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Good afternoon, All.

I have a watch incoming that I want to refurbish but it has an engraved case back.

What technique would be used to remove it? I am assuming a gold welding technique, given how deep it is. Are we into the realms of specialist help here? If so, can anyone suggest someone good to do it for me in the UK?

I would add that I have, in the past, done some MIG and gas welding and still own a MIG welder and gas torch (sans hoses). So I COULD learn how to do this myself, if anyone has any pointers to a tutorial (I've looked on Youtube).

I also need a dial refurb specialist, if anyone has any suggestions - UK again.

I am aware, incidentally, that removal of engravings divides opinion. But I have decided that it needs to go.

Thank you in advance for any advice.

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Edited by Vizard
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56 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

What is the back made from, the filling would have to match it or  the back re-pated.  

It's 9k but, as you suggest, unless I can get a match I can imagine ending up with the engraving still visible. Flush, but a different colour.

I was speaking to a nearby jeweller earlier, she said she thinks she can do it. But she has not done it before.

 

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18 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

I've never tried it so only a thought.  Could 9k gold be melted, poured into the engraving and then sanded/ polished? 

That's what she was suggesting. But there are different colours of 9k gold and there isn't "a spare bit" of the watch she can use to fill it.

She has just messaged me actually, giving me the details of a specialist place. I have messaged them to see what they are saying.

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Nekkid Watchmaker did a you tube video in which he had a gold watch back restored. I can't remember if it was engraving that was removed or damage that needed filling but he found a specialist operator in the jewelry quarter in Birmingham who was able to match the colour of the gold perfectly and using a laser welder build the material back up by welding gold wire into the voids and then just polish it back. Completely invisible restoration without any plating. So it is possible. He didn't say what the cost was though.

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24 minutes ago, Marc said:

Nekkid Watchmaker did a you tube video in which he had a gold watch back restored. I can't remember if it was engraving that was removed or damage that needed filling but he found a specialist operator in the jewelry quarter in Birmingham who was able to match the colour of the gold perfectly and using a laser welder build the material back up by welding gold wire into the voids and then just polish it back. Completely invisible restoration without any plating. So it is possible. He didn't say what the cost was though.

I emailed the Nekkid chap a couple of weeks ago, on a similar matter, but I haven't heard back from him.

I am not quite sure who he is. I found a name, which doesn't seem to fit the the voice on the videos.

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42 minutes ago, rehajm said:

R F Bevan and H S Walsh & sons were the service providers in that video…

RF Bevan might be worth a look.

1 hour ago, Marc said:

His name is Joe, that's as far as I know.

That's the name I have.

His videos sound like an Asian chap though.

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10 hours ago, Vizard said:

RF Bevan might be worth a look.

That's the name I have.

His videos sound like an Asian chap though.

The Nekkid watchmaker is Joe Mia, he used to have a shop in oldbury Birmingham, but i think he sold that a little while ago.  He's hard as hell to contact maybe youtube fame has something to do with that but a nice guy if you ever get to speak to him.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/30/2023 at 2:46 PM, Vizard said:

 

Good afternoon, All.

I have a watch incoming that I want to refurbish but it has an engraved case back.

What technique would be used to remove it? I am assuming a gold welding technique, given how deep it is. Are we into the realms of specialist help here? If so, can anyone suggest someone good to do it for me in the UK?

I would add that I have, in the past, done some MIG and gas welding and still own a MIG welder and gas torch (sans hoses). So I COULD learn how to do this myself, if anyone has any pointers to a tutorial (I've looked on Youtube).

I also need a dial refurb specialist, if anyone has any suggestions - UK again.

I am aware, incidentally, that removal of engravings divides opinion. But I have decided that it needs to go.

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Untitled.jpg

Mig or gas welding will be too much for the case. I do laser welding and can fill in that with matching material. Can be skimmed and polished later.

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On 11/17/2023 at 10:47 AM, johncon301 said:

Mig or gas welding will be too much for the case. I do laser welding and can fill in that with matching material. Can be skimmed and polished later.

Where are you based for future reference?

I got the case back back, after letting a local jeweller loose on it. I wish I hadn't.

She used gold solder to fill it, then tried to put keum boo on top. It didn't work and she re-flowed the solder. In cleaning up she has thinned the case. It still snaps on but it is noticeably thin.

I am not sure whether anything can now be done - perhaps gold solder a disc on the back? I think the price would be uneconomic.

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13 hours ago, Vizard said:

Where are you based for future reference?

I got the case back back, after letting a local jeweller loose on it. I wish I hadn't.

She used gold solder to fill it, then tried to put keum boo on top. It didn't work and she re-flowed the solder. In cleaning up she has thinned the case. It still snaps on but it is noticeably thin.

I am not sure whether anything can now be done - perhaps gold solder a disc on the back? I think the price would be uneconomic.

Hi Vizard

I am in Ireland, We have laser cutters, engravers and welders for all kinds of materials. We tend to concentrate on small component services. I build laser machines for a hobby and working on a small watch makers CNC lathe at the moment. Hopefully will be able to produce the likes of custom watch case backs in the future.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
12 hours ago, Waggy said:

I think perhaps it's time to look for a replacement?

Not sure how easy that would be, and if I found one the right size whether it would fit. I can imagine these things are "paired".

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