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How to clean dials and hands?

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Hello friends. In the past few months I have been learning how to clean and lubricate movements, with no bad results :)

I used old Seiko 5 bought on eBay, and now I have some that are working fine, but aesthetically horrible due to dirty dials and hands, and also very scratched cristals that I do not know how to meassure and replace.

Is there a method and/or products to clean the dials and the hands? I know that restoring dials is something very complex, but I'm just trying to let them clean!

Any tip is very welcome! Thank you.

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For cleaning and polishing hands you can put a tiny amount of this (mixed to a paste with methylated spirit) on some pegwood and very carefully polish them. But keep in mind if they're electroplated they will need to be re-plated after.

This is also quite a nice tool for just buffing and general cleaning.

Cleaning the dial is, as you say, very specialist and I find as soon as you touch it, it just gets worse!

One thing you can do is re-lume the hands if they're luminous. Apart from being a really fun and satisfying process it really gives everything a lift!

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As a few members on the forum recommend, pencil eraser works very well to brighten up tarnished hands. Every dial I have touched, with the exception of dusting off with a blower, I have regretted touching.

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SIgn up to Cousins UK and go look for watch parts and then case parts and enter your calibre and case number which will be on the back of the case.

if you are lucky Cousins will have in stock the correct crystal, or an OEM crystal for the watch, but as Seiko does produce a lot of models of watches its quite common for the crystal to be obsolete and out of stock, but Cousins may still list the part number which you can search for it on ebay.

This is for the acrylic crystals, if its just a flat mineral glass you just need to rmeove it and measure diameter and thickness with a vernier and buy a replacement one, but measure very carefully as the glasses go up in 0.1mm steps. You may also need to buy a new gasket for the glass too.

As they others say other than a gentle dusting don't touch the dial.

If you are very careful you can try a microfibre Q-tip just damp with distilled water on stains, but be careful as it can remove the markers and writing.

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Thank you for your answers! 

I can't rely on the case numbers as I can't say the backcase cover is the right one, so I better measure the crystal just to be sure, although in that area I'm not still confortable as I know there are serveral types, I guess these are plexis that has to be pressed to get into the case, so I think I should by one of those tools with docens of legs to press it.

About dials, I think I have some to play with, but still not sure what products to use. I think I've read someone that dips them in some oil for several hours and then clean them, but I can't remember/find that thread, and I don't remember the exact products he used.

 

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and also very scratched cristals that I do not know how to meassure and replace.

You might be able to polish the existing crystal, depending on how deep the scratches are and how much time and effort you are willing to put in to it, otherwise you would need to know the case number, or you would need to carefully measure the crystal with a micrometer.

As to cleaning the dials, tread very carefully here, as the "dirt" may be embedded in to the surface of the dial and prove impossible to remove without also damaging the dial. In the case of some of the dials I have looked at recently, the "dirt" is actually corrosion, and this has eaten tiny pits into the surface of the dial, and has also caused dis-colouration beneath the lacquer. Both problems are probably best left as is, otherwise the dial will be damaged further.

If the dial is particularly bad, you can either source a replacement dial, or send the dial away to be re-finished, both of which may put the repair in the "beyond economical" bracket, so you would then need to decide if the watch is even worth fixing.

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