This thread has been very interesting. My modeling lives and dies by my calipers, and it has been so ever since my good wife presented me with a set of Mitotoyo PFM vernier calipers with an HO scale in about 1959. What an instrument! 50 years later, it remains a total pleasure to use, and its measurements can be taken to the bank.
Well, eyes being what they are I looked around for good more easy-to-read dial calipers, being super-suspicious of the plethora of cheap stuff hitting the market. I purchased a fine German-made dial caliper whose dial read in both English and metric. It complemented my PFM stalwart perfectly, and I admired the fine finish, accuracy, and craftsmanship of this fine instrument. Then came the day that it fell on the floor (rug), which jarred the dial so that it would no longer read accurately (by a steady error). I attempted everything known to man to figure out to get it serviced, but the cost to do so was prohibitive in extreme. I did visit a fine instrument repairman in the Bay Area, and I made contact with others as far away as Long Island by phone. The universal messaqe from all to me was:
1) Presume that all calipers but the verniers will be eventual throw-aways, the digital calipers more so than the dials (regardless of expense).
2) If you want a fine instrument that will be accurate and will last, stick with the best verniers that you an afford. They are bullet proof and will only fail from the heaviest use and/or poor maintenance. Your grandchildren stand a good chance of greatly prizing them.
3) With that, I gave up on calipers with readouts -dial or digital- , purchased on eBay a gorgeous new/old stock Helios (German) vernier caliper that measures dual-ly in both metric and English, and I am now back to verniers only (with an Optivisor to read them glued to my forehead).
Denny S. Anspach MD