5 of the best frozen dials that are so cool, they’re hot

5 of the best frozen dials that are so cool, they’re hot

Charlotte Harris

Now that it’s the start of summer – at least here in the Northern Hemisphere – the weather is finally warming up. The cold and wet of just a couple of weeks ago is starting to feel like a distant memory and we can finally reach for our shorts and sunnies. But we Brits never deal well with heat, and so we thought a good way to help keep cool would be to take a look at some frozen dials. These icy watches have seen brands experimenting with unique colours, textures and finishes to replicate the look of frozen water. So, as we do our best to deal with the heat, here’s a look at some of the best frozen watch dials on the market.

Baltic Hermétique Glacier

baltic hermetique glacier box

With a name like Baltic, it’s surprising this affordable French watchmaker has only just launched a frozen watch dial. The Baltic Hermétique Glacier arrived earlier this year and utilises the brand’s freshly released field watch, the Hermétique, as its base and pairs the usually smooth display with a ridged dial. The stamping method Baltic uses creates a facetted, sunburst-like effect that looks like water frozen on glass.

It comes in white or black with a black minute track and overlapping hours markers. The rest of the specs match the core collection; there’s a 37mm wide, 10.8mm-tall stainless steel case with an integrated crown, a 150-metre water resistance rating, and a Miyota 9039 automatic winding movement housed inside. Price: US$782

Mido Multifort M Freeze

MIDO Multifort M Freeze Watch (1)

Swatch-owned Mido has done a fantastic job at updating its 1930s-born Multifort collection for a modern audience: part of this is down to the Powermatic 80 movement inside, as well as tastefully executed dials. For the Multifort M Freeze, the brand has added a new light blue textured dial inspired by icy landscapes. The display has a subtle gradient effect and a not-so-subtle vertically satin-brushed finish designed to replicate the phenomenon of light striking an icy lake.

It’s a minimalistic but legible centrepiece with white Super-LumiNova emitting a blue-green glow on the hour markers and hands, along with a large day and date window placed at 3 o’clock. It’s a reasonably big tool watch, measuring 42mm wide, 11mm thick with sapphire crystal glass, and a matching metal bracelet. Price: US$960

Seiko Prospex Glacier ‘Save the Ocean’

seiko prospex glacier save the ocean spb297 spb299 spb301

The Seiko Prospex Glacier models form part of the Japanese watchmaker’s ‘Save the Ocean’ series. These dials have a unique vertical stripe finish that mimics the layers of ice that make up a glacier. There are three variants of the Prospex Glacier, each a modern interpretation of a different historic Seiko launched during the 1960s and 1970s.

The reference SPB297 is directly modelled after the legendary 62MAS (Seiko’s first dive watch from 1965) and elects a deep blue dial, black bezel and 40.5mm case while SPB299 celebrates a watch from three years later with a lighter blue dial, blue bezel, 4 o’clock crown, and 42mm wide case. Finally, the SPB301 is modelled after a 1970 reference, also known as the Captain Willard, and presents a 42.7mm case, white dial, blue bezel, and the Seiko Calibre 6R35 like the rest of them. Price: US$1,250(SPB297, SPB299), US$1,350 (SPB301).

Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea

montblanc iced sea automatic

Possibly one of the most spectacular examples of a frozen watch dial over recent years, the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea collection, which was first launched in 2022, utilises an age-old technique called gratté-boisé. The display is inspired by the texture of glacial ice in the Chamonix Valley and is reinterpreted on an intricate 0.5mm thick display for a fantastic impression of depth and beauty. The dial arrives in green, black, silver, or blue, each inspired by different colours of glacial ice and is set with Super-LumiNova-filled Arabic numerals and hands.

These are tool watches in every sense of the word, offering dive capability through their ISO 6424 certified 300-metre water resistance rating and high levels of shock, magnetism, and temperature resistance guaranteed by Montblanc’s Laboratory 500 Hour Test. They measure 41mm wide and are fuelled by the Sellita-based MB 24.17 automatic winding movement with a 38-hour power reserve. Price: US$3,405

Grand Seiko Snowflake

grand seiko sbga211 snowflake

Finally, a long line of well-loved ice-inspired watches is the Grand Seiko Snowflake collection. On the introduction of the original SBGA011 in 2005, watch fans were amazed by the quality of the finishing on its titanium case, the technological prowess of the Spring Drive movement, and more obviously, the intricate detailing of the dial. Originally launched in pure white, inspired by the snow of Japan’s Mount Hotaka, the Snowflake remains one of the most beloved Grand Seiko models.

While the titanium-cased SBGA211 remains the most popular model, multiple different Snowflake variants exist, including the gold-cased SBGY002 and the steel-cased, blue-tinted SBGA407. The latest to join the series is the Grand Seiko “Pink Snowflake” SBGA497 which presents a pastel pink textured dial mimicking the hues of the sunrise on snow. It has the same ultra-lightweight 41mm case and the in-house 9R65 Spring Drive movement with a 72-hour power reserve, presented in its own indicator at 8 o’clock. Price: US$6,200 (SBGA211), US$6,300 (SBGA497).

Honourable mention: Hublot MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire

MP 11 Water Blue Sapphire feature

While you can’t really describe this Hublot as having a frozen dial (indeed, it doesn’t really have a dial, as it’s skeletonised), the icy tones of the MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire’s case definitely hits the vibe we’re looking for here. First released at Baselworld 2018, the MP-11 was reintroduced this year at Watches and Wonders, this time featuring an icy blue sapphire case.

This impressive watch features seven co-axial, vertical barrels, which gives it a 336-hour power reserve (that’s two weeks!) Despite this, it features a reasonably conventional thickness of 12mm, with the barrels extending out to 14.4mm. Stay cool when you read the price tag, though. Price: US$171,000.