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  1. pokieaddict Sep 26, 2023

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    Just wanted to amke a post and get any info i can on how people are re-paint and refinishing dials.
    Ive seen heaps of amazing work and its something ild love to offer to clients
    Pic Attached on some ive seen
     
    Screenshot 2023-09-27 at 8.40.52 am.png Screenshot 2023-09-27 at 8.41.13 am.png
  2. sheepdoll Sep 26, 2023

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    I spent years back in the 1990s taking jewelry classes in attempts to learn how to make and fix dials. At the time I was working for Apple and had access to then cutting edge laser printing technology.

    The photos may use some trick lighting to make things look better than they really are.

    The main issue is these are done with thin layers of lacquer. So once it is gone it is gone. The process is a sort of decal. The machines used are called pad printers. These use printing plates similar to the ones used for printing currency. So unless one has the original plates ...

    There may be people in places like Italy or Vietnam, whom are chemists and can come up with good ways to paint and restore dials. These same people can make counterfeit currency although I suspect counterfeiting watch dials has less risk of a prison sentence. Art forgers may also have the skill. There are also book forgers who fake illuminated manuscripts and medieval binding. This has been going on for millennia as such things are called palimpsest. I used to spend a lot of time one the Voynich Benike Mss 480 mailing lists. Most of us who have spent decades now think it is a forgery.

    Perhaps there is some gas process what could remove the grime in a vacuum chamber? Any liquid or abrasive is going to remove more than what is needed and damage the watch.

    This does not mean I will not try my hand again at dial restoration. Such work however will always have tells, intentional or not what will let the experts know a restoration was involved.
     
  3. pokieaddict Sep 26, 2023

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    Ive seen some guy on youtube do it with a cotton swab and some Mystery liquid, even just being able to clean off whatevers on there and re finish would be handy
     
  4. YVR785 Sep 26, 2023

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    Almost impossible and any real watchmaker wouldn’t touch a vintage dial like that with a 10-foot pole.
     
  5. gbesq Sep 26, 2023

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    Could you post a link to that video, please? There's a big difference between cleaning a dial (generally a bad idea) and refinishing a dial (even the best restorations don't match the quality of the original dial). I'm fairly certain that there are no skilled dial refinishers whose primary tools are a cotton swab and mystery refinishing liquid.
     
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  6. pokieaddict Sep 26, 2023

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    Around the 5 min mark


    Also peep his instagram - has some good results as well for refinishing, My thinking its possibly a spray matte finish after hes touched up with hobby paint
     
  7. TIMElyBehaviour Sep 26, 2023

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    How do I get some mystery liquid?
     
  8. pokieaddict Sep 26, 2023

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    "real watchmakers" lol - but what the client wants the client wants. nothing wrong with having more services to offer
     
  9. sheepdoll Sep 26, 2023

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    Well when you run the film in reverse ...

    I always find it how often Nikon and Sony play stations used left handed screws in some of those 'Restoration' videos.
     
  10. watchyouwant ΩF Clairvoyant Sep 27, 2023

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    Go for it. Start with a Rolex Milsub Dial .
     
  11. JimJupiter Sep 27, 2023

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    watchyouwant and Fallout Boy like this.
  12. S.H. Sep 27, 2023

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    Screenshot_20230927_150228.jpg

    So the guy is showing off with a pricey dial (restoration :rolleyes: can't stand the word)... Bare handed dial handling.
     
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  13. watchyouwant ΩF Clairvoyant Sep 27, 2023

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    This is hilarious. If the dial is genuine ( I have my doubts , but pics. are lousy ) , you want to spray a matte' clear coat of paint over it ? That is the easiest way to reduce the Dial value from $ 20.000 to $ 200....
     
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  14. pokieaddict Sep 27, 2023

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    I personally dont really care too much for watches, its just my job. If the customer wants something like this ild like to be able to offer them something, just not alot of info online or anyones willing to help out another watchmaker.
    I personally have the view of if you like the look of a new watch and want your old speedy/rolex etc to look like new then why not?
    I understand the collectors point of view but i always see watches a bit more for utilitarian uses, so whats the harm in making it look good. thats just me though LOL, everyone can have their own POV and ill accept it - im just after some help in being able to offer something to my customers :)
     
  15. watchyouwant ΩF Clairvoyant Sep 27, 2023

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    You are hopeless. Good luck for your future. That Milsub , if original, fetches Pounds 50.000 at Auction...
     
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  16. Dan S Sep 27, 2023

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    There is some diversity of opinion on this forum, but apparently you are really not reading the room correctly. This is mainly a collector's forum, so there will not be much sympathy for the idea that it's ok to devalue a collectible dial by refinishing it. Hopefully, most watchmakers would try to dissuade a client from making an expensive mistake. Also, I suspect that the vast majority of members would hesitate to do business with a watchmaker that doesn't have some affinity to watches.

    That said, I suspect that the problems with most restoration stories is (1) that we don't see the 9 examples that didn't go well and (2) that the results may be manipulated/exaggerated. Frankly, I have seen many more bad results than good results, and I don't know anyone that I would trust to clean the surface of a valuable dial unless it was too trashed to use. I think it would be extremely risky to recommend a process like this to a client. What if it goes wrong? Many clients would feel you bear some responsibility.
     
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  17. pokieaddict Sep 27, 2023

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    I wouldve hoped the watchmaking section had more stuff like this but ah well, its the internet :)
    I do like watches, i just dont really get the hype of collecting and what not. ive always just been more of a fan of the inside and repairing them rather than how they look/the social status they bring, you get kind of disillusioned to watches when you see them all day, and of course its against my wishes to refinish dials but we have had some interest from people that have had their watches since they released and just want them to look new again.

    Mainnly ild like to offer this to some older omegas, rancheros, dynamics etc etc. Of course being able to clean up the lume on the side and any stuff that a customer would like.
    The plan is to buy a few dials that are already tarnished and practice some method on those before any customers, just wanted a rough idea on where to start :0
     
  18. Dan S Sep 27, 2023

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    There are several watchmakers on the forum who contribute regularly, and they will participate in this thread if they are inclined. I don't know if Greg from True Patina is a member, but he does participate on rolexforums.
     
  19. gbesq Sep 27, 2023

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    Just my opinion, but doing what you propose to any vintage watch - let alone something as rare and valuable as a Ranchero - is troubling. Respectfully, you’re not going to get a warm reception here or on any watch collector’s forum for suggesting it. At a minimum, a reputable watchmaker should inform the client that refinishing a dial will devalue a vintage watch and that cleaning a dial carries with it a significant risk of damage.
     
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  20. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Sep 27, 2023

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    Yes, only the success stories are ever shown. I sometimes get emails from customers of other watchmakers asking what to do when the watchmaker has tried to "clean" the dial, and the printing is now gone, like this one...

    [​IMG]

    This one was rinsed with the mystery liquid called "solvent H." Commonly used by some watchmakers to clean dials, but even though they say they do it all the time without problems, this is what happens when you push your luck.

    The way he stabilized the lume on the hands in the video is odd. There's no need to mix any colour, you just apply the clear binder to the back of the hands - it doesn't change the colour of the lume at all. I've stabilized hundreds of hand sets using clear binder without having any colour change.
     
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