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Dial (face) cleaning?


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Probably is a no go Cunningham as Seiko tended to print on top of the varnish, you could try to carefully peel back a small area on the edge & see what comes with it. If the print stay in place you could try this http://watchguy.co.uk/cleaning-and-preserving-original-finish-on-dials/ although the results are somewhat variable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's another I am working on at the moment (please excuse the not so good pics):

post-80-0-81303800-1433452013.jpg

Basically sound, no lifting varnish, but the usual age spots, blooms etc. Immersed into IPA & gently brushed with a sable brush for a couple of minutes, rinsed in distilled water for another couple of mins, then dipped in HG silver dip for a minute. Finally rinsed & dried:

post-80-0-69301300-1433452334.jpg

I would not suggest that this method is completely safe or will work every time, but the results have been good so far. Just don't try it on a friends Patek - particularly if he's a big barsteward! 

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This is an interesting thread that you've started Jim. The car polish trick is credible IF you use very high quality product, designed to remove dirt, grease and dead lacquer without harming the finish.

The trick with the silver dip is something I shall try. To be honest BL, I think the watch looks better without the seconds track. Nice job!

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The trouble I have will dial cleaning is that there are so many methods, but for different kinds of dials. Some of them can cause harm if used on the wrong type. Fortunately I have plenty of junk ones to practice on!

One method I've just used for the first time is the pencil eraser. I had a plain white dial, not lacquered, with black printing in good condition but very grubby. I gave it a try around the edge first, worked my way in and now it looks as good as new.

Stephen

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So, I've been using Klasse All in One for years and I figured what the hell and decided to try this on an old ~1971 Bulova Whale dial that had a lot of issues, I can post pix from my camera later.  I tried the All in One on part of the dial with lots of varnish pitting and peel and was amazed how shiny and amazing it looked, figured I would try the print area with only a little effort.....     Oh, No! with little to no effort there went the whale tail!  Clearly the print was on top of the varnish  :pulling-hair-out:       So I stopped for the evening and had a lovely 3% Irish Stout- Thank God for Beer.

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Thanks for the silver dip tip Blacklab - I've thought about that a few times but wasn't sure what it might do to painted markers. I bought my wife an old Bulova with a silvered dial and had also wondered about that silver plating solution you can buy. Anyone ever tried that?

I had good experience with IPA the first few times I tried but I stopped using it after it softened the lacquer on an old Seiko.

S

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Bought this chronostop 146.012 off ebay. But before I send the dial to be restored, as soon as I'm back from Turkey I'm going to give it a go with the car polish trick. Any thoughts? 306230e067b2563d0eeebe376344117a.jpg

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

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The only thing I've used so far is rodico. It really only cleans dirt and doesn't get extreme like some of these shown. As stated, there are too many changes of ruining the wrong dial.

Even with radico you have to be very careful so as not to pull the transfer off. Reading some of the ways people clean dials I'm lost for words. If a dial was in such poor condition I would have it restored.

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Even with radico you have to be very careful so as not to pull the transfer off. Reading some of the ways people clean dials I'm lost for words. If a dial was in such poor condition I would have it restored.

Hardly worth spending £100 on dial restoration when the watch is worth less than that, also I notice that most restorations are rarely the same as original - wrong fonts being the most common problem.

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  • 4 months later...

A puffer lens brush works well, more stubborn marks can be removed with saliva or mild detergent on a cotton wool bud or Rodico, but as Geo says be very cautious. I have had success on basket case dials with lighter fluid and silver dip but I only use these as a last resort.

 

Quite agree Frenchie, a polished or replacement crystal will make all the difference.

 

Dial restorations can be very good, although they are not normally exactly the same as the original. Also it costs in excess of £100.

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My source of dial cleaning saliva is my mother-in-law...false teeth, etc...you get the picture...just give her conversation and insert the dial in the middle of a phrase...works like a charm. Now don't make her angry or she will spoil the dial!   :)

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