Gilt Dials

The term “gilt” or “gilt/gloss” refers to dials that were created by a galvanic coating process and appears on the 1016 until ~1967. Galvanization generally refers to a method of coating metals with another substance through a chemical reaction that binds them together. In this case, the dials were dipped in an electrified black ‘paint,’ causing deposition of the liquid onto the dial plate.

In a multi-step process, the dials were first stamped with a coating that delineated the text and markers. This coating would stop the the black substance, which was applied next, from adhering to those parts of the dial. Subsequently, a clear lacquer was placed over the printing. After lacquering, further text (such as underlines, depth ratings, etc.) could be added. Finally, the hour markers in radium or tritium were applied.

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