reference to classic watch design and instead progress in their own very distinct and quirky way with a heavy emphasis on graphic elements.
Their case design reflects their pragmatic, function-led approach to watchmaking. The black ring that surrounds the dial of the watch is a modular spacer that allows them to adapt the case for different sizes of movements while also adding an interesting design detail.
Colour — How to wear it
The black dial is actually more like a matte charcoal with dark gold numerals. On the silver mesh bracelet, it lends itself to almost any outfit. Its compact size suits many wrists for both men and women. The coloured dial variations of our Modul A are great for adding a sharp pop of colour. For instance, the yellow dial with a navy summer blazer. Or, you could further emphasize an existing colour in the palette of your outfit, such as using the baby blue dial with a checked jacket that contained some blue within its pattern.