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Piers Nicholson Sundials

General information for purchasers

General information for purchasers of stainless steel sundials

This page gives you some general information about the ordering and delivery process (the key point of which is that we have 3 wweks or so from yuour firm order in which to agree with you the exact text of the engraving and for you to "sign it off"


The ordering and delivery process


These sundials incorporates the "line of light" which makes Spot-On Sundials very easy to set up, and very accurate thereafter. The line of light appears for about 5 minutes at every noontime - it is extensively illustrated on our website at

We have four models of stainless steel sundials, made individually for their intended location. These measure 24, 30, 42, and 55 cm. square. The angle between the gnomon (which casts the shadow) and the horizontal dialplate is precision manufactured to be the same as the latitude, and the hourlines on the dialplate are calculated for this same latitude.


They are also made individually for their intended recipient. The engraving of the mirror-polished part of the dialplate is done exactly to the requirements of the client. You may wish to have a commemorative message, a logo, a motto or poem, a brief description of the method of operation of the sundial, a table showing the Equation of Time, or anything else which will fit into the rectangle underneath the matt circle on the dialplate. (The dimensions of the circle and engraving rectangle are given on our Technical Information Sheets (links at the foot of this page). Whatever engraving you want, if you can supply it as a computer text or Word file, or as a high resolution image, we can engrave it for you on your sundial. You or your recipient will thus have a uniquely personal sundial.

Sundials for places in the Southern Hemisphere

Piers Nicholson Sundials are suitable for use in the Southern Hemisphere.  The only difference is that the hour markers increase in an anti-clockwise direction and that the sundial gnomon has to he lined up to the South Celestial Pole.

Sundials near the Equator

Piers Nicholson sundials are suitable for use near the Equator.  It is desirable  in these situations to fix them on a plinth sloping in a North-?South direction, typically by 30 or 45 degrees.  Please ask for further information if required.

The ordering process is as follows:


  1. You place an order through our secure server for the 50% deposit

  2. We send you further information about the possibilities for engraving, including an edited (anonymous) version of what has been engraved on other sundials we have supplied.

  3. You decide on the exact engraving you want and send it to us

  4. We start on the manufacture of the dialplate and the gnomon

  5. We do a full layout of the dialplate and the engraving and send it

  6. to you for approval

  7. You sign the layout and return it to us, to ensure that we know exactly what you want engraved (since it cannot be changed afterwards)

  8. We place the engraving order

  9. We notify ou when the engraving is complete

  10. You pay the balance of the purchase price plus the shipping charge

  11. We ship the dial to you

  12. You install the dial on a suitable plinth following the instructions on our website.

Please let us know if there is any further information you need.


And, thank you for your interest in the Spot-On Scientific Sundial


Links to other information you may need or be interested in


You may find it helpful to see what other customers have had engraved in order to refine your own ideas; here are some examples (pdfs in a zip file)


Plaque example: if you would like to keep the sundial inscription simple, we can prepare a laminated paper plaque for your to keep near the sundial to show all this information on it.


Here are drawings and instructions on how to set up our 42 cm. and 30 cm. models

If you would like to see  more pictures of our sundials in their settings, please click here

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