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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning folks, more of a lurker than a poster but was after some answers, so here I am. I've done some searching but not pulled up anything concrete and I apologise if this is in the wrong sub-forum.

I have a fairly comprehensive watch tool setup that allows me to completely dismantle most watches and do everything i ever need to do bar actually dissembling movements and working on them. I've been 'vintaging' modern cases for a little while with a few projects that I'm very happy with. Most have been homage style watches. I've seen a few cases that I would like to keep modern but change the colour of the hands, dial markers etc. If anyone has answers to these questions it would be much appreciated.

For reference I'm currently using the cheaper asian mechanical movements in my watches. DG2813 and variations there-of for the most part.

How would one change the colour of a set of, or single hand?

The only options I've seen that I can see working would be something like the little Humbrol enamel paint pots that you would use for Airfix kits. Would adding one or two thin layers on a seconds hand effect the movement in any way? Would it make it too heavy and affect accuracy?

For hands I imagine a very fine brush would be better, but say the bezel has recessed numbering and markings, possibly using a fine oiler would be better?

Secondly for coloured lumeing. Is the carrier agent for the lume powder water based or oil based? I'm hoping that changing the colour of a lume job is dependant upon an addition of a pigment or small amounts of water based or oil based paint?

Hopefully someone has some answers and much appreciated if you do answer me. I'd rather seek some advice before I go purchasing lots of stuff that won't get used.

Thanks,.

Rollox
 

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The color of the light put off by the lume is dependent on the chemistry of the lume powder itself. Several colors are available but most of them don't glow as long as good old green.

If you are using modern strontium based lume pigments, water-based paint is to be avoided as water will degrade the luminescence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I understand that the actual lume colour given off is chemistry dependant, I was referring more to tinting the colour of the compound itself. Not in order to change the luminous colour but so that the visible compound, in daylight, is changed from either the normal white/green/yellow to a different colour. When you say it degrades the luminescence do you mean that it reduces the output (which is a given if the content of the mixture is reduced) or that it will degrade it over time due to contamination?
 

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Thanks for the reply. I understand that the actual lume colour given off is chemistry dependant, I was referring more to tinting the colour of the compound itself. Not in order to change the luminous colour but so that the visible compound, in daylight, is changed from either the normal white/green/yellow to a different colour. When you say it degrades the luminescence do you mean that it reduces the output (which is a given if the content of the mixture is reduced) or that it will degrade it over time due to contamination?
OK, adding pigments to the carrier paint to change the paint color sometimes reduces the visible light output, by blocking it. This may be dependent on how "white" you want it - as making paint whiter is about adding opaque white powder to it. Invicta claims that this is why they still prefer zinc sulfide lume that glows faintly for a short period -- because the zinc is already white.

Strontium aluminate crystals are damaged by exposure to water. Exposure to water reduces their brightness and duration progressively until the water is removed, and the damage is not reversible. You will have to experiment on your own to determine how much, but manufacturers of safety-grade photoluminescent pigments recommend keeping the pigment sealed until use, using anhydrous carriers, and sealing the lumed area with an anhydrous sealant once the carrier has cured.

You may get away with whatever. A water based acrylic carrier may not kill the lume so much that you care about it. An alcohol based carrier may not suck in enough water to matter. I do wonder if i can get away with mixing strontium lume with water-clear silicone (which, iirc, is thinned with what is essentially vinegar. But i could be totally confused here). I recommend experimenting with mixtures before you put something on a watch.
 

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As far as painting the hands for color, I've used regular, oil-based model enamels successfully(usually Testor's). I used a fine (#10) sable brush that I "pointed" with a razor for extra control. I recommend a very fine (#600-800) sanding enough to "break" any shiny or glossy surface so that the paint will get a better mechanical "bite" of the surface, followed by a wipe-off with your choice of residue-free solvent (I like naphtha, it's cheap). The recessed bezel areas can be done similarly, but I tend to use very fine slivers of toothpicks for brushes. It allows me better control and the moving of the small drop of paint in the recesses. If I get any paint up past the recesses, that can be cleaned up with a bit of thinner on a lens-paper or similar tissue LIGHTLY. I also thin the paint as needed to get even "flow-out" (no bumpy texture). I can usually get good, even coverage with about three thin coats . I doubt you'll get enough paint on the face of a second hand to affect the watch's running. The biggest pain, for me is NOT messing the paint up as I re-install the hands. Go slow and skip the coffee/tea when sitting down to do fine detail work......Above all, enjoy yourself! If you get frustrated, get up and walk away for a while....

Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Perfect, that's the answer I think I was looking for Josh. Thanks very much. I've got to wait for a few sterile cases to come from far overseas, using some PVD'd versions this time, before I can get started. I'll try out a few pots of enamel paint and see what happens!.

Cheers Folks.
 
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