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Dial Cleaning Example



I have this Omega watch with a stained dial. It's not the kind of "patina" I find particularly appealing so I wanted to see if I could clean it up with the usual soapy water but nothing happened... Then, by chance, I bought the exact same Omega dial for a couple of dollars at a flea market, with the same kind of discoloration (I also scored another omega (354 bumper) in the process, I'll clean it up and give it to my dad). So it was time to experiment !!!!



Before picture :




All 3 methods were applied with a Q-tip (cotton swab), gently rubbing the cleaning solution on the dial, and rinsed VERY WELL using distilled water.


First up : more soapy water, with different soap concentrations... no change.

Second : lemon juice diluted in water, increasing the lemon juice concentration slowly... no change

Last : Windex (ammonia based window cleaner) MIRACLE !!!! It took about 30 minutes of work to get this result, doing one little portions of the dial at a time. I chickened out around the writing on the dial, so it doesn't look as good as other places. I didn't want to push my luck.


After picture :





Share any method you've used and before/after pictures.

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Nice work frenchie. Like you I feel there is a fine dividing line between patina & scrap, so its worth having a go at cleaning. Examles of previous work (originally posted last year):



Although the pic doesn't show it too well the dial was in a right state with varnish lifting, discolouration, water damage to edge etc. Took the plunge & dipped it in HG silver fast shine (Goddards silver dip is the same I believe). Most of the minute markers had lifted with the flaking varnish so the rest were removed. When dry sprayed with acrylic varnish.


The result:


Here's another I did a little later:


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:


If the print is under the varnish and sound this method should work but great care needs to be taken. I have found many watches to have the print on top of the varnish and tends to come off far to easily. I would not suggest that this method is completely safe or will work every time, but the results have been good so far.

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Tricky that one Roy. The print is starting to go so probably best left alone. I did do a similar one a while back by reprinting the dial using Adobe Indesign & an Epson P50 printer onto thick photo paper initially, but eventually used opaque white water slide paper onto the original brass dial as this supported the movement in the case (& forgot to take a picture of the final result). However the dial wasn't textured like yours, so may not work as well.20151005_175602r.jpg.d85e3be7ebe5a0e8a8138516f83db434.jpg

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Great results..  I always seem to encounter dials with text/logo printed on top of the lacquer, and any attempt to clean it will damage the text. I don't really dare to touch dials anymore.

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