TO RESTORE OR NOT RESTORE
VINTAGE WATCH DIALS
I like to say I am not a watchmaker .. rather a hacking master restoration expert restoring history. With over 35000 pictures, 1.2 mil Google requests every 15 days,+near 10,000 articles online. i am obsessive LOL. Thus I call upon only the best of the best.
When it comes to Dials, Tony The Tiger is perhaps, in my opinion, the best of the best. He is the one i count on to make plates,and provide the historical accuracy He is more than the key to the successful re-imaging of the original dials. which may require 5 plates!
The plates necessary to restore vintage and classic dials, while maintaining accuracy.One doe not free hand a dial–though some parts of the work is free hands-the fact is plates matching the original dial must me utilized, such as brass plates with the names of brands,ink-paint is swiped over plate filling the recess, then excess scrapped off, a rubber “stamp” pressed over the ink filled brand name then transferred to dial.then there is the making of plates. utilizing computers. now, it is much more intense but you get the picture.
First Lesson: no one “paints” dials.
Dial Restoration Is An Art:
1) *Restoring dials does not diminish price unless the time piece is rare or special. On a PATEK, VACHERON, ROLEX or other similar rare vintage models it matters. A Rolex oyster date? restore it. A Rolex dive from 1950? do not touch the original dial. if it is in terrible shape, say, a fractured patek pocket porcelain dial? store the old dial and have an exact to original one made, that way you can sell with both.
* You can always store the old dial.
2) for every ten buyers, 8 will invest in the watch with restored dial.
3) pricing on restored dial vs worn out dial? 60% more
4) all watches with outlined raised numerals up to 1960 [some after] had radium. then tritium – now luminova.
5) radium life is 1000 years. radium glowed 24/7. on the other hand, modern non radioactive works off phosphorescence and zinc. it requires light to activate it.
6) 60% of old watches have radium dials!! But, after the glowing part dies, the only value is looks. and all radium ceased glowing decades ago. when the dial is mint and the old radium looks great (color wise) then it deserves to remain.
7) what vintage radium watches have collector value? mainly when the radium is orange color or some super thick high radium numerated watches like some pockets or look like the Bucherer i completed 5 years ago.
note: will open new windows so you do not lose your place
WITTNAUER MILITARY ORANGE W/HANDS ORIS DIED -AS IN DEATH– ORANGE WWII RADIUM CONVERSION WWI ORIGINAL ORANGE BUCHERER DIVE AWESOME ORIGINAL DIAL
N OW, IF A RADIUM DIALED WATCH HAS CHARACTER. DIAL IS 70% AS FAR AS WEAR. AND DEAD RADIUM, WHETHER WHITE OR ORANGE, IS AWESOME LOOKING, THEN KEEP IT AS IS. BUT MOST RADIUM DIALS FOR MILITARY RELATED (AND OTHERS) FROM 1914 TO 1965, NOT ONLY HAVE DAMAGE, BUT THE RADIUM IS USUALLY NOT CONSISTENT. THE LINKS ABOVE SHOW WHEN YOU SHOULD KEEP THE DIAL AS IS. ON DRESS WATCHES WITH RADIUM HANDS AND “DOTS” OR MARKERS SHOULD BE RE-ILLUMINATED.
SOME COOL RADIUM DIALS CAN BE RESTORED TO SOME DEGREE BY LIGHTLY RE-APPLYING LUMINOVA IN WHITE BASE COLOR. 90% OF DIALS THAT STILL LOOK GREAT, THE HANDS ARE RE-ILLUMINATED WITH LUMINOVA. IF HANDS ARE THE ORANGE COLORED DEAD RADIUM, THEN YOU LEAVE IT AL AS IS. AS FAR AS NON-RADIUM DIALS. THE SAME SITUATION APPLIES. IF THE DIAL HAS CHARTERER, LEAVE IT ALONE
IF IT IS DAMAGED. UNLESS IT MEETS THE RARE VINTAGE REQUIREMENTS, RESTORE IT! SO, IF YOU FIND AN ORANGE RADIUM LOOKING GREAT; INVEST!! BUT DO NOT LET A NICELY RESTORED DIAL DRESS OR MILITARY WATCH GET AWAY!
TO VIEW A FULLY RESTORED RARE ETERNA-MATIC 1949 MODEL -”THE ACTUAL FIRST BALL BEARING ROTOR AUTOMATIC CALIBER MODEL FOR MEN” WHICH, BY MY FACTS HERE, IN THIS ARTICLE, WOULD SAY, THE WATCH IS WORTH MORE ORIGINAL, LOOK AT THE BEFORE AND AFTER. I AM SURE THE AFTER WAS CORRECT!
OUR WORK STATION
HAVING MORE THAN A LOUPE MEANS FINER
EASIER MORE EXACT REPAIRS AND RESTORATIONS
LIGHTING CANOT BE OVER ESTIMATED
WE USE 5 TYPES OF LIGHTING
SOFTER LIGHTING FOR SIMPLE REBUILDS
INTENSE WHITE LIGHT FOR OVERHAULS
CHEMICAL PURCHASES ARE 10% OF OUR GROSS
WE USE PURE LAQUER
NOT THE LACQUER PROVIDED
OUR COOKING OVEN WITH UV GENERATED HEAT
it took two watches one with nearly new dial and one with restored back in 1969 dial
we invested in this baby because we had 32 baume mercier dials from a watch makers estate we have 15 lefty including the rare doctors dial.
ROCK INVESTED 200 IN THIS BAUME MERCIER IT HAD A RESTORED DIAL THIS RESTORATION IS THE WRONG COLOR THE RESTORATION PERSON WOULD UP WITH A WHITISH GOLD COLOR NOTE THE 6 AND THE SWISS MADE AREA YOU SEE HOW DIRTY IT IS THIS, IF RESTORED, HAD TO BE 10 TO 20 YEARS AGO LOL
ROCK INVESTED CAUSE HE HAD AN ORIGINAL MINTY DIAL UTILIZING THIS CASE AND MOVEMENTS PARTS FROM ANOTHER ORIGINAL SO, HE KEPT CASE AND 90% MOVEMENT FROM THIS ALLEGED RESTORED DIAL FROM SOUTH AMERICA BUY
YOU MUST REMOVE CRYSTAL WHEN VIEWING COLOR
“ORIGINAL BAUME MERCIER LEFT” THE BUY DIAL ON RIGHT SELLER STATED RESTORED DIAL YET ROCK NEW BETTER WHY? HE HAD THE MINTY ORIGINAL DIAL.
THE KEY HERE IS THE PIC ON RIGHT NOT UNTIL YOU SEE IT CAN YOU REALIZE THE CLEAR DIFFERENCE IN QUALITY REMOVING CRYSTAL DEMONSTRATED IT WAS NOT RIGHT IT LOOKED OK. BUT REAL LIFE FACTS SHOW TRUTH IF IT WERE RESTORED IT WOULD BE CLEAR GOLDEN! NOT DULLED, EVEN EDGES OF BLUE RING AND SIDES WOULD BE BETTER YOU NEED TO ALWAYS INSPECT! THE ORIGINAL IS A NICE DEEP MUTED GOLD! RESTORED DIALS ARE HARD TO MATCH ORIGINAL
THE ONE ON LEFT IS ROCKS ORIGINAL NEAR MINT LET US GO FURTHER
WE RESTORE DIALS AND STATE IT WHEN WE DO. ALL THE TIME THAT IS WHY A PREMIUM CAN BE HAD WHEN YOU HAVE ORIGINAL DIALS. WE STATE ORIGINAL WHEN IT IS ORIGINALS PERIOD
BELOW ARE PICS OF OVER HAULS WITH RESTORED DIALS? “NOTE OLD DIALS!”
IF YOU INVEST IN A WATCH AND THE DIAL IS GREAT.. KEEP IT!
I CANNOT OVER STATE DIAL WORKS
BUT IT IS EXPENSIVE
SO MANY OFFERS FAIL UNDERSTAND THE COSTS
50 TO 100 PER DIAL
HERE ARE EIGHT COMPLETED TIME PIECES WITH DIALS
WYLER ORANGE CRUSH
DIAL ESTIMATE 90.00
BENRUS STAR/SUN BURST
DIAL ESTIMATE 75.00
JULES RACINE GALLET
DIAL ESTIMATE 125.00
BENRUS DIAL ESTIMATE 65.00
DIAL ESTIMATE 90.00
DIAL ESTIMATE 75.00
YELLOW DUE TO CONTENT OF CELLULOID IN CRYSTALL
TIMOR DIAL ESTIMATE 85.00
LEONIDAS DIAL ESTIMATE 60.00
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