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Does anybody know a good quality but affordable dial refinisher in the US?

  1. datniche27

    datniche27 Jan 23, 2015

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    I am usually all for originality, but for certain occasions I know I could make a totally ruined watch beautiful again with the right refinisher. Any suggestions in the US? I would love to see some Omega examples if possible, to see the quality (especially for the correctness of the text, etc.)

    Thanks!
     
    noelekal likes this.
  2. datniche27

    datniche27 Feb 6, 2015

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    Does anyone have any input? Thanks
     
  3. Time Exposure

    Time Exposure coordinates his cast with his car's paint job Feb 6, 2015

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    I have only used two, neither were Omega. The one from International Dial was cheap at $45, but it looked like a Friday-night-after-drinks effort.
    At $149, Kirk Rich Dial wasn't cheap, and they took their sweet time. But their quality was much better. I'll see if I linked the pics to any old threads.
     
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  4. Time Exposure

    Time Exposure coordinates his cast with his car's paint job Feb 6, 2015

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    Here's the International Dial examples Before
    [​IMG]
    And After
    [​IMG]
    Sorry for the crappy quality.
    The Kirk Rich dial was much better, but I don't have pictures handy.
     
  5. gatorcpa

    gatorcpa ΩF InvestiGator Staff Member Feb 6, 2015

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    International is really only good for older American watches where they have the original dies. They use the baked-on finishes from the 1920's and 1930's. They also do a nice job with artificially aging on luminous material to match original hands where required. I'm not impressed by any of their work on Swiss dials. I think they are just trying to do the best they can.

    I do not know of any redial firm in the US that does a good job with Omega dials. No one has proper dies and can reproduce the original finishes correctly. Even the redials that come from Switzerland leave a lot to be desired and the companies there are charging serious money.

    One day, a smart company is going to figure out how to use high-quality photographs to cut dies with correct fonts and registers. When that day comes, they should be able to name their price.

    Until the Chinese learn how to do it for one-tenth as much.
    gatorcpa
     
  6. redpcar

    redpcar Feb 6, 2015

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    I've used both and agree to the above. You get what you pay for. Int'l Dial has done some really good jobs for me and are pretty quick. Kirk is slower. I recommend you email both with the job you want done. Both are very honest about the quality of masks they have. Email them a pic of what you have and what you want done.
     
  7. Time Exposure

    Time Exposure coordinates his cast with his car's paint job Feb 7, 2015

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    Found the other dial refinished by Kirk Rich. I went with eBay black because by the time I decided to re-do the dial, I didn't want the watch anymore.
    Before:
    [​IMG]
    And After (with crystal and bezel removed):
    [​IMG]
    Even though neither would fool anyone as an original finish, I thought the Kirk Rich dial came out much better. But then, it was 3+ times the price of the International Dial refinish...
     
  8. noelekal

    noelekal Feb 7, 2015

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    I'm gathering from this thread then that there is no one to do a workmanlike job on a '57 vintage Constellation piepan with dart markers that's already suffered one bad redo that is deteriorated.
     
  9. Canuck

    Canuck Feb 7, 2015

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    The last dial I had done was done by Kirk in Kent, Washington. It is the dial in my wife's favorite Omega. This one has applied markers and the Omega logo. The texture on this dial has caused some dial finishers problems, particularly when printing the name on the dial. This watch, by the way, was part of what Omega called the "Sapphette" series, with a faceted synthetic sapphire crystal. This one is the only one of its type I have ever seen. The sapphire crystal is tinted a pale blue which gives an interesting refraction around the edge. I was pleased with the job they did. On the other hand, the second image I have uploaded is of a dial Kent did. See anything wrong? They corrected it and did an otherwise nice job. But the cost of mailing it back by Express Post! Didn't make any money on that one!
     
    image.jpg image.jpg
    Edited Feb 7, 2015
  10. base615

    base615 Feb 8, 2015

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    Kirk Rich did a great job with my Pie Pan. Haven't tried International Dial but from the ones I've seen you get what you pay for.
     
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  11. rodh

    rodh Feb 8, 2015

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    I sent a Lemania to The Watch Guy for a refurb and he sent the dial to Int'l Dial and it turned out pretty good so I directly sent them a Tissot dial that another refinisher has messed up. Came back with many issues and even a hair stuck to a minute marker. Very soon the finish started to discolour and lift as well as the black lines on the minute markers being very rough so it's back there again and we'll see how it turns out. The image is as completed before it discoloured. Note the hair at 46 minutes! I have a vintage Omega dial I want refinished and have a quote from Rich Kirk and Int'l Dial but I'll wait for the Tissot to come back before I decide where to send it. tissot after first restoration.jpg Omega dial.JPG
     
  12. Time Exposure

    Time Exposure coordinates his cast with his car's paint job Feb 8, 2015

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    I kinda like the marbled look!
     
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  13. DManzaluni

    DManzaluni Nov 20, 2018

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    In answer to the OP, I am just considering sending a Patria trench watch dial out to Swissdial for a two-tone refinishing of my original exploding military (24 hour markings) dial. They seem to do a good job of bog-standard modern Rolex dials and there is one Cyma dial out there that they refinished?