The dial will normally be fixed to the case or the movement.
When attached to case: Where it is desired to remove the dial from the case, this seldom involves more than a few woodscrews. In turn, the movement will be secured to the case by woodscrews.
When attached to movement: First of all, remove the hands from the movement as described in the section entitled 'Hand removal'. Many movements are secured directly to the dial by use of tapered pins inserted diagonally through feet attached to the dial. Carefully remove these pins (and no others) and ease the dial off. Be extra careful not to remove any other pins at this stage as the mainsprings will still have power in them. Enamelled dials are normally secured to a brass backing plate and this whole plate should be removed. Take great care when removing the enamelled dial from the plate (if absolutely necessary) because the action of bending the soft copper wires on the back may cause the enamel on the front to chip.
At this stage it is wise to collect up all the parts and lay them carefully in the correct order. Make a note of how they were fitted as they will not be needed until much later on.
Never work on a clock movement with the mainspring wound. A fully wound mainspring contains a tremendous amount of potential energy which is safe if allowed to escape at a controlled rate. If, for instance, the plates of a clock are separated with the springs wound, then the energy will be released suddenly and may strip the teeth from a wheel or remove the skin from a fingertip - you have been warned! Please refer to the section entitled 'Letting down mainsprings'.
Repairing Your Own Clocks by Mervyn Passmore