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Recommendations Sought: faux luminous restoration for a trench watch

  1. Joe_A Mar 31, 2021

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    Sometime toward the end of 2020 I bought a 1916 Gallet Electa trench watch which is now at my watchmaker for a full service. I'll have it back in my hands - and on my wrist now and then - in a month or so.

    Before sending the watch out, we had a discussion about applying aged-look inert non-luminous material to the numerals and hands as part of a restoration. As it later turned out, my watchmaker only uses Super-LumiNova products (RC Tritec) and when I asked that the luminous material be restored without actual luminous material, this is a thing the watchmaker would not take on as his experience is with S-LN products only.

    Several things attracted me to this watch.

    I wanted to add one or two trench watches to my small collection and I thought a Borgel cased Gallet Electa in Sterling silver . . . and with a David Boettcher strap would be a very good start.

    Let's have a look at the watch:

    GEB1917-3.jpg

    In my hand here . . .

    Electa-Face-092120-1.jpg


    and here:

    Electa-Movt-092120-1.jpg

    The dial is in good shape with just a very fine hairline crack that is hard to see running from the center out to the edge between 11 & 12.

    I've no way of knowing whether the seconds hand is original as it does look excessively 'length-challenged."

    In any case, once on the timegrapher, it became clear that the watch needed service.

    So here at last is the purpose of this post.

    Does anyone know of a specialist, preferably in the U.S. who will apply a colorant to the hands and numerals that would be consistent with a 'proper' look for a watch having spent 100 years in a drawer somewhere? ;)

    Should I bother to have faux lume applied?

    The skeletal hands and naked numerals do look pretty good as is.

    Cheers,

    Joe
     
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  2. BlackTalon This Space for Rent Mar 31, 2021

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  3. Vitezi Mar 31, 2021

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    Some threads below on this, mostly about reluming markers or hands but applicable to numerals as well. Some highly regarded folks are in the UK or Italy:

    https://omegaforums.net/threads/relume-artist-in-the-states.80566/
    https://omegaforums.net/threads/lets-talk-about-hands-relume-help-required.67914/
    https://www.instagram.com/thealchemistrelumer/
    https://omegaforums.net/threads/to-relume-a-105-012-dial.98931/
    https://omegaforums.net/threads/to-relume-or-leave-be.27193/
    https://omegaforums.net/threads/roberto-tarabella-and-advice-on-relume.104158/
     
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  4. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Mar 31, 2021

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    Have you asked David for a recommendation?
     
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  5. SkunkPrince Mar 31, 2021

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    Everest Watch Works in the US as well.

    If it's the right color, why would you care whether it glows? I myself prefer it does.

    Tom
     
    IMG_0501.jpeg
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  6. Joe_A Mar 31, 2021

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    Thank you.

    I should have performed a search, but I had not seen any discussion on the subject (specific to trench watches) during the time I've been a community member here. Will dig a bit deeper now.
     
  7. JwRosenthal Mar 31, 2021

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    Love those plump 3- dimensional numerals.
     
  8. Joe_A Mar 31, 2021

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    I haven't reached out to David as yet, but I may do so.

    I do know that Larry (@ Gallet service) has done nice dial and hand relume work on at least one other trench watch - a WWI era chrono - which they featured on FB.

    Gallet offers a package approach rather than an à la carte servicing approach . . . and as many of us know, their turnaround times are very long.

    RGM does very fine full service work and at the moment, their turnaround time is about 5 weeks.

    Edit: Larry, were you thinking "David Laurence" or David Boettcher"?
     
    Edited Mar 31, 2021
  9. Joe_A Mar 31, 2021

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    Thanks Tom,

    Your watch looks quite fine; I'd say beautiful.

    The kind of look I have been thinking about is something akin to an aged lume look with earth tone colorants that resemble a blend of yellow ochre, bunt umber and burnt sienna. Basically suggestive of aged radium and zinc sulfide.

    I am undecided actually, so I thought I'd use a little crowd sourcing. ;)

    Here's an example from David Boettcher's site:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Mar 31, 2021

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    David B. But if RGM is willing, I’d give them the job. For some reason I thought you were in the UK.
     
    Edited Mar 31, 2021
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  11. Joe_A Sep 13, 2021

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    Watch has come back from RGM (some time ago, actually) and I am still mulling over relume . . . ;)

    Has anyone had work done by Angelo @ Dough Boy Watches?

    https://www.doughboywatches.com/

    He also advertises his work on Ebay.

    He offers relume service using Noctilumina products and non-luminous pigments that are meant to replicate the look of aged radium.

    Seems like a nice fellow; very prompt on an email inquiry.

    His price is very reasonable and he's located in Paterson, NJ not far from where I am located.

    Recent shots of the returned watch:

    GE-1916-091221-2.jpg

    GE-1916-091221-1.jpg
     
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  12. SkunkPrince Sep 13, 2021

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    I know you specified aged... but this isn't a bad look either (and glows a lot!)
     
    IMG_0140.jpeg
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  13. Dan S Sep 13, 2021

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    I vote for having the hands lumed to match the dial, assuming you follow through with the dial. Good news is that it's not much of a risk on an enamel dial. If you're unhappy, it can probably be re-done without damaging the dial.
     
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  14. SkunkPrince Sep 13, 2021

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    I can upgrade that to definitely. My Omega, that's its second lume, the first was too dark.
     
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  15. Joe_A Sep 13, 2021

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    @Tom . . .I do like the luminous material and overall quality of the work done on your Omega. I had thought to use a darker color suggesting aged radium imbued material of the period, but the lighter color looks good as well.

    I shall keep Everest Watch Works (Arizona) in mind.

    What I would like to get out of this thread at this point if possible are reports from anyone who has had experience with Dough Boy Watches.

    I have no experience with them. I like what I see on the Website, but Websites are patient. ;)

    @Dan S

    Yes, I do plan to do the dial and the hands and have them done at the same time and with the same material.

    Cheers,

    Joe
     
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  16. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Sep 13, 2021

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    @Joe_A … guess I missed something. Did you ask Roland Murphy about lume? I have an 801 COE … I figure they could have done it.
     
  17. Joe_A Sep 13, 2021

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    Yes, I did ask him Larry.

    He indicated to me that he outsources his relume work to rcTritec Super-LumiNova which requires sending the dial and hands to/from Switzerland.

    I am confident that the work would have been stellar and that's why he uses them.

    Originally, I was going to leave the dial as is . . . and the watch hands in skeletal form as you see them today. By the time I finally made up my mind, the watch was ready to come back to me.
     
  18. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Sep 13, 2021

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    Yea the work is stellar. Good luck finding a US shop.
     
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  19. SkunkPrince Sep 13, 2021

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    Lume ages at different rates based on the environment the watch was kept in and how it was stored afterwards. Those watches that have been through the Great War often have no lume left because it deteriorated so badly, it was just removed.

    The lume in my Omega was based on a WWII aircraft instrument. So that rusty color you're talking about is one of the many possibilities and for a WWI-aged watch, likely what it should have today.[/user]
     
  20. AdInfinitum Dec 16, 2021

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    Another thumbs-up for Noctilumina, you can mix colours together to get very nuanced shades of fauxtinated tritium or radium.