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The Best Sector Dial Watches at Every Price

May 24, 2024

11 of the most attractive examples of the style

Although many dial configurations have emerged since watchmaking began, few are as recognizable as the sector dial. The style is defined by a dial composition in which the hours and minutes are arranged in concentric circles that are further subdivided into 12 and 60 segments respectively. The sector dial first became popular in the Art Deco era of the 1920s and '30s and continued to stay relevant into the mid-twentieth century. Its appeal has clearly endured as several brands still offer the style. Below are 11 of the best modern and neo-vintage sector-dial watches, listed in ascending order by price.

Pierre Paulin Sector

The Pierre Paulin Sector is an astonishingly affordable mechanical watch with undeniably good looks. What's the catch? To achieve its roughly $100 price tag, Pierre Paulin has produced the watch entirely in China at low cost. Consequently, the hand-wound movement is crudely finished, fairly inaccurate, and does not hack. On the plus side, the brushed 38mm case and domed Hesalite crystal are attractive and vintage appropriate. The dial is clearly the star of the show, featuring decent finishing for the price, excellent proportions, and lovely blue syringe hands.

Baltic HMS 002 Silver

The French microbrand Baltic has quickly grown to become one of the most popular affordable brands on the market. To deliver the HMS 002 at its retail price of €360, Baltic had to make some compromises. The crystal is Hesalite rather than sapphire, the blued leaf hands are painted instead of heat-blued, and the Miyota caliber 8315 has less than ideal accuracy and crude finishing. However, the charming Art-Deco design more than makes up for these flaws. The dial features a circular-brushed hour ring while the central sector and outer minute disc are sandblasted. The 38mm step case is also well finished. The bezel is polished while the lugs are circular brushed on top and horizontally brushed on the sides. Without the high-domed crystal, the case is even relatively thin at 10mm.

Merci Instruments LMM-01: The Archiwatch

Merci Instruments is the watchmaking division of Merci Paris, a French retailer known for fashion items and home objects. What business does a trendy Parisian store have making watches? The brand's trio of affordable and well-designed LMM-01 models launched in 2022 has gone a long way in proving its worth as a watchmaker. The one pictured here is a limited-edition collaboration with Archiwatch, an independent watch dealer in Paris. The case measures 38mm across, 46mm from lug to lug, and 12mm tall. For the asking price of €650, the hand-wound Sellita SW210-1 caliber is more than reasonable. Beyond its obvious sectoring, the minimalist dial includes a Breguet-style 12 and dauphine hands. These design features would not look incongruous on a watch many times more expensive.

Furlan Marri Sector

The microbrand Furlan Marri made a name for itself by replicating a vintage Patek Philippe design in an affordable package. The Sector, the brand's first mechanical watch, was a bit more original, although it still borrowed elements from more expensive pieces. Notably, the model features cornes de vache lugs which look plucked straight from a Vacheron Constantin Historiques chronograph. The brand has achieved this feature at low cost via a clever case construction. At 37.6mm by 10.5mm, the case is also appropriately sized for a vintage-inspired dress watch.

Furlan Marri is known for exceptional attention to detail, and the Sector certainly delivers in this regard. The dial and case feature a tasteful mix of finishes. The leaf hands are polished, curved, and even capped. The Breguet numerals and layout speak for themselves. Beneath the dial is the La Joux-Perret G101 caliber, a pricier alternative to the Sellita SW200 or ETA 2824-2. The G101 offers a 68-hour power reserve with a four-Hz frequency and decent finishing. Priced at 1,250 Swiss francs, the Furlan Marri Sector is a tempting value proposition.

Raymond Weil Millésime Automatic Small Seconds

If you had never heard of Raymond Weil and this was the first watch from the brand you had seen, you would be shocked to find that the rest of its catalog consists of fashion watches with third-party movements and questionable value. By contrast, the Millésime Automatic Small Seconds is considerately designed and has looks that belie its $2,000 price tag. The watch even won the Challenge Watch Prize at the prestigious GPHG in 2023. The case is wearable at 39.5mm in diameter and 10.25mm tall and offers a water resistance of 50m. Of course, the highlight is the wonderfully crisp dial with its varying finishes and intricate markings. So, what is this seemingly incredible watch hiding?

