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Vintage watch glass - smells of menthol?

  1. jimmyd13

    jimmyd13 Nov 11, 2018

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    This is a new one on me.

    I am looking at a Waltham pocket watch, circa 1940. Cosmetically it's way above average; needs a mainspring and we'll see what else later. There's an outer case with a plexi that's totally shot; the watch's own glass has a few scrapes. So I thought I'd see if a little Polywatch would bring it up before I went hunting for the right size replacement glass.

    Only, instead of cleaning up, it became sticky, with a strong menthol smell and then just clouded over. Suddenly the glass feels very brittle and definitely needs to be replaced now.

    Has anyone seen this? Is it an older type of plastic that really doesn't like Polywatch? Is it decades of an owner smoking methylated cigarettes and some strange reaction?

    Picture tax:
    IMG_20181111_1543269.jpg
    Adjusted for temperature and three positions
    IMG_20181111_1544147.jpg
    With a clear pheon on the back of the Keystone case. IMG_20181111_1544305.jpg
     
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  2. kingsrider

    kingsrider Thank you Sir! May I have another? Nov 11, 2018

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  3. jimmyd13

    jimmyd13 Nov 11, 2018

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    superfly likes this.
  4. kingsrider

    kingsrider Thank you Sir! May I have another? Nov 11, 2018

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    acetone?
    If you try it, I would do a VERY small test spot. It wont clean it. It will dissolve the surface to a shine.
     
  5. Fritz

    Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Nov 11, 2018

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    The serial number dates your model 1908 to 1941.

    Celluloid or early acrylic, both are unstable junk which embrittles with age. As it isn't yellowed it hasn't seen much light, my money is on acrylic as celluloid yellows faster.

    Some of the solvents in cleaners can be really vicious on these materials. I was recently involved in a large issue with Ford where a shipment of tail lamps had their lenses crazed and stress cracked due to contamination by Purell hand sanitizer of all the damn things!

    My Dad used to have them fitted to his Hamilton 992B RR watch back in the early 50s because they were inexpensive and didn't crack as easily as a crystal. However they weren't allowed by the RR because they could yellow and scratched easily, making it hard to read the time accurately in a dark engine cab.

    You would always got it swapped out when your watch went in for inspection.(along with a scolding from the jeweler I presume)

    See "Dave's Watch Parts" on the weeb when you need to hunt down parts.

    P1030096.JPG
     
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  6. Fritz

    Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Nov 11, 2018

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    I would count on acetone making a pretty quick mess of that thing. DON'T.

    I work in automotive lighting working with lenses a lot, we won't have acetone in the shop.
     
  7. jimmyd13

    jimmyd13 Nov 11, 2018

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    Thanks both.

    I've cleaned it up so it is now no worse than it was when I started using a non-mineral oil (coconut) and a Cape Cod cloth. I'll replace both glasses tomorrow .

    @Fritz - thanks for the heads up on Dale's watch parts. I don't think this needs more than a spring. It looks like it was RN issued and has sat in a drawer since 1946.
     
  8. Fritz

    Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Nov 11, 2018

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    Dave's Watch Parts.... not Dale's

    Dale's is a dealer of telescope parts for peeping toms.... or so I've heard.:cautious:
     
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  9. jimmyd13

    jimmyd13 Nov 11, 2018

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    Sometimes I really hate my phone. I've only got one Dale in my contacts list and over 30 Davies (see - Daves!) ... bloody thing has a mind of its own.
     
  10. Fritz

    Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Nov 11, 2018

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    The day I retire I'm backing my car over phone.:mad:

    Problem is,its a military grade thing that's supposed to be able to take that.:confused:

    So I guess I'll have to put a serious effort in! Should be fun!:)
     
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  11. Tony C.

    Tony C. Ωf Jury member Nov 11, 2018

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    Just let it soak in some Coke for a few days. :D
     
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  12. Fritz

    Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Nov 11, 2018

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    Nope... stupid thing is waterproof to 15 or 20 feet...

    3mm tempered screen. fibreglass chassis, 30+ day battery life... ya gotta admire the little bugger...
     
  13. warrydog

    warrydog Nov 11, 2018

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    I'd try the acetone on your phone : )
     
  14. Mongooseman

    Mongooseman Nov 11, 2018

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    Sounds like it's in...*adopts Dr. Evil pose*...mint...condition?
     
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