What Is A Gilt Dial & What Does It Mean In A Watch

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Do you want to know what a gilt dial in a watch is? Are you wondering whether there is anything named gilt dial or if it is just a misspelled word?

A watch is a very small but very complex machine. There are more parts in a watch than you can think of. And further, these components and mechanisms of watches have complex names and meanings. In fact, if you are just getting into the world of watches then be prepared to increase your vocabulary.

One such term that will increase your vocabulary today itself is the gilt dial. Before you ask, it is not a misspelled word and “gilt” is the right word and actually has a meaning.

And in this article, I am going to tell you what is a gilt dial and whether you can still buy watches with a gilt dial or not.

So keep reading!

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Meaning Of “Gilt”

Before we look into what exactly a gilt dial is, let us first increase your watch vocabulary, and look at the meaning of the word gilt.

According to the dictionary, the meaning of the word “Gilt” is: “covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint”.

Anything that is covered with gold-colored paint or leaf is termed gilt. For eg., if a coffee mug is covered with gold paint then it will be called a gilt mug.

What Are Gilt Dials?

Seiko Gilt Dial

Like the coffee mug, the gilt dials are the watch dials that are covered with gold paint or gold leaf.

Having said that, it does not mean that the whole dial color will be gold. Rather the markers, numerals, indices, texts, and hands of the watch will be in golden color. And the dial color generally is either black or white which are considered to be the most versatile watch face colors.

The meaning of gilt dials also differs from person to person. Some believe that the gilt dials have to have real gold metal in the place of markers, indices, and hands.

On the other hand, some believe that it is not about the gold metal used in the watch but about the color of the markers, indices, and hands.

And some believe that the gilt dials are all about their manufacturing process and are not about the metal or color used. According to them, gilt dials are made through a long process that includes the polishing of the blank brass to mirror finish and then printing indices and markers on it.

Which Is The Correct Gilt Dial Meaning?

What Are Gilt Dials

So the meaning of gilt dials is different for different people. For me, it is the second one, because as per the dictionary, it is not about the metal used in a watch but about the color of the markers and indices. And it makes more sense when you see cheap gilt dial watches, surely they are not using real gold in them.

Can You Still Buy Gilt Dial Watches?

Yes, you can still buy gilt dial watches. Just search for the watches with golden indices and hands, and you will find plenty of options from different watch manufacturers.

Best Gilt Dial Watches

Let’s look at some of the best gilt dial watches in the different price segments.

1) Rolex Submariner

Best Gilt Dial Watches

Rolex Submariner is one of the best luxury diver watches that come with a gilt dial. It has a black dial and its luminescent markers and hands are in golden color. There are gold highlights on its bracelet and bezel and its bracelet and case are made up of oyster steel.

This watch is a diver’s watch, therefore, comes loaded with features that are particularly useful for divers. Other than luminescent hands and markers, this watch comes with a 300M water-resistant rating, screw-down crown, and uni-directional bezel.

Rolex Submariner comes with an automatic movement that is developed by Rolex itself. This movement is not only COSC certified but is also a superlative chronometer. As a result, it is one of the most accurate watches in the world and you do not have to worry about its accuracy. And the watch comes with a 70-hour power reserve, so this Rolex will still be ticking even if you do not wear it for almost 3 days straight.

The watch also comes with a perpetual date feature and there is a date window at the 3 o’clock position. Therefore you will not only be able to see the current date but will literally never have to correct it.


It is a kind of a watch that you can not only wear while diving but can also wear to parties and functions to flaunt. If you want a luxurious gilt dial watch then this is the best watch for you.

The Good
  • 300M water-resistant rating
  • Screw-down crown
  • Date window
  • Luminescent hands and markers
  • Uni-directional rotating bezel
The Bad
  • Nothing as such

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2) Tissot Seastar

Tissot Seastar Diver Watch

Tissot Seastar is one of the best affordable gilt dial watches. Like Rolex Submariner, it also comes with a black dial and its hands and markers are in rose gold color.

This watch is also a diver’s watch and comes with a 300M water-resistant rating. To make it more suitable for diving, there are features like luminescent hands and markers and a uni-directional dive bezel. The timepiece not only comes with a screw-down case and crown but also comes with screw-down push buttons. As a result, water just can’t get into the watch.

Tissot Seastar always remains protected against scratches as it comes with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. This crystal also comes with an anti-reflective coating on both sides which makes reading time even under the bright sunlight a piece of cake.

Unlike Rolex Submariner, this timepiece runs on the Swiss Quartz movement and comes with a chronograph as well. So you can also time other activities apart from diving.

Tissot Seastar has a date window to show you the date however it does not come with a perpetual date calendar like Rolex Submariner. As a result, you will have to correct its date at the end of the month consisting of 30 days.


This watch comes with more features than Rolex Submariner and costs a fraction of it. Having said that, to cut the cost gold coating is used in the watch instead of real gold. But if you do not want to spend big on luxury watches and want an affordable diver watch with a gilt dial then this is the option for you.

The Good
  • 300M water-resistant rating
  • Screw-down case, crown, and push buttons
  • Uni-directional rotating bezel
  • Date window
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Luminescent hands and markers
The Bad
  • It’s 45.50mm case can be a little big for people with small wrists

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3) Seiko Two-Tone

Seiko Two Tone

Seiko Two-Tone watch is one of the cheapest gilt dial watches. It has a black dial and golden indices, markers, and hands. The case and bracelet of the watch are made up of stainless steel and there is a golden highlight in the bracelet.

Unlike the other two watches on this list, this watch is not a diver’s watch and it is more of a dress watch.

The watch is powered by a quartz movement and comes with solar charging support i.e. it will keep charging as soon as it comes in the contact with light. As a result, you never have to worry about its battery getting discharged.

This timepiece comes with a day and date window, therefore you will remain up to date with the day of the week and date of the month. However, it does not feature a perpetual calendar like Rolex Submariner and you will have to correct the day and date after every alternating month.

The 30M water-resistant rating of the watch is not enough and will only protect it from unwanted water splashes.


This timepiece can go really well with dresses and it’s a kind of a watch that you can wear to your offices daily. Its solar charging features ensure that you never have to charge the watch or worry about its battery. If you want a cheap watch with a gilt dial then this is the best watch for you.

The Good
  • Classic and elegant look
  • Solar charging
  • Date and day window
  • Luminous hands and markers
The Bad
  • People with big wrists found its 38mm case to be small

Click Here to Check on Amazon


What Are Gilt Hands On A Watch?

The watch hands that are golden in color are known as gilt hands.

Is The Gilt Dial All Golden In Color?

No, only the indices, markers, and hands of a gilt dial are golden in color.

Are All Gilt Dials Made Of Gold?

No, not all gilt dials are not made up of gold.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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