Serial Number Range: 875xxx – 172xxxx*
General Notes: The Type C dial is the last of the gilt era and maintains almost all the characteristics of the Type A (Swiss Only) dial. See below for the subtypes and printing characteristics that distinguish one from the other. Most Type C dials are found in the shaped/rounded crown guard cases that are seen from 1964 onwards but early examples can still be seen with PCG/’Cornino’ cases.
*As the serial numbers increase into the 16xxxxx-172xxxx range, some collectors become suspicious. Most of these case numbers are matte dials, however there is a large overlap and I’ve seen several Type C gilts with 1.72m cases. I would, as always, buy the seller in these cases and be cautious, recognizing that if you want to sell it down the line, buyers may disagree with you and shy away.
Distinguishing Characteristics: As compared to the Type A dial, two font changes should be noted:
- The ‘Oyster Perpetual’ is evenly spaced on the Type C. As I noted on the Type A page, the ‘a’ in perpetual is the clearest place to note the difference.
- The Type C dial does not appear to come with additional markings, e.g. underlines or double swiss. Be very careful of aftermarket printing in those that do. I can’t say they don’t exist but buy the seller and vet those piece carefully.
As with all these gilt dials a variety of font widths can be seen as the printing pads became worn and had to be replaced – this phenomenon seems to be more notable on the Type C dial than other gilt dials. Some are very fat font and lose the serifs while others are skinny and retain the sharp edges (compare the first two examples below).
Subtypes: There are two subtypes to this dial based on the size and spacing of the “Swiss T<25,” which otherwise share the same fonts. Thus far, the serial ranges for these two subtypes appear to completely overlap – both are seen in early PCG cases and in the later half of the serial range.
- “Swiss T < 25” is spread over the bottom 3 minute hashes. This is the more common of the two.
- “Swiss T < 25” is spread over the bottom 5 minute hashes. This is less common and is referred to as a ‘wide swiss’** The ‘wide swiss’ example is the last example pictured below.
Bitonal Lume: Some late Type C examples can be found with “bitonal” lume, where the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock lume plots are a distinctly lighter shade than the round plots. It only seems to be on examples with 1.4-1.6m serials and it’s unclear why the difference exists. All the plots react to UV exposure the same and there is minimal radiation involved given the use of tritium in this period. Notably, similar bitonal lume can be found on late gilt and early matte Submariners in the same serial range. An example of bitonal lume can be seen at the bottom of the gallery below.
Picture Credit: Beaumont Miller II, VRF.net
**Credit to Haywood Milton for bringing these Swiss width variants to my attention.