Benrus quick spit and polish

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  1. #1
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Benrus quick spit and polish

    All the Benrus posts over the last couple of days got me motivated to clean up my pie pan knotted lug. Turned out pretty well, still a little dial patina, but heck, its 60 odd years old

    Serviced the movement and cleaned the dial, hands and case. It is rare that a dial responds this well to TLC. I didn't need to replace or polish the crystal at all.

    Before:





    After:











    Makes me happy.
    Last edited by trim; February 1st, 2011 at 06:38.

  2. #2
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: Benrus quick spit and polish

    wow looks fantastic. what did you clean the dial with. might need to pick your brains on servicing a pocket watch soon. these sort of vintage watches still look good to wear after all those years. not like digital watches lol

  3. #3
    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
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    Re: Benrus quick spit and polish

    yeah. im with joe. how did you clean that dial.I have an omega tank coming in a few dys with a dial juts like that. came out well. nice work
    :ROLEX OMEGA LONGiNES ♦ SEIKO Aquadive ♦ ELGIN ♦ hamilton O&W imexZodiac......

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  5. #4
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    A dial tutorial

    Watch dials are hard. You see here one of the occasional successes, not magic. Nothing works on every dial, and doing anything to a dial is a tremendous risk. I would venture to say you should only attempt to mess with a dial if you have nothing to lose, that is, it would otherwise go off to be refinished - or is of low value (this one) and getting it wrong doesn't matter. I'll be sure to include some failures at the end of the post so you can see things don't always work out.

    The Benrus was my best success so far, your mileage will vary.

    You should use the information in this post with care and your own responsibility, there is no magic, just practice, patience and a good helping of luck.

    @DB specifically. Omega dials seem fragile to me. Use caution.

    Enamel dials (@ JoeUK)

    1. Easy and safe. Brush and soap or ultasonic.
    2. Sometimes you need to be careful of the name as this can be printed on top of the enamel.
    3. Hairlines will often become invisible to the naked eye


    Conventional (& safest) way of cleaning printed watch dials:

    1. rodico dabbed/rolled on dial (safest, but you can sometimes damage the printing).
    2. spit (literally) rolled with a cotton bud.


    Unconventional, Silverdip - the Benrus

    1. Silver dip/Silver cleaner/Jewelers dip
    2. Put in a shallow bowl
    3. Place dial upwards and agitate with a stick in the center hole
    4. Be careful. Do NOT dip too long.
    5. Lume will survive short dipping.
    6. take out, rinse in water and blow dry, inspect and then repeat (not too often).
    7. tricky bits - cotton bud with silver dip on it.
    8. Dip your hands, the lume will survive!
    9. don't try for too good, you will ruin it. Quit while you are ahead!
    10. don't expect magic, you will ruin as many as you save.


    When it works its cool, and saves you a redial and its still original

    Other Successes:

    Before



    After:



    Before:



    After (Ignore the hands - need to replace):



    Minor improvements are also worthwhile:

    Before:



    After:



    Sometimes only a small improvement as above but still worthwhile - I don't mind a little patina and prefer this result to a redial. I probably could have dipped it again/longer, but this is enough and better to stop while winning with the lume intact :D As you can see on the first Roamer, I'd dipped it longer and started to lose some lume - although just dots in this case, so less important than the numerals.


    MY TERRIBLE FAILURES:

    The 1960s Hamilton dial I tried lost its text very quickly and ended up a horrible mess.

    Before:



    After:

    This was my first attempt and I over did it, and from my later experience, probably wouldn't have been a success anyway. If you were going to get it refinished anyway - there's nothing to lose by trying it.




    Before (probably water damage):



    After (writing loss quicker than my reaction time ) This is my most recent dial, so all that practice didn't help. I did learn I should probably not dip water damaged dials though



    Hints:

    1. Practice on a scrap similar dials if possible (make and period). After the failure with the Hamiton dial (the first one I did) - I tried about 5 similar dials from my scap box before I felt confident enough to do my first 'keeper' (the Gruen).
    2. Dials after the mid to late 50s seem more prone to failure. Perhaps dial printing technology changed. The funny thing is the dial I had the best success with was from 1962.
    3. Celebrate the successes, send the failures to your favourite redialer.
    4. Be vigilant. Do not take your eye off the dial while it is in the dip. A small improvement is better than a ruined dial. Exercise caution, do not be greedy.
    5. I have had some success that makes it worthwhile for me. I make no claim this is the right thing to do for others. In fact, I recommend against it
    Last edited by trim; February 1st, 2011 at 22:24.

  6. #5
    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
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    Re: A dial tutorial

    thnx trim. I read somewhere else about using rodico & cotton bud (q-tip) but did not know to use Tarn-x or silver dip. I may either try just a gentle q-tip spot cleaning rather than removing the dial completely as I just want to remove a few spots around the edge. If I ruin it its not the hardest redial as its a pretty small and simple lay-out. Also-there is always the chance the when it arrives it will look much better than the pics (this happens about 50% of the time) But I'll post pics of the results regardless. again-thnx

    The benrus looks fantastic. The hamilton I might have kept the way it was but I have a high tolerance for 'patina'
    :ROLEX OMEGA LONGiNES ♦ SEIKO Aquadive ♦ ELGIN ♦ hamilton O&W imexZodiac......

  7. #6
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: A dial tutorial

    In my defense, the Hamilton was quite unpleasant in person, and what I was really trying to do was remove the large lumps of green corrosion. I have some quite patinated dials that I am happy with and enjoy, but lumps of corrosion are a step too far - especially as I would worry about any impact on the movement of not addressing the problem completely.

  8. #7
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: A dial tutorial

    The improvement on some are really incredible. Good advice on taking it easy. I ruined a couple trying to do to much.

  9. #8
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: A dial tutorial

    Some very good results.
    What are the ingrediants of 'silver dip' is it a tarnish remover?

    I need something which will brighten low carat gold.
    The old books recommend potassium cyanide but I'll give that a miss.

  10. #9
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: A dial tutorial

    Yes it is a tarnish remover. Goddards Silver Dip and other brands etc. Jeweler's also stock varieties of it.

    I use it on gold as well, works well so worth a try.

  11. #10
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: A dial tutorial

    Apparently sulphuric acid - or 'sulfuric' to please the spellcheck - plus thiourea. http://www.ehow.co.uk/list_7103493_s...redients.html; Thiourea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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