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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a lot of homework before trying this, but finally decided upon Handy Dan's of Hamilton Watch chronicles method of dipping in concentrated ultra-sonic jewelry cleaner. You have to be very careful, because you can lose the printing if you leave it too long. The results on my Essex were profound!

Before



After




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Not bad! I believe the yellowing you previously had was the lacquer coating that had aged and gone yellow. I imagine the ultrasonic solution simply removed this leaving you with the bare dial and paint beneath. Did you lose a bit of the print on the HAMILTON wording?, looks a little less clear, but could just be the photo. I'm not sure, should you re-coat it now with clear lacquer again to protect it?
Dial cleaning seems to be a real black art to me. I have previously used a cotton bud with a mixture of warm water and a small amount of detergent as my normal approach. This has worked in the past, but you have to really look at the dial first, if the lacquer is coming off i just don't do it anymore as the paint beneath often comes off too easily.
Ben.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Ben,

Thanks! The dials i worked with were bad so if there was a problem with the cleaning it was off to ID anyway. The print did fade slightly, but is still clear on the watch. The other watches i did had some more fading, but i suspect they were older re-dials.

Matt


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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Before boulton


Before gruen


After all three. The boulton started to lose the minute track and there is fading to the gruen print



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Having been inspired by this and similar threads elsewhere, I decided to experiment with an old and badly yellowed Ingersol dial I had in my scrap bin. In usual Ingersoll style, it's painted and unlaquered so would normally come under the heading of "don't touch with anything".

I first tried soaking in car upholstery cleaner spray, which had little effect, then tried Flash "Clean & Shine" - just enough to cover the dial sprayed into a plastic pot. the dial was simply soaked for about 5 minutes, rinsed, then placed print-down on kitchen paper to dry.

I'm impressed enough to try some other dial finishes when I get a chance!


Ingersoll1.jpg Ingersoll2.jpg
 

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Had a rather sad Tissot donated for spares yesterday. No caseback and the movement was half filled with contact cement, but the dial was pretty good with just a little yellowing and a few light patchy stains. So I decided to sacrifice it to the Gods of Research.

This one was obvously a more sophisticated finish than the Oris, with clear lacquer coat giving a shiny finish. The initial effect seemed to be to darken the stains, but I think that was actually the surrounding surface getting lighter. It took a little longer overall but around 15 minutes soak time seemed to do an acceptable job, again with no damage at all to the printing.

Next test will be a lume dial if I can dig one out....
 

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