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Watches have become an illness with me since the pandemic struck. I find myself now oddly obsessed/attracted/admiring California Dial watches and the more unique the better.
I'm considering this one.

What are your all thoughts on Cali Dials in general and I just can't quit looking at this one. May satisfy two fetishes, bronzo and unique Cali dial.

15465452
 

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They don't make any practical sense to me but mechanical watches, to some extent, aren't about practicality otherwise we'd all have smartwatches. I enjoy them for the reason you cite - they're different. Just the same as I want arabics sometimes but indices other times, the Cali dial is a nice curveball to throw into the collection.

Here's my favorite one (which I don't currently have but would love to one day own):

15465473
 

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I’m at a loss on where they even came from. Seems like a mess to me, but I don’t mind the one you have your eye on.


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I’m at a loss on where they even came from. Seems like a mess to me, but I don’t mind the one you have your eye on.


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It originally came from Rolex - they filed a patent for it.

From TIMEX Marlin California, Japan Exclusive California Dial:

But according to the Rolex patent, "It will be seen that this layout gives a clear and simple turn of the hours, easy to realize with luminous material and allowing an easy reading of the time especially for wristwatch cases whose dials are relatively small. In fact, the fact that the Roman numerals occupy half the dial and the Arabic numerals the other, clearly distinguishes these two halves. In addition, the Roman numerals chosen are those which are the easiest to read."
As for how it became known as a California dial - from the same link:

It may be that no one knows for sure, but it seems the dial was named California because during the vintage watch boom of the 1980s, Rolex watches with this dial were highly sought by buyers at the vintage shops on Melrose, in Los Angeles.
And the article with more specific information that is linked from the article above: The Complete History Of the "California Dial".
 

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I had the same obsession/attraction to the California Dial. In my case, I was also looking for a vintage Tudor and I bought this one to satisfy both urges. Obviously a redial, but one theory from the above linked article is this: In the 1970s, when the vintage watch boom started, a LA based dial refinisher, Kirk Rich, did some dials with this design. They became popular & many vintage watch stores in California sent their dials to KR. So dealers in the rest of the US & the rest of the world began to call them the 'California' dial."
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Watches have become an illness with me since the pandemic struck. I find myself now oddly obsessed/attracted/admiring California Dial watches and the more unique the better.
I'm considering this one.

What are your all thoughts on Cali Dials in general and I just can't quit looking at this one. May satisfy two fetishes, bronzo and unique Cali dial.

View attachment 15465452
Undone has created a few interesting designs, but IMO this is their best effort. I love the unique spin on the Cali and the nod to Japanese culture. Almost bought this one when it came out... might have to take another look.
 

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Undone has created a few interesting designs, but IMO this is their best effort. I love the unique spin on the Cali and the nod to Japanese culture. Almost bought this one when it came out... might have to take another look.
the movement is a nod to japan perhaps. the logograms are hanzi (chinese) not kanji (japanese.)
 

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Honestly I've been tempted but I just can't bring myself. The nomos club is what I've looked at and as much as I liked some models the Cali dial has turned me away from it.

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Watches have become an illness with me since the pandemic struck. I find myself now oddly obsessed/attracted/admiring California Dial watches and the more unique the better.
I'm considering this one.

What are your all thoughts on Cali Dials in general and I just can't quit looking at this one. May satisfy two fetishes, bronzo and unique Cali dial.
. . .
They don't appeal to me because they appear to be a some kind of crazy compromise between 3 designers, 1 of whom liked Roman numerals (maybe worked at Cartier?), 1 who liked Arabic numerals, & 1 who hated numerals. If you like them, Serica offers a version in their new line.
 

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Honestly I've been tempted but I just can't bring myself. The nomos club is what I've looked at and as much as I liked some models the Cali dial has turned me away from it.
I'm assuming you know but the Club does come in some formats with a normal all number dial. And weirdly enough, the club's california dial is inversed - numerals on top and roman numerals on the bottom.
 

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I'm assuming you know but the Club does come in some formats with a normal all number dial. And weirdly enough, the club's california dial is inversed - numerals on top and roman numerals on the bottom.
Correct, just the models I leaned towards were Cali dials.

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