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Deteriorating lume on a vintage watch


Rafael

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Hi all,

 

Any advice on how to stop an existing vintage lume (70' Rolex sumbamariner) from detirorating? Can a clear nail polish applied at the back of the hand will help? Is it a good practice?

 

Thanks!

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Hi   If you are trying to preserve the origional lume I guess it would work, but that depends on how bad the lume is. Apart from re luming the hands anything else is just patching up.  There are several video's on how to re lume  and are worth watching.          cheers

 

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4 minutes ago, watchweasol said:

Hi   If you are trying to preserve the origional lume I guess it would work, but that depends on how bad the lume is. Apart from re luming the hands anything else is just patching up.  There are several video's on how to re lume  and are worth watching.          cheers

 

Thanks watchweasol. I can re-lume the hands and i'm still considering this option but i'm not sure this would be the best alternative here. There's a nice charm in the vintage lume. Except for the minute hand that I mistakenly deteriorated in part, it's in good condition (but not luming of course). I just don't want that the rest will crumble too if I decide not to re-lume.

20201015_211857.jpg

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Just now, markr said:

If it was mine I would leave the original lume mix some lume to match the old and only fill in the missing lume on the minute hand then some clear on the back to try to stabilize the old lume.  

I think that this is the direction i'm going for since the damage annoys me as well. Still need to know if the nail polish trick will work.

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The problem with “patching” is that the color of the new stuff is fixed and the original lume color will change over time. My blue dial 9411 was quite dark but exposure to sunlight has brightened it up.

So, no matter how perfect the match is now, in six months it’ll look very obvious it was repaired. 

Both my 1680 and 5512 have list their lume in the seconds hand. And my Tudors are probably going to crumble any second. I don’t know if clear nail polish is the right material to use, but stabilizing from the back side is a good idea. I was considering water thin super glue but thus might penetrate too deeply and alter the lume. I think you want it to penetrate, but not so deep it is apparent on the top side  

I haven’t done anything but I know I need to do something.  

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4 hours ago, Tudor said:

I was considering water thin super glue

I would be very cautious using any CA type glue inside a watch, least of all anywhere near a dial. As I understand it the potential for discolouration (particularly of the dial) as a result of the outgassing products of CA glue is too high a risk.

I have used thinned down acrylic lacquer to stabilise flaky lume before without issue.

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Yes, I understand the pitfalls with these adhesives, and would dry the hands for a week prior to instalation if I went this route.

Basically, any evaporative cure agent (such as a lacquer or enamel like nail polish, or any air-cure adhesive) will have outgassing, and none of that is good inside a waterproof watch case. It's an important point you bring up, and good for those not aware of this to think about for sure.

An epoxy, which is chemically cured (or catalyzed acrylic urethane), might be the right answer. But it must be very thin, and fully cured prior to installation. I always double the "stated" fully cured times to ensure it's done. And of course the "sniff test" to see if I can smell it at all. If I can smell it, it's still curing, and will wait longer before use.

But it's a great point for those not used to working with adhesives and finishes.

 

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