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Discussion Starter #1
I know as a general rule, the cleaning of old dials is generally pointless, ineffective and not worth the effort. I have just bought a vintage Oyster and the original white dial is a little discoloured. I don't want a redial so I wondered if it is possible to clean up the grime on this dial? The problem seems to be a build up of grubbiness rather than a chemical reaction or patina. Has anyone had any experience?
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Andy B.
 

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It depends on what you purchased the watch for. If you have something for a collection and feel there is value in keeping it original don't refinish the dial. If you like the watch and want to wear it looking good then have the dial refinished. Our current watchmaker and the previous 2 guys we used all sent the dials out for refinishing. This takes a few more weeks then a standatd overhaul. I just bought an old 1950's auto winder with a 14ky case. The watch needed an overhaul, new stem and crown and the face looked slightly pitted so I told him to send it out and refinish it. Why not? I want to wear it (if I can take off my TT sub I just got) and the old watch has no real "collectors value" I just like old swiss autowinders and the watch was purchased for scrap gold so I can put some money into fixing it up.

Don't think dial refinishing does not work. They come out looking super. All the dial markers are removed and it is a lot of work so it adds cost but it's worth it.
 

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There are things a skilled watchmaker can do to 'freshen' a dial, but it will never look pristine once the deterioration has begun. I fall into the camp that says when someone buys a vintage piece then you get what you get, and if a 'new' look is what you're after, then a refinish is the way to go. As stated by shgems, a well done refinish is, to me at least, undetectable from a new dial, and the better refinishers do a great job. Otherwise, I would just live with the 'old' look as the watch arrived with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Personally, I prefer original dials, I don't like refinished dials. I like a bit of patina so normally I would leave it as it is, the thing is though, the colour of the dirt is like an unattractive greeny colour and it looks odd. It almost looks as though it could be wiped off, well at least a little bit, maybe using a damp cotton bud or something.
It was reading this thread that got me thinking that it might be possible.....
http://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/how-hard-clean-up-dial-old-watch-235436.html

I just wondered if anyone had any experience with an old Oyster?
Maybe some things are best left well alone?:roll:

AB.
 
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