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From time to time, I'm unhappy with the watch luminous on a watch I've bought.

 

I normally like to keep things as original as possible and just leave them alone, but sometimes it doesn't do it the watch any favours.

 

Sometimes the hands have been redone in bright green, maybe the hand luminous is falling off due to careless watch repairer, or perhaps the hands have over aged and become black and too dirty to read.

 

So that's where I step in and do my best to getting it looking proper.

 

 

 

First of all, this isn't a tutorial, do this at home at your own risk!

 

I just thought it might be interesting to you guys to see some of my results.

 

I shall post some small tips below though:-

 

1. Mixture is key, too much thinner makes the paint runny, and it won't go where you want it too, too much binder will make it shiny and unnatural looking. (unless it's a modern watch), this is probably the hardest part to get right.

 

2. Leave hands to dry over 24 hours. While it's tempting to put on an hour after, the chemicals will damage certain dials, just from the vapor. 

 

3. Too much luminous paint can make hands curl when they dry, if hands are very thin.

 

4. When putting hands back on, I prefer to set minute and hour hand.

 

5. Sometimes just accept you can't get it perfect. Even original hands sometimes age slightly differently from the dial, perhaps depending on it's thickness or environmental factors.

 

Can't help with pigment advice, I bought a vintage source of waterproof pigments, that were designed to be mixed with eggwhite from an independent person, and it's no longer stocked. All pigments are mixed manually.

 

Tools:

 

1. Hand removers, I mainly use levers, sometimes very rarely I will use the spring type hand remover though.

 

2. Dial guard, used with hand remover (I just made a homemade one).

 

3. Plastic tweezers. hands are very delicate and thinly plated.

 

4. Hand press

 

5. Oiler stick for applying paint. (Have tried a thin brush before like they originally did in the old days, but did not get the results I wanted.) 

 

 

Now that's all said, I have to say my jobs are hit and miss, sometimes I'm quite happy, sometimes I think I should of done better, but it's just how it goes. Feel free to comment on what you think is bad and what you think is good. Also I've only recently decided to share my work, so my best jobs are long gone and never photographed, but I shall try and keep this going as it's something I often do myself when trying to get a watch to be more sellable.

 

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This is a Buren military watch from the 1940's, someone before me painted the hands bright green and the original luminous turned black and was missing in places. 

 

I decided to redo the hands and dial luminous. (white spots on second picture are from lint which my iphone camera picks up from the strong light source)

post-1618-0-51687100-1457451130_thumb.pn

post-1618-0-83801800-1457451145_thumb.jp

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This is a Jaeger lecoultre military watch, I probably consider this job a miss. 

 

Original hands were a grimmy mold looking green and I believe someone relumed the dial before hand, a very orangely looking colour. I probably should of relumed the whole dial, but decided just to match the colour they had used. Never the less it sold anyway.

post-1618-0-44491900-1457451328_thumb.jp

post-1618-0-11199600-1457451333_thumb.jp

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This one is another JLC military.

 

Hand luminous was completely missing, however original dial luminous was intact.

 

I decided to add a bit of patina and age to the hands to get this to match the original luminous.

post-1618-0-86933800-1457451573_thumb.jp

post-1618-0-12443700-1457451581_thumb.jp

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What would you use for a job on a Seiko that is snow white in aspect and is supposed to glow as below ?

 

24188882743_b76208def5.jpg

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What would you use for a job on a Seiko that is snow white in aspect and is supposed to glow as below ?

 

24188882743_b76208def5.jpg

I only do vintage watches, so I only have experience with making lume look old. So the luminous glow is slightly dull after pigment is mixed. And this matches the old luminous on watches because the glow strength has weakened as time passes.

 

However from speaking to dial restorers that I know, for glow strength it depends on the quality of the luminous. He told me there are different grades of luminous, and the stuff you and I can buy is pretty much junk. The real stuff comes from Switzerland and can only be ordered industrially.

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However from speaking to dial restorers that I know, for glow strength it depends on the quality of the luminous. He told me there are different grades of luminous, and the stuff you and I can buy is pretty much junk. The real stuff comes from Switzerland and can only be ordered industrially.

 

Or from Japan (lumibrite). The Swiss one should be  this http://www.rctritec.com/?id=13 

Some seller sat they have the real deal, but I've never tried.

 

BTW your relumes look very fine and coherent.

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Impressive work, particularly like the Le Coultre as I would have hardly been able to tell it was not original.

 

Cheers,

 

Vic

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Just a curiosity question BW, what sort of magnification do you use to achieve these results. I have done a little re luming but never attempted numbers etc. only hands. I am now tempted to dig out an old scrapper and have a go. I would probably have to use my scope as my near sight is on the wane.

Cheers,

Vic

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i ordered lume from a seller on the SCWF. he said it was from nemoto, if i remember correctly. i think it was lumibrite.

i got blue and green. haven't used it yet. but i can tell you, the little plastic packets glow like crazy.

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Just a curiosity question BW, what sort of magnification do you use to achieve these results. I have done a little re luming but never attempted numbers etc. only hands. I am now tempted to dig out an old scrapper and have a go. I would probably have to use my scope as my near sight is on the wane.

Cheers,

Vic

I don't use any magnification. I always find using a strong light source much much better.

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Thanks for the advice BW. I don't think I could manage even with my reading glasses but I will still have a go using the scope. Do use any particular method to remove old lume from the numbers prior to putting on the new lume.

Cheers,

Vic

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Thanks for the advice BW. I don't think I could manage even with my reading glasses but I will still have a go using the scope. Do use any particular method to remove old lume from the numbers prior to putting on the new lume.

Cheers,

Vic

 

Yeah, use pegwood, anything harsher will scratch the dial.

 

Use a brush to remove the dust or sometimes rodico if dust is stuck to dial, do not use a air puffer, and put remainder dust on a white of paper, fold and throw out when done. 

 

Why I say do not use an air puffer is because watches under the age of 1950's all use radium.

 

While it's a safer than people make it out to be, you do not want to be breathing it in.

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