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Can this Seamaster chronograph dial be cleaned up?

  1. JetLinks

    JetLinks Jul 28, 2020

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    I know this dial has seen better days but can it be cleaned up with some love at home, and if not, then by a professional?

    Also, any comments on why the hour hand is white but the minute hand is black?

    Thanks OF members!

    s-l500.jpg
     
  2. cristos71

    cristos71 Jul 28, 2020

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    The minute hand isn't sitting flush to the dial, you can see that clearly around the pivot where it appears to be at an angle ( maybe twisted somehow )

    Maybe the dial can be improved with a little TLC, maybe not....I don't think there is ever a clear answer. It looks to me like it has maybe seen an earlier cleaning attempt, note the fade/missing print around the missing 7' o clock marker
     
    Mark020 likes this.
  3. Davidt

    Davidt Jul 28, 2020

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    Some people have had results with diluted lemon juice but for every positive outcome there’s a case where it stripped print from the dial.

    I’d only attempt it on very poor dials where it wasn’t a huge issue if fails.
     
    janice&fred and Stripey like this.
  4. ConElPueblo

    ConElPueblo Jul 28, 2020

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    It has already lost a fair amount of print on the periphery of the dial, meaning that in those places any protective lacquer has been eroded; any cleaning will be much harsher on those areas. I don't think it will ever look any better than it does now…
     
  5. X350 XJR

    X350 XJR Vintage Omega Aficionado Jul 28, 2020

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    Missing marker at seven would be even more problematic.
     
    Edited Jul 28, 2020
    1jansen and JwRosenthal like this.
  6. janice&fred

    janice&fred Jul 28, 2020

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    I wouldn't touch it. You will be sorry if you do.
     
    JwRosenthal likes this.
  7. OmegaP99

    OmegaP99 Jul 28, 2020

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    It's not in your possession is it? I ask because they appear the same to me, polished metal, unpainted, but showing various reflections.
    I would leave it as it sits, and source a replacement if it's not to your standard. This is an acceptable dial for my own collection, but I'm a patina guy. YMMV
     
  8. Scarecrow Boat

    Scarecrow Boat Jul 28, 2020

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    The minute hand is not black. It’s polished just like the hour and because of its polished surface, it’s reflecting what’s in front of it. You can see at the very bottom of the chrono seconds hand that a reflection is just visible. It’s the same reason why the hour chrono hand is “black” and the others are polished.

    Edited to add: if you zoom in on the minute hand, you can see the reflection start to fade away where the hand meets the stack. At that same area is where the reflection starts to appear on the chrono seconds hand. While zoomed in, you can see the reflection fade away in the chrono hour hand in that same spot. The fixture point holding the chrono hour hand isn’t behaving the same way (showing as black) like the hand because it has a domed top surface. You can see a trace of a reflection on the bottom half. It’s all lighting.
     
    Edited Jul 28, 2020
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  9. OmegaP99

    OmegaP99 Jul 28, 2020

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    While we're at it, this is exactly why some manufacturers build their hands in this manner. Painted hands can be any shape, but polished metal hands are very often curved along their length so they catch light at any position, making one area either darker or lighter, so there's always enough contrast to see their position. A very clever detail that I think goes unappreciated!
     
    apsm100 likes this.
  10. watchyouwant

    watchyouwant ΩF Clairvoyant Jul 28, 2020

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    For the missing marker ask DON in Canada. He has a few different ones for sale. Maybe you are lucky....cleaning: not sure. You will get some dirt off and maybe make some dark scratches lighter in colour. But the risk outweighs the improvement, I think. Kind regards. Achim
     
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  11. airansun

    airansun Jul 28, 2020

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    These particular dials are very fragile. I wouldn’t try anything because it’s likely to look worse afterwards.

    What he said.
     
  12. arturo7

    arturo7 Jul 28, 2020

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    Yup
     
  13. killer67

    killer67 Jul 28, 2020

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    Lighting has affected the image but I don’t think the dial will get better with an attempt at cleaning; it might get worse though
     
    OmegaP99 likes this.
  14. OmegaP99

    OmegaP99 Jul 28, 2020

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    I made this graphic to clarify my statement in regards to this curve of the hands. Some do curve at the end to accommodate the shape of the dial, but this is what I was describing. Facets achieve a similar effect, most notably perhaps on Grand Seiko hands.

    Screen Shot 2020-07-28 at 8.25.51 PM.png
     
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  15. chipsotoole

    chipsotoole Jul 31, 2020

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    I've had about a 50% success rate with cleaning dials..and with one exception I don't attempt it on valuable watches, just junk for fun. There's way too much lacquered transfer print on that watch..it'll end in tears. Best results in cleaning come from simpler dials where perhaps there isn't much in the way of script, the finish is "baked" on in a ceramic or enamel style and the dirt and grime appears to be more superficial than integrated. You might get away with cleaning the very edge but that's about it.
    once you start on the face proper it'll be extremely difficult to get an even clean and finish.
    And start out with just using distilled water and those tiny tiny disposable cotton bud brush thingies that wimmin use to get the gunk out of their eyelashes....you can buy then online..they're great cos they don't shed strands like regular cotton buds and are much better for precision work.
     
  16. 1jansen

    1jansen Jul 31, 2020

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    Hi JetLink,
    All well said by respectful OF members. As an alternative, perhaps, you should consider start looking for a new dial.
    Good luck!
     
    20200801_002806.jpg
    JetLinks likes this.
  17. JetLinks

    JetLinks Jul 31, 2020

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    @1jansen Are you selling this one?
     
  18. Syzygy

    Syzygy Jul 31, 2020

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    What the heck is going on with that tachymetre hand? I can't tell if it stops at the markers and I'm seeing a scratch or some other debris on the dial, or it's really long and bent to the right.
     
  19. airansun

    airansun Jul 31, 2020

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    That’s a later dial than yours and it isn’t a ‘t’ dial, with tritium lume at the hours, to match your lumed hands. Of course, finding any of these dials in nice condition is very very difficult.
     
    1jansen likes this.
  20. nkhandekar

    nkhandekar Jul 31, 2020

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    That dial is never going to look great. If I were to own it I would try cleaning it with some dilute EDTA or triammonium citrate (between 1-5% w/v) to see if you can clean off the dirt and corrosion. I would do the cleaning under the microscope and use small swabs (roll them yourself) after some careful testing. Don't blame me if it doesn't work!