Dial and Hands
This is where the watch really gets interesting. As I already noted, the dial of the FSO M20 is inspired by the FSO Warszawa M20 car. Specifically, the design pulls heavily from the car’s odometer/speedometer. Let’s start from the outside and work our way in. The surface of the dial is split between two areas: an outer ring and an inner surface. The outer ring is relatively simple, displaying the hours track in Arabic numerals. The inner surface is where the dial becomes much more interesting.
First you have a minutes/seconds track with bars representing every value, except for every 5-minute interval which is indicated with raised half-spheres. Moving further in you have 4 concentric circles, adding a little texture to the otherwise flat dial. Flanking the hands are two faux screws, a detail that is true to the clocks inspiring the watch, but one that slightly cheapens the look of the dial. The painted on “screws” look inelegant, and I can’t help but compare it to the Stradale, which pulls off the same detail exceptionally by actually utilizing raised screws.
The hands are sort of a blunted dauphine style, with a line of yellow-colored lume going down the center. The seconds hand is unique in that it has a large metallic base, which stands out but isn’t an eyesore. The seconds hand is tipped in yellow lume as well. The overall design of the hands is certainly interesting, but arguably a bit counter-intuitive to actual time telling with the hours handing hitting the minutes track and the minutes hand hitting the hours track. That being the case, it hasn’t affected my ability to read the watch at a quick glance.
One of the most interesting details on the dial is the application of the date window, which is positioned slightly left of the 5 o’clock marker. It’s integrated into a strip of numbers reading “1951”–a reference to the M20’s first production year–with the date widow appearing at the right end of that strip. The date wheel pops, being that it is white text against a red base. Overall, it’s a well thought out design, even if slightly kitschy. It should be noted that the print quality on the date wheel of the sample is poor, and a bit surprising given the rest of the watch. That being said, I found some user images of the watch online with perfect date wheels, so the review sample provided may very well be a production sample and not the final product.