Printed Vs Applied Indices: Which Is Better?

Printed Vs Applied Indices: Which Is Better? - Lugs and Lume

Printed vs applied indices, which one would you choose if given the choice? The answer becomes more complicated the more you think about it. Is it for a dress watch, or a military-inspired tool watch? Will it aid in legibility, or make it worse? Applied indices are seen as more premium, but they're not necessarily

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Printed vs applied indices, which one would you choose if given the choice? The answer becomes more complicated the more you think about it. Is it for a dress watch, or a military-inspired tool watch? Will it aid in legibility, or make it worse? Applied indices are seen as more premium, but they’re not necessarily the best choice.

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Like most things in watches the answer for me is it depends. On a diver, applied 100%. On a field watch like the Hamilton khaki field, I think that the printing works pretty well, as the dial would look really busy if every indices was raised. On a dress piece, I think applied is best as it gives a nice raised effect and adds texture

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I have watches with both and I think the design of the watch has a lot to do with it.  In most cases though, applied look better and higher end.  Though applied would look out of place on some watches.

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it depends on the design in my opinion. 

Printed indices fits for more practical use watch, it is also give vintage aesthetic for the watch design.

Applied indices fits for more fashion use watch. And give more fancier aesthetic for the watch

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Like others above have mentioned, it depends on the watch. Though, my preference is generally applied. 

My Damasko DS30 would look silly with applied markers, but my Marathon Navigator looks great with the combination of painted numerals, and applied tritium tubes. Both are tool watches, but each has a different design aesthetic. 

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I recently acquired a Railmaster and was in love with the watch for its simplicity but depth. After a few days I started to get thrown off by the fact that it doesn’t have applied indices. I’m used to wearing a black bay 58 which has nice looking indices so having a more expensive watch without applied indices felt wrong.

I’ve come around on this since and have realized applied indices make sense sometimes and other times they don’t. Also watched to echo the same thought that someone else mentioned it lends a vintage vibe and I a watch.

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Scooby

Like most things in watches the answer for me is it depends. On a diver, applied 100%. On a field watch like the Hamilton khaki field, I think that the printing works pretty well, as the dial would look really busy if every indices was raised. On a dress piece, I think applied is best as it gives a nice raised effect and adds texture

I agree, some watches look awesome with printed indices, especially field watches

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Yowham

I recently acquired a Railmaster and was in love with the watch for its simplicity but depth. After a few days I started to get thrown off by the fact that it doesn’t have applied indices. I’m used to wearing a black bay 58 which has nice looking indices so having a more expensive watch without applied indices felt wrong.

I’ve come around on this since and have realized applied indices make sense sometimes and other times they don’t. Also watched to echo the same thought that someone else mentioned it lends a vintage vibe and I a watch.

I love the Railmaster, and couldn't imagine it with applied indices.

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Overall I like applied indices, however, Cartier does a great job with its printed.  Field watches are the exception -- printed is always best on them.

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Lugsandlumeblog

I love the Railmaster, and couldn't imagine it with applied indices.

I totally, agree it gives it a slight vintage esthetic without feeling like it is trying too hard. I do have to admit I had mixed feelings at first thought on it not having indices. I felt like it was missing some kind of pop but I’ve come to really appreciate the dial.

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Yowham

I totally, agree it gives it a slight vintage esthetic without feeling like it is trying too hard. I do have to admit I had mixed feelings at first thought on it not having indices. I felt like it was missing some kind of pop but I’ve come to really appreciate the dial.

I think the same goes for the classic speedmaster. Gotta be printed 

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Depends on the quality of both printing and indices, and the purpose of the watch more utilitarian models such as field watches and minimalist watches (lets say Nomos), go better with printing while dressier pieces go better with indices, divers are a special case in utilitarian watches since they require a lot of lume which is better applied on indices. That all said, i'd take good quality printing over shoddy indices any day of the week.