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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have an old watch that has immense sentimental value to me that I have sent out to be restored. Wanting to keep much of the patina as to not take away from the story this watch has to tell I'm in a dilemma about the dial which brings up the need for your opinions. Would you have the dial restored or keep it the way it is. I realize in the end it's my choice but I'm curious as to what many of you would do in this situation. Any opinions are greatly appreciated. Here's the watch in it current condition before it was sent out. Thanks for looking and input.

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Keep it original, it tells a story. If you can find replacement dial and hands to put in it and keep the original ones that could also work. But I would say keep it the way it is.
 
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Personally I would have this restored as well. A beautifully finished, cleaned and oiled movement hidden behind a grungy dial and hands doesn't make sense unless there's some story to the finish that's important. If it's simply neglect, then do it. No one leaves holes in the roof of a historic home because it tells a story. Cannonball damage to a wall is good and tells a story. Rot is not and doesnt.

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I have an old watch that has immense sentimental value to me ...
..
keep much of the patina as to not take away from the story this watch has to tell I'm in a dilemma about the dial...
..
I'm curious as to what many of you would do in this situation. Any opinions are greatly appreciated.
Immense sentimental value? Story to tell? Then I would keep the watch “as-is” and only treat the rust / corrosion to prevent further degradation of the watch case, dial and hands.

If you restore the dial and hands, then the watch loses the story behind it. It becomes another watch. Movement needs to be serviced though.
 

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Another option would be to see if the movement itself is worthwhile restoring. If it is, then have the movement put into another watch casing itself. For example, Vortic will take a movement from a customer's own watch—generally, a pocket watch—and set the movement into one of their precast watch casings. As for the rest of the watch itself, you could encase it in a shadow box.

 

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Restore the dial and the hands, as it looks quite terrible now, and whatever story it has tell, whatever sentiment is associated with it, likely has little to with its present condition. Rather, in its glory, worn by the original owner, I'm sure it was in excellent condition--that's the way I would want to wear it as well--not what it looked like after a substantial period of neglect, after the original owner took it off, one last time, apparently many years ago. The watch will not lose any of its former "glory" by returning it to its original state--the state in which the original owner enjoyed it (I assume)--I am reasonably sure that the original owner wouldn't have worn it as it looks now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i was going to do a post once the restoration was complete telling the whole story, but ill give some away now to give credence to my leaning towards keeping the patina. the patina is not from neglect. this watch was worn by my father in the pacific during WWII. that's why i am leaning towards keeping it as original as possible. not a lot of people have the chance to wear a working watch that father wore over 70 years ago in WWII. thanks to all for the responses so far. i truly do appreciate them
 

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OP: Do you plan on wearing the watch? If so, you probably don’t want to wear a corroded mess, so restoration makes sense. If the watch is going to live in a display case, then it’s more like a museum piece, and I would lean towards leaving it as-is.
 

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If it's simply neglect, then do it. No one leaves holes in the roof of a historic home because it tells a story. Cannonball damage to a wall is good and tells a story. Rot is not and doesnt.
^^^This. So perfectly stated.

If the condition of the dial is part of a story (which would seem to be QUITE the story, given the level of decay)... marooned on an island after a "3 hour tour... a 3 hour tour???"

Or is it a "barn find?" :)
 

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Maybe the watch in person isn't as bad as the picture makes it look, but the picture isn't very enticing at all. Perhaps the value of the watch would make a difference as well. If it's only worth sentimental value then that's one thing, but if it's worth a substantial amount, then the restoration ought to bear that in mind.
 

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+ 1 for restoration. Heck, even classic cars need help from the resto man!
I’m not so sure that restoration takes away any history or sentiments associated with the watch.
Good luck and post pics when you get it back!


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OP: Do you plan on wearing the watch? If so, you probably don’t want to wear a corroded mess, so restoration makes sense. If the watch is going to live in a display case, then it’s more like a museum piece, and I would lean towards leaving it as-is.
i do plan to wear it. thanks for the input
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
^^^This. So perfectly stated.

If the condition of the dial is part of a story (which would seem to be QUITE the story, given the level of decay)... marooned on an island after a "3 hour tour... a 3 hour tour???"

Or is it a "barn find?" :)
lol its not a barn find
 

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If you plan on wearing it, I would also have it (gently) restored. Not to look new, but it just looks a mess atm.

when is something patina, and when is it just damage? This watch looks damaged, and not in a charming way imo.
 

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It’s not usable as is, so get the dial restored.
 

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I’m sure you can get the dial cleaned up a lot without loosing some patina but I could not live with that dial in its present condition.
 
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