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Discussion Starter #1
Soooooo...My first G-Shock was a GA-110C because the internet images of it which I saw showed a distinct 'gray' color rather than black...And now, having owned a GA-100-1A1 I can say that side by side, the -110C looks 'gray', but on my wrist any bystander would tell you I was wearing a black watch. It was just much darker under real world lighting. I wanted a muted but not 'black' watch.

My second issue with the -110C was the business of that face. I really had issues with a quick glance looking for the analog hands, and that's the whole purpose of slapping analog hands on a digital watch...The ability for an old-timer like me to glance at it quickly and know the time without squinting to see the digital display. The grey hands on the grey, grey, another shade of grey and some white and black background were completely lost.

It just wasn't going to cut it.

So I decided to get myself a 100-1A1 so I'd have that dark black display with white hands. It reads EASY, and mine is pretty easy to read the digital display also, except in weak lighting or at certain angles. Nice.

But it's black. It's glossy black. So I purchased a matte white replacement bezel and band off of eBay, read everything I could on the forums about watch-dying, rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

I decided to try to use the color-mix chart on the Rit website and settled on what I felt was a nice muted gray with some hints of blue-green in it. I used Photoshop to rough out what I figured it would look like when done, and I liked what I was seeing.


According to Rit, this is "Blue-Green #193" and is made by mixing

1 tsp Royal Blue
1/8 tsp Sunshine Orange
1c water

The procedure I used was to keep the pot steaming, not boiling, so there was no risk of bubbling which might muddle the dye. I went through the following steps:

1. Say under my breath "If I end up dying it black, that's okay too."
2. Add 1 tsp salt to 2c of filtered water.
3. Add the dye mix to the water in the ratios and measures above (doubled, since I was working with 2c of water).
4. Stir gently for 5 minutes to dissolve the powdered dye.
5. Test on paper towel...Looks black?! Test on fingertip...dark blue-grey. Okay...
6. Gently place watch parts into the water, stir gently every couple of minutes, check every four minutes by removing bezel, rinsing, and eyeballing the color.

Here's where I ran into trouble.


After the first four minutes, it was just way too blue (left). I noted that one of the "how to dye" posts had suggested going easy on blue. Hmmmm. Well, other posts had adjusted color by re-dying in pure dye. I made a new pot using just the Sunshine Orange and tried dying for four minutes, resulting in the color on the right...Interestingly reminiscent of the interior of some Warsaw Pact APCs, but not what I was looking for.

Clearly some adjustment was called for.


I fired up the pot with the Rit-proportion mix again and tried to swing things back towards blue, but after ten minutes I only ended up with a slightly darker green. I'm wondering if there was just too little dye in the water overall (Left). Back to blue with just a dab of orange for four minutes resulted in the watch color on the right. Well...That was CLOSE. And supposedly when put into 50/50 vinegar (also steaming hot, for 10 minutes) to "fix" the dye, some of the brightness would go away.


Fffff..."Some" indeed?! It actually looks even lighter in person, kind of a pale ghost of what I was hoping for. A fine color for a cloud but not for a wristwatch.

I'm wondering if I'm not using enough dye, not leaving it in long enough, or any other things I might be doing wrong.

Also, by now your eagle eyes will have noticed that the keeper band is NOT TAKING DYE AT ALL. My guess is it's made out of something else entirely. Anyone have any suggestions as to what to do about that? I noticed that Rit has its own liquid dye fixer for sale. Has anyone used that and does it preserve the color any better?

I figure I'll try again next weekend.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

5,784 Posts
Wow -- nicely documented, and well written, but I'm sorry to see that this first attempt is so frustrating!

Here's what I'VE learned from trial and error, the RIT website, and from reading the various posts on this forum:

1) Grays are DIFFICULT! The different colors that RIT uses to make their dyes (and their combinations of dyes in their "Custom Colors" chart) work well on a variety of fabrics don't always work as well on Casio resin -- case in point, your Royal Blue and Sunshine Orange -- the blue apparently absorbed into the resin better, resulting in "blue." More on gray shades later on....

2) A side note to the above: this "difference in absorption" seems even more pronounced with Rit Liquid dyes (which normally don't work as well as the powders.) I tried to dye one bezel with Rit's Aquamarine and wound up with a bright, almost electric blue with absolutely NO green tones.

3) The Rit website calls for adding salt OR vinegar in their directions, but not both: "For more intense color when dyeing fabrics containing cotton, rayon, ramie, or linen, add 1 cup salt to the dyebath. When dyeing nylon, silk and wool, add 1 cup white vinegar to the dyebath. If possible delay adding the salt or vinegar until 5 minutes after the fabric has been in the dye bath. The delay will help to promote level dyeing." Tips for Success | Rit Dye

4) I've had the same problem when trying to "fix" dyes at the end by adding vinegar, and having things turn out gray or a more "muted" shade of the color I had until that point -- these days I don't use either salt OR vinegar when dying, because....

5) Your idea of putting the bezel in simmering-hot vinegar is exactly how I "lighten" a too-dark dye job, though I simmer them in hot water rather than vinegar -- and it's amazing how much dye will come out of a bezel with just boiling water! If I want to get the color still lighter, I add regular household chlorine bleach to the pot and THAT lightens them up even more.

Instead of using vinegar or salt, what I do to keep a project from "bleeding" all over white t-shirts and so on is to simply run VERY hot tap water over it for several minutes! (In fact, it's now part of my regular kitchen cleanup: I dump the dye down the drain, rinse the pot quickly, drop the bezel in and run hot water into the pot for five minutes or so while I clean everything else up. That's going to be hotter than any shower I'll be taking, so if it can handle that, it can probably handle anything else I might throw at it.

6) When dying bezels, there's really no such thing as "too hot" -- I've boiled some of mine for a half hour without any sort of effects, and when you're dying something for several minutes, a few bubbles aren't going to mar the dye job! I'm not sure that straps are as heat resistant, though, so can't swear that they can handle boiling as well.

7) Back to my original "grays are difficult." I've tried Pearl Gray powder, which resulted in a particularly reddish/purple undertone to the gray. I added a pinch of Kelly Green and that seemed to help with the reddish shade.

I've had great success with Rit's custom Titanium color, which consists of 1/4 teaspoon of black and 1/4 teaspoon of Kelly Green to one cup of water -- it came out just a LITTLE bit darker than Pearl Gray, which looked a lot like your last picture.

Yesterday I decided that a REALLY dark gray -- almost a black -- would look good, so I looked at Rit's color charts, decided that "Light Black" would be a good starting point, and mixed 1 tsp of black with 1/4 tsp of Kelly Green to offset any red tones to a cup of water. When I first took it out of the dye, it looked black. After rinsing in hot running water for 10 minutes, it's now the shade I wanted.

bezels of gray.JPG

Next weekend, for your project, I'd forget about the subtle colors and just use Rit Black and Kelly Green. You could start with a light shade (1/4 tsp of each) and then just keep adding quarter teaspoons of black (and possibly some more green) to the pot until you get to the desired darkness, THEN start adding small amounts of blue and green if you wanted those undertones. Hope that helps, and good luck!
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