Vitamin D for the wrist: 9 of the best sunburst dials money can buy Vitamin D for the wrist: 9 of the best sunburst dials money can buy

Vitamin D for the wrist: 9 of the best sunburst dials money can buy

James Robinson

The dial truly is the make or break factor when it comes to a timepiece. Think about human beings in general – we’re largely simple creatures and we’re drawn to pretty things. I mean, just look at the state of the dating world: apps that make you judge a person quite literally on their face value. It’s the exact same in the world of horology. Nobody is swiping right on a watch with a dull ol’ dial.

So, we’re singling out the most popular dial types, and listing our favourites, with a few classics thrown in for good measure. First up is a dial design that is a perennial favourite among watchmakers great and small. We are, of course, talking about the sunburst dial. Small note: sunray, sunburst, a well-executed dial by either name looks as sweet – they’re two words for the same thing.

Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref.228235

best sunburst dial watches

best sunburst dial watches 

Made to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the iconic Day-Date, Rolex’s Day-Date 40 in solid 18k Everose gold is drop-dead gorgeous. The radially brushed, olive green metallic sunburst dial is stunning and, in combination with its pinkish precious metal, this is the nicest Day-Date 40 that money can buy right now. Period. Price: AUD$55,350

The Longines Master Collection Ref. L2.673.4.92.0

This complicated member of the Longines Master Collection, this annual calendar chronograph is a lot of watch for the money, and looks great while doing it with a deep blue dial that has been radially brushed to catch the light. Despite having three information-heavy sub-dials, the sunburst quality to the dial is still easy to appreciate. Price: AUD$4675

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre Heuer 02

Tag Heuer Monaco 02

The TAG Heuer Monaco is an icon for a reason. Its remarkable square case shape was worn by some of the greats of motorsport, and never fails to turn heads when they’re spotted across the room. While the 39mm square case and sub-dials attract a lot of the attention, those who inspect closer will see the finely brushed sunburst blue dial. Price: AUD$8900

Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE248

Next up is the Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE248, a watch that takes advantage of the natural playfulness between blue and gold, and does so in style. The almost luminescent blue of the bezel and dial seem almost liquid in some lighting conditions, something that is emphasised by the uninterrupted flow of the Spring Drive powered seconds hand. Price: AUD$17,000

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon

best sunburst dial watches

There is a subtlety to both grey dials and white gold cases that work beautifully in this Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon. The case is a svelte 39mm in diameter and only 9.9mm thick, making it a serious contender for the only dress watch you might ever need. Price: AUD$31,300

Bulgari Octo Roma

Good watch design is a study in the tension between harder angles and softer curves. The Bulgari Octo Roma is a fine example of such a study, with an octagonal case and dial separated by a circular bezel that creates the impression of a watch that is round despite being heavily faceted. The dial too is a richly mysterious brown lacquer that offers a starburst effect that draws the eye towards the curved bezel. Price: AUD$9100

Seiko SRPB46

best sunburst dial watches

The Seiko SRPB46 was one of the first watches that really kicked off the popularity of the Presage collection, offering a great looking dress watch and a competitive price. This specific reference in rose gold tone is the warmest of the bunch, with a brown leather strap and a stunning sunburst dial that has an almost iris-like quality to it. Price: AUD$850

Moser Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Blue Lagoon

best sunburst dial watches

If you know watches, you know the playfulness that Moser bring to watchmaking, if it be the colour of a dial or a technically advanced new movement with a fun twist. The Moser Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Blue Lagoon is one such watch that uses colour to attract the eye, offering a gleaming blue-green dial to contrast against the most sober white gold case. Add the graduated colour and a radially brushed effect, and you have a seriously stunning dial. Price: AUD$34,900

Rado Captain Cook Ref. R32505305

best sunburst dial watches 

The ’70s called and wants its colour back from the dial of this Rado Captain Cook, right? Wrong. Somehow, against the odds, Rado has managed to make a brown dial look sexy and when the radially brushed surface that looks like a cold creamy soda on a hot summer’s day catches the light just right, there are few dials out there that look better. AUD$3100