Behind its award-winning sector dial and thoughtfully finished case sits a cosmetically modified Sellita SW261-1. Beyond a customized rotor, the movement has little to offer by way of finishing. The caliber is not chronometer certified either. However, considering the incredible design of the rest of the watch and the fact that other brands get away with worse, the lackluster movement can be forgiven.

Longines Heritage Classic "Sector"

The popularity of the Heritage Classic "Sector" is well deserved. The watch-buying public has long lauded Longines for making some of the best value timepieces on the market. The design of this $2,425 dress watch is hard to argue with. Rich with Art Deco appeal, the simple dial is restrained without being boring. The printing is crisp and the dial text is refreshingly limited to the brand name alone. The 38.5mm by 11mm case is well finished and wearable as well. The only objection might be to the movement; while it is exclusive to Longines, the L893 caliber is made by ETA, the movement supplier to many other brands under the Swatch umbrella. Still, the caliber is reportedly quite accurate and offers an impressive 64-hour power reserve and silicon balance spring. Considering the strength of the design, very few dress watches can compete in this price range.

Omega CK 859

Released in 2022, the Omega CK 859 is a modern iteration of a vintage Omega from 1939. The sterling silver sector dial features an impressive amount of detail, including a significant amount of sectoring and a recessed small-seconds sub-dial. Broad, blued steel hands complement the dark blue markings. The case measures 39mm across, 46mm from lug to lug, and 11.7mm tall. As with all higher-end Omega watches, the movement is METAS Master Chronometer certified and uses a co-axial escapement to reduce friction and increase service intervals. The caliber 8926 also boasts a 72-hour power reserve thanks to twin barrels arranged in series. The movement is well finished too, featuring Geneva waves in a pleasing arabesque pattern. The watch originally retailed for $6,500, but preowned examples can now be purchased for between 5,000 and $7,000.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date Q1548530

The Master Control Date offers a sportier take on the sector dial. The layout is simple, featuring a date window at three o'clock, large Arabic numerals, and an exterior minute track. The blued syringe hands are rarely seen in modern watches and complement the blue accents on the dial. The 39mm case is only 8.5mm tall and houses the in-house 899/1 caliber. The movement offers a disappointing 38-hour power reserve, though it is very well finished. While Jaeger-LeCoultre discontinued this particular Master Control reference, it can easily be found on the secondary market for around $6,000.

Massena LAB x Raúl Pagès Magraph

Massena LAB is a fairly young company known for its collaborations with other watchmakers like Habring2 and Louis Erard. This model is no exception, having been developed in conjunction with independent watchmaker Raúl Pagès. The case measures 38.5mm in diameter and 10mm thick, offers 50m of water resistance, and features a polished bezel and lugs with brushed sides. The striking off-white dial has very little text, letting the bold lines and prominent blued hands do all the talking.

While the dial is certainly attractive, the movement might overshadow it. The M660 caliber is Massena LAB's first proprietary movement. Beating away at four hertz, the M660 offers 60 hours of power reserve and has been thoroughly adjusted to five positions, heat, cold, and isochronism. The finishing is strong as well; the caliber features Geneva stripes, perlage, and hand-finished chamfering. The Magraph cost $8,675 when it was released in 2022 and was limited to only 99 pieces, though a few models have made it to the secondary market.

Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Self-Winding

Priced at $12,700, the Fiftysix is Vacheron Constantin's cheapest model. Unlike the prestigious brand's other timepieces, the watch lacks an in-house movement. Instead, the Fiftysix houses the automatic caliber 1326, a movement produced by Richemont's Manufacture ValFleurier. However, the caliber is finished, assembled, and regulated by Vacheron. The design supposedly takes inspiration from reference 6073, a historical model from 1956. Elements of the original model are reflected in the angular lugs of the 40mm case. The dial is a clear ode to mid-century designs, featuring bold, Arabic-numeral hour markings sandwiched between two rings divided into 60 sectors.

Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296R-001

The Patek Philippe Calatrava is a dress watch staple. Over the years, the Geneva-based maison has offered the iconic model in many configurations. Of course, this particular reference stands out for its vintage-inspired sector dial. The rose gold, 38mm case remains slim at 8.5mm thanks to the self-winding 324 S C caliber. The movement also offers a 45-hour power reserve, central seconds hand, and date display at three o'clock. The caliber is finished exceptionally well and uses Patek's proprietary Gyromax balance. Most examples of the 5296R-001 reference were produced in the 2000s. Now, the model will set you back around $25,000 on the preowned market.

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