Watch finishing (also referred to as “decoration”) refers to machine or manually finishing watch movements and components.

Below are some of the most used finishes in watchmaking.

guilloche – is a decorative engraving technique in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern or design is mechanically engraved into an underlying material with fine detail

rhodium-plating – (or ruthenium or gold plating) are often on watch movements.

chamfering – (same as “beveling”) of the edges plates, bridges or parts (typically to a 45-degree angle).

stripes – Geneva stripes (also called “Cotes de Geneve” or “Glashutte Ribbing”) A form of decoration in higher grade watch movements the consists of vertical stripes that are often applied to the bridges, main plate, and other parts.

cotes circulaires – (also called “fausses cotes decoration”) It is a similar decoration to Geneva stripes but instead of vertical lines in consists of circular, concentric lines.

perlage – is a surface decoration comprising of an even pattern of partially overlapping dots applied with a quickly rotating grinding drill tip. It consists of small, overlapping circles, and is typically applied to the main plate or bridges.

anglage – angled finish of main plate or bridge edges, typically at a 45-degree angle. It is used to finish the movement, as well as to eliminate sharp corners that would otherwise be damaged while the watch is working.

shot blasting – a satin finish obtained by using tiny glass pellets, one or two microns in diameter.

physical vapor deposition – (PVD) method of coating watch cases by integrating titanium particles and then depositing gold for color. Generally comes in a black finish, but other colors can be created. (Very similar to “titanium carbide”.)

diamond-like coating – (DLC) a metal coating that produces a grey/black finish that is very scratch resistant and corrosion resistant. This type of coating is like PVD, but even harder (and more expensive).

sunray brushing – brushed finish that is typically used on metal components that results in a pattern of lines the intersect at a central point.

sunburst – a dial finish obtained by brushing the surface with an abrasive paste to create rays spreading from the center to the rim.

grand tapisserie – a type of guilloche-work that uses a machine with a burin to chisel lozenges between the squares on Audemars Piguet Royal Oak timepieces.

Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Jason is the founder of Professional Watches and specializes in writing, product photography, and digital marketing.