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  1. Superpacker

    Superpacker Apr 24, 2013

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    It seems to me that most pure black dials out have been redialed. It also seems that most of the authentic (non redialed) black dials I see out there already show signs of fading to, or have already become tropical dials. So is that just inevitable with black dials? While I think Tropicals are cool (I like them more on sport watches, chronos, etc.) if I am not after owning one, should I just get over black dials? Or is there a way to prohibit the tropic transformation? Thanks
     
  2. MSNWatch

    MSNWatch Vintage Omega Aficionado Staff Member Apr 24, 2013

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    Are you talking about black dials in constellations or black dials in general? Lots of examples of original black dials in all sorts of vintage omegas in good condition with little aging and many of them have been pictured here. They are not common but they are out there with a bit of searching.
     
  3. Superpacker

    Superpacker Apr 24, 2013

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    Mostly just Omegas. I feel like I have seen several black Constellations in great condition, however most black seamasters or devilles I have seen don't have a pure black dial. Or they are redialed.
     
  4. cicindela

    cicindela Steve @ ΩF Staff Member Apr 24, 2013

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    This is generally the wear and conditions they were exposed to during their lives. The best condition Constellations, of any dial, were usually kept in a dresser drawer.
     
  5. Tony C.

    Tony C. Ωf Jury member Apr 24, 2013

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    Actually, I'm of the opinion that many vintage Omega dials of all colors were finished in such a way that they were especially prone to degradation (or patina, if you prefer).
     
  6. hoipolloi

    hoipolloi Vintage Omega Connoisseur Apr 24, 2013

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    There are two kinds of black dials. Black guilloche (or waffle) dials and normal black dials. The black guilloche last for a long long time and are not affected much by the sun, weather or moisture etc....the normal blacks' are.....that's why you don't see many of them around.
    If you like to own one, you can go to.....Rolex. I guess.
     
  7. MSNWatch

    MSNWatch Vintage Omega Aficionado Staff Member Apr 24, 2013

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    Here are 2 seamasters that I sold to forum members in the past few months and both had well preserved original black dials. The first one is particularly striking (to me at least) because the markers are silver rather than the more common gold.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. kyle L

    kyle L Grasshopper Staff Member Apr 24, 2013

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    Here are a couple that I own/have owned.

    Nice Condition:
    [​IMG]

    A little tropical:

    [​IMG]

    Crazing:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. ozmega

    ozmega Apr 24, 2013

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    Actually, you are correct there.

    Apparently Omegas from the 50's are coated in some sort of organic cellulose (??) lacquer that is particularly susceptible to degradation from UV, moisture and dust, even compared to other watches of the day.

    It's fair to say that EVERY black dial Constellation on Ebay should be treated with a healthy amount of suspicion if you don't like redials, as they often are.

    Having said that, originals are out there, and to land a good one will be even sweeter when you've been searching for it for longer.

    Black Dial 503_2.JPG
     
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  10. ozmega

    ozmega Apr 24, 2013

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    If you sold that Seamaster calendar @6 I'm wondering if I bought it from you...

    If not I have it's perfect twin.
     
  11. kyle L

    kyle L Grasshopper Staff Member Apr 24, 2013

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    It's possible! I know it has gone through a couple of hands already. :)
     
  12. ulackfocus

    ulackfocus Apr 24, 2013

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    Bingo. Up 'til the early 60's, Omega was behind the times in their top coat materials. From the mid/late 60's on they got modernized (relatively speaking) and there are plenty of very good conditioned black dials to be had.
     
  13. Superpacker

    Superpacker Apr 24, 2013

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    All of this seems to support what I have found so far. Tony C.'s comment seems to perfectly sum up my general observations, as I have noticed far more Omega degradation than say, Rolex. I wondered if it was the process or materials. Based on the comment above, are the mid/late 60's black dials more durable, for lack of a better term? As might first purchase could be my only, I would like a good solid day-in-day-out watch to wear to the office without having to worry about it not being worth passing down to the kiddies.
     
  14. ozmega

    ozmega Apr 24, 2013

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    I'm actually looking into this at the moment, but there's no info out there it seems.

    Some of you must have seen Desmond's old article with the rare pie pan Seamaster that a guy in Miami stripped the clear coat off and resurfaced?

    Came up mint.

    It's a painstaking process that involves removing all the applied markers, gently stripping the clear (with unknown/secret solution) so that the underlying paint/font remains intact, resurfacing the dial (with unknown/secret solution) and re riveting the applied markers.

    I feel it could be a good intermediate step for conserving original dials before going straight to the redial option, but it would have to be DIY for my old Seamasters as it wouldn't be viable to pay someone for that kind of work.

    I've actually been onto this recently and ordered some various clear coats and am looking into an airbrush for application, as well as looking for "lab rat" dials.

    If anyone has any experience/tips/knowledge on this or even some old dials, please PM me.

    Obviously I wouldn't be starting with my Ranchero or SM300...
     
  15. ulackfocus

    ulackfocus Apr 24, 2013

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    Hold on there! Don't try this on painted dials!!!! It only works on gold dials according to Sonny Dewan (the guy in Miami). The solution that removes the top coat will also remove the paint. Gold dials have no base paint to remove, and if you've ever seen one there is a slight engraving for the fonts that the ink is "poured" (for lack of a better word) into so it forms a raised curve top like when a glass is so full it's over the rim but because of surface tension it's not so full that it spills over.
     
  16. ozmega

    ozmega Apr 24, 2013

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    Copy that.

    I did note the gold dial and recessed font, but I have some painted Omega dials that the the clear is almost totally lifted off by itself without any help.

    I have actually spoken to Sonny Dewan a few years back and sent him an example picture, and his point was more that it wasn't worth the trouble for the watch, not that it couldn't be done. He didn't give me any tips or recipes.

    By solvents I am talking things like straight distilled water (which is a solvent) maybe with a few drops of lemon juice, not acetone or something like that.

    I'm hoping to find something that only attacks the clear lacquer, which I hope is possible as it seems to do a pretty good job of dissolving by itself, and doesn't attack the painted surface.

    Like I said, I'll only try it on trash dials anyway (got any?). It may come to nothing, but I'll have a play around with it.
     
  17. hoipolloi

    hoipolloi Vintage Omega Connoisseur Apr 24, 2013

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    Omega has used different top coats in many years on different models. One solvent works on this but won't work on others and some top coat is so fragile that you'd better leave it alone

    Kyle has a 2887 with the top coat intact

    [​IMG]

    and here's mine after cleaning process

    [​IMG]

    the stuff I used on that cannot be used on 2852, 14381, 168005 etc.....

    be warned....
     
  18. Alpenschneerot

    Alpenschneerot Apr 27, 2013

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    That`s mine ... IMG_0426[1].JPG
     
  19. simon

    simon Apr 27, 2013

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    seamaster 610 with original dial
     
    f2.jpg
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  20. styggpyggeno1

    styggpyggeno1 ΩF Enforcer ....and thread killer Apr 27, 2013

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    Untouched dial

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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