Thanks for your responses, guys!
I put a crystal on the last one, so there it is
That was the oldest (1950) and worse condition one (the first in the row of the "before"). Movement and case were also in worse condition. Still makes a hickup every now and then, I think it's the fork, or maybe the ballance. Will fix that.
That's a back shot - 54, 52 and 50.
This one's dial took a lot of phosphoric acid, more aggressive stuff and maditation like focus to clean it. The other two were much better. It looks like they are pretty bad, but most of it is actually the crystals. A little bit of rust transforming liquid (the mighty phosphoric acid stuff) did the trick, the rest of it was just pure water (damp cotton bud).
The gold hands one was the easiest. I got it for non working, and it turned out someone fixed the stem wrong. Just unscrewed it and screwed it in properly and all was good. Didn't even dissassemble it.
went that side of the river just once (when I took the previous photo), most of the time we spent on the other side. Had plans to explore it, also for the Tatras, also for .... Four days are just not enough.
There will be a next time for sure.
Thanks for such a deep explanation. Phosphoric acid? I would never believe if one would say it to me before I read your post. Acid doesn't affect figures/lines and other colors of the dial?
What % of acid in solution must be and what does "maditation" means (meditation?).
I used it for rusted cases, but I tried it on dials (very gently) and it worked well, meaning not too aggressive to wipe everything away instantly as do other acids, even citric acid (lemon juice), or medical spirit. Other antirust stuff (like WD40) was still too aggressive and messy.
Later I bothered to read the label and found out the active ingredient is phosphoric acid. If overused it still may do damage, but on 60s soviets (quite tough dials) the effect is not instant, ant gave me a window of opportunity. So I take advantage of it.
The approach is very individual for each dial. On the toughest Pobeda I also used another magic chemical I adopted a year ago. A dry contact cleaner, for electronics
This one is aggressive (list of ingredients is too long), so I have to work very carefully arround the print. Sometimes just lightly tapping on the surface, instead of swiping.
This is where the "meditation" part happens :) I focus on one small point under the magnifying glass, and forget about the rest of the world. Doing a simple thing, being "here and now" is my way of unwinding and resting from the otherwise stressful everyday life. It's kinda zen, and the main reason for having this as a hobby.
It's the same when fixing a non working movement.
Pobedas, sportivnie, some old raketas, some volnas, etc., can take some rough cleaning. More modern soviet watches are more fragile in that aspect, although there are exeptions. Some modern Vostoks are quite tough too.
Anyway, that green stuff has been a good friend, and has saved a lot of good watches. If you decide to experiment with it, know this - 1. It's poisonous, and spots from it on the clothes are impossible to wash, 2. It may leave an oily traces on the dial that will need to be wiped out, and 3. Just get a few old, damaged, no good dials and experiment with it, to see what it can or can't do.
It's by no means a magic cleaner, but sometimes gets the job done.
Good luck if you try it!
PS: Oh, and the pobedas you posted in the other thread are fabulous! I suspect you have some thoughts about the dials of the bottom two. If I get to clean another pobeda like this I will try to make more detailed photos of the process.
Last edited by Kamburov; November 2nd, 2018 at 01:51.
So jealous, you guys do such amazing work. I'm scared I would ruin them.
Thanks for the pics and tips, Ivan !
Thanks for the tip, oldfox! I'm deffinately trying that. Haven't experimented much with alcalis, only that bleach I mentioned.
Secondtime, I just saw an interesting add in a local selling site. It's advertised as a lot of 3 watches presented by the Minister of Peoples' Deffence, Gen. Dobri Dzurov. It's actually 2 of them, as the third is anniversary celebration stamped back. The other two are really signed gen. Dzurov.
I'll save you the closeups, one is signed "For the good work" (as mine) from 1975, the other is for eastern block armies' sports event, from 1981.
This, and other examples I've seen, lead me to the conclusion that the ministry of deffence's watch of choice (for awards, anyway) was Poljot. Which makes the Ruhla on your site truly a rare exeption.
PS: Forgot to mention that the pricetag is about $400, which is kinda ridiculous. Ok, they are nice watches, and interesting backs, but still...
Last edited by Kamburov; November 3rd, 2018 at 02:01.
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