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"The steel changes colour in the heat from silver to black- you have to catch it at just the right shade of rich deep blue. Too purple and it'll need to be polished again. The steel changes colour in no more than a second"

Roger Smith : Watchmaker


Blued steel hands have been a watchmakers art from the earliest times and are still being crafted today. See below a short clip demonstrating the bluing.


How to make blue steel hands with safe way - YouTube


And here are some of my watches with blue hands. Sometimes it is not always apparent that the hands are blue. By holding the watch at the right angle to a light source ( I find direct sunshine the best ) and holding your tongue just so, the blued hands suddenly and beautifully ' pop'.








Be brilliant to browse others so bring on your blued beauties.:p



Regards,
 

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Yes they are lovely, but where is the (blued) second hand on the harwood?

Actually, let me rephrase that, why is there a hole for a second hand on the dial but no second hand on the movement? :p
 

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Yes they are lovely, but where is the (blued) second hand on the harwood?

Actually, let me rephrase that, why is there a hole for a second hand on the dial but no second hand on the movement? :p

Hi,

No crown on this watch either. See here...

HARWOOD WATCH COMPANY HISTORY


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A bit of a photography challenge.

From the "regular wearing" category is this nice Bulova; the blued second hand contrasts nicely with the steel watch: Watch-sm.JPG

Most of my older Eaton's watches have blued hands: Watch.JPG DSC_8945.JPG

And this old Elgin has nearly all it's steel parts blued; a reminder that bluing was partially done not for looks but for its anti-corrosion properties:
DSC_2693.JPG DSC_9161.JPG
 

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Ok... a few more...

There are a certain lack of Borgel cased watches appearing of late... :-d

1909 FHF



also with blued screws



1914 IWC



another Stauffer.... 1914 centre second!



1918 Borgel Cased Pocket watch - with Electa Gallet movement..




and a 1926 Longines Borgel....



and with they classic guilt movement and blued screws...




Did someone just mention Longines.......



1923 JW Benson in a 3-part screw case



and this 1919 'West End' Longines is worth a mention just for the movement shot...







That probably enough showing off for one morning!!! ;-)
 

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One of my "exes", 1920's Legionnaire.

vQW08hMiatISPaVhNQyFYg-1.jpg
 

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I like plum better :)

(the plum color happens right before blue...it was something of a signature on many better grade American watches).

 

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Hi Ben.

I never know about plum. That's terrific. Looking at the video again it would take some skill to remove the hand at just the right time, looks to me it is blue a lot longer than it is plum.

Regards,
I have blued my fair share of screws and other watch parts(although I tend to stay away from hands as they're a pain to polish, and good polishing is the key to good bluing).

It is my experience that good, solid blue is relatively easy to achieve as the color does sort of "pause" there. It's not terribly difficult to get any color from straw all the way up to blue by just taking things slowly and using a big enough heat sink to make sure that you're heating the part evenly.

In fact, I was talking to a family member today who is a gunsmith and does a lot of restoration work on Luger pistols. The correct finish on many small Luger parts is a straw color, and he achieves much the same way I blue watch parts but just heats to a lower temperature.

Going back to watches, I understand typically hands, screws, and other parts were blued in batches in furnaces that were maintained at more or less the correct temperature for the desired color. Thus, if plum or whatever other color were desired for a particular batch of hands, it would just be a matter of adjusting the furnace temperature.
 
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