Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best?
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Thread: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best?

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  1. #1
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    Question Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best?

    Howdy,
    I've been looking online trying to find the best dial reconditioning/refinishing and re-luming company that's located here in the US. I've run across many different companies who claim that they offer excellent quality workmanship. Out of the many dial reconditioning/refinishing companies in the United States, two companies are always mentioned and are the most famous for this sort of job. The first is Kirk Dial of Seattle, Washington and the second company is the International Dial Co., Inc. of Wilmington, Ohio.

    I couldn't find any information about Kirk Dial of Seattle. Does anybody know whether Kirk Dial has a website? Has anybody in here used them? What can you tell me about their workmanship and service? There's also "another" Kirk Dial that's located in California, but the California location is called Kirk Rich Dial Corporation and is NOT related to the Kirk Dial of Seattle. I'm NOT interested in Kirk Rich Dial that's located in California.

    The dial reconditioning/refinishing company that's called the U.S. is International Dial Co., Inc. of Wilmington, Ohio claims to do the same things that Kirk Dial of Seattle does....that they can recondition/refinish and re-lume any watch dial and hands. I've heard very good things about this particular company from reading some of the posts in here on this website. My only problem here is that my watchmaker doesn't use this particular company for any of their dial and hands reconditioning/refinishing and re-luming work. My watchmaker instead uses Kirk Dial of Seattle, Washington. He states that he's been using Kirk Dial of Seattle for many years and that Kirk Dial does excellent work. I don't know whether or not to believe this though? I need proof in order to establish this conclusion.

    Which one of these 2 dial reconditioning/refinishing companies do you think does the "best" and the "highest quality" workmanship? Which one of the 2 would be the "BEST" choice? The reason why I need to know this is because my watchmaker has been using Kirk Dial of Seattle for the last many years and he claims that they are very good. I don't take his word for this only because I've heard a few people complain about the lack of communication that Kirk Dial of Seattle has with their customers. Also, I don't know whether or not Kirk Dial of Seattle does excellent quality work. I have no proof of this other than my watchmaker's word. I would like to get solid proof from others who have used Kirk Dial of Seattle that this particular company does excellent dial and hands reconditioning/refinishing and re-luming work and that they're also "meticulous" in their workmanship.

    If I ever decide that I want to get any of the dials and hands reconditioned/refinished and re-lumed on my Bulovas, my watchmaker said that he will send out the dials and hands to Kirk Dial of Seattle. Will Kirk Dial of Seattle do an excellent job reconditioning and re-luming the dial and hands on my watch?

    Which of these 2 companies that I mention here have excellent quality workmanship and would be the most meticulous in reconditioning/refinishing and re-luming a watch dial and hands? Kirk Dial of Seattle or International Dial Co., Inc. of Wilmington, Ohio?
    Last edited by dimitribouras; June 16th, 2010 at 08:29.

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    Re: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best

    International has the original dies for Hamilton and do a great job on the brand. I've seen Kirk's work on a 60's Rolex and it was very nice also. Both are good, but I think International is cheaper. I hear the Kirk has the correct die for the "AutomatiC" on Longines and LeCoultre dials, but I've never sent them one so I could find out first hand.

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    Re: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best

    There is a company in Michigan that does amazing work, but you will pay for their expertise. