To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!
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  1. #1
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    To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    Picked this up today, satisfyingly cheaply, as a present for my father in law. It's a 1953(ish) Seamaster cal.342 bumper auto, mechanically good but with a slightly less than pristine dial.

    Curiously, if I go to order a crown or crystal by case number (2576-3c) Cousins want me to have gold plated versions. The Omega vintage database lists the basic 2576 (stainless steel) but none of the variants, so I have no easy way to know whether it was originally gold plated or steel finish. The gold hands and dial markers seem to suggest gold finish, but the case doesn't appear to have been polished and there's no sign at all of plating anywhere on it.

    Anyway, the real decision to be made is - should I have a dial restoration done or not? Personally I don't mind the finish as it is, but not sure where the consensus draws the line between "patina" and "worn out". If it was sales stock I'd probably cop out and leave any prospective buyer to decide what they wanted. As a gift, I can't really do that.

    So, what does the Wisdom of WUS say? Is this dial beyond the pale or charmingly aged? Also, if the decision is to restore, bearing in mind the steel case and gilt markers, would you guys go for a silver, white, or champagne ground?
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  2. #2
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    Re: To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    I vote to refinish the dial. I love vintage watches, but I like them to look pretty nice.

  3. #3
    Member Tomcat1960's Avatar
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    Re: To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    Hmm ... difficult. I find it looks rather tired, like being eaten by someting corrosive. If the dial looks like this, I'd have doubts on the movement, too.

    Do you have the watch already?

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    Tc
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  5. #4
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    Re: To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    Yes, have the watch and the movement really isn't a problem. Crown & crystal are on order and I'll service it sometime this week. Will probably polish the case as well (don't worry, I don't do over polishing :D )

    But what to do with that dial? It's basically the laquer yellowed and peeling - looks like the original silver ground is good. But all the printing is lifting with the laquer.
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    Last edited by Joe Horner; October 13th, 2014 at 00:21.

  6. #5
    Member anzac1957's Avatar
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    Re: To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    Hi,

    Did you see my post re the Longines with really bad dial.. I used a drop of juice from a lemon dabbed around carefully using my finger and then rinsed with water..

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f405/re...s-1081465.html
    Last edited by anzac1957; October 13th, 2014 at 00:52.


    Tony Lewis
    New Zealand

  7. #6
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    There is Patina, and then there is ruined. This one is of the latter category.

    Now, Hamilton collectors don't mind a redial (usually). Unfortunately for this watch Omega collectors are dial mad. Its the most critical part of the watch for many of them. To the extent that some original dials are looked at with suspicion.

    If it is for wear, and not a collection piece, then you may as well redial. A redial is never as good as a average original - but its intended use is the important thing here. If it is for a collector, then you will be best to spend some years waiting for a better dial (ensuring it is valid combo for the case and movement). If you go for a redial, a good one costs $.

    I have only ever been happy with 1 of the 7 redials I have had done - the others I have regretted. I guess personally I am in the Omega camp on this. That said, the redials I had done were for dials that were complete messes (or worse), so at least there was a useable watch at the other end.
    Last edited by trim; October 13th, 2014 at 03:30.

  8. #7
    Member howards4th's Avatar
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    Re: To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    I would say if you could clean it like "ansac1957" did to his Longines I would go that route, but as you said some of the finish is lifting, so that may not be possible??
    Hard call to make, If you could just get the yellowing off, it would look much better (my 2cents) I would see what it would look like after a cleaning...if that's possible.

    Best,
    Chris

  9. #8
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    Re: To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    Lemon juice method would clean all that tarnish but it will not recreate "Omega Seamaster" letters which look to be gone allready.
    How they could disapear is something to wonder...
    I see a white spot between 9 and 10 hour markers. So I suspect someone allready tried to clean this poor thing :)
    Chaos is my focus

  10. #9
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    Re: To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    Thanks so far :) The lettering is still just about visible (if you know what it should be saying!) but the laquer is lifting and flaking, taking the markings with it. The spot between 9 and 10 was where I just touched it with Rodico to see how stable the remaining laquer was - not very!

    If it wasn't for the applied hour markers and Omega I'd have no hesitation in having it restored for useability, but they make it entirely useable as it is. Still, the search for a dial option is an interesting one,and I guess there's no real harm in having it restored so FIL (definitely not a WIS) can enjoy it in the meantime if that's the ultimate solution :)

  11. #10
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    Re: To dial restore or not to dial restore, that is the question!

    Well if You decided to restore it You have nothing to loose and could first try lemon cleaning method and see how it looks afterwards :)
    Chaos is my focus

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