How we print our watches

Aug 24, 2023by Mr Jones Watches Team

We’re excited to introduce a brand new series to our blog where we will be focusing on every individual aspect of how we make our watches. First up is printing… 

Every dial, disc and glass is printed in our London workshop by our talented print technicians. We use a special technique called pad printing, which has been around since the 19th century. 

Even if you’ve never heard of pad printing, it’s more prevalent than you might think. If you’re reading this blog post on a laptop, it’s more-than-likely your keyboard keys were made using a pad printer, just like your phone case or the logo on your charger. The list goes on and on!

If you’ve seen a pad printer before (or watched any of our ‘behind-the-scenes’ videos on social media), you’ll have noticed the pad printing machine which features a large silicone pad…

The technique works by the pad transferring ink from an etched base plate onto our glasses, dials and hands to create the design. 

Before we can use the pad printer, we mix each colour by hand. Each colour includes a varying amount of pigments, with some inks using up to 16 different colours to create the exact match.

This can be quite a lengthy process as each colour requires different measurements. We're talking between 50g to 0.005g! 

All of our designs are printed layer by layer, with each needing its own individual printing plate with the design shallowly etched into the surface.

To avoid making a mess, we use ink cups with magnets to secure them onto the plate. This means that the ink will stay within the design and not spread anywhere we don’t want it. 

Just in case of a spill onto the plate, the ink cup includes covered blades so it can quickly skim away any excess ink.

Next, we use the silicone pad to lift the ink off the plates and transfer the design to the glass, dials and/or hands. 

We repeat this process until we have completely finished all the watch components we‘re printing.  

Have you learned something new about printing today? Our print technicians are very passionate about their craft and we have loved sharing our printing process with you.

Which part of our production process would you like to learn about next? You can let us know over on our social media at @mrjoneswatches