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Dial clean???

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  • Dial clean???


    I recently got hold of a vintage CYMA that I'm going to put a new leather strap on. Unfortunately the dial is pretty grubby.

    I love patina and signs of age on anything vintage, but when I look at the dial I can't help but think some sort of clean would be fantastic.

    I'm not talking a redial, just a cool steam and feather touch dab, and I understand that dials are terribly delicate

    I don't want to lose the character of the watch. I just want to improve the readability (contrast between dial and numbers/hands) and the wearability for me.

    What are everybody's thoughts? Horror stories etc?


  • #2
    Photos would be nice

    Vintage dials can be cleaned, i.e. rinsed in a solution, and it's best to consult an experienced watchmaker to see what can done. However, in my personal experience and having discussed this with many watch repairers, the outcome is not guaranteed to be like what you want. That is, it may turn out worse (in your eyes or that of other collectors) than it is currently. A good repairer will usually advise you of this and only proceed if you can accept that it may be so.

    Again, in my personal opinion, dial cleaning of this type is best suited to an owner who can accept that, if further damage results, they are okay with refinishing the whole dial. Probably best to discuss with the person who will be undertaking the work.

    On the instruments we entrust to pace our lives, to bear witness to our days, and to be the keepers of the most precious thing we have... time.


    • #3
      Hi Don,

      Yeah that's good sensible advice. I think I need to wear it a bit first.

      I'll post some pics in a bit.



      • Don
        Don commented
        Editing a comment
        Sure. If you'd like to attempt it yourself, I would suggest practising on other discarded vintage dials first, and see what works. You can find plenty of these from watchmaker's workshops or watch lots on TradeMe.

    • #4
      Hi, You have to be very careful and gentle, as very easy to rub of parts, when done it wants to look like this one. Click image for larger version

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      'Man Invented time, Cyma Perfected it.'


      • #5
        That gorgeous! And a navystar too.

        I'd just be happy if I get a bit better contrast between numbers and background.

        I've read about feather-lite blotting with damp cottonwool. How did you clean that?