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Glossary of watchmaking

Niello

Nielle ou niel | ニエロ | 乌银

An enamel-like alloy of lead, copper, silver, sulphur and sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride). Niello paste is applied over incised gold or silver then fired in the enamellist's furnace. Excess niello is filed off and the surface smoothed. Polished niello cases were fashionable shortly before wristwatches were introduced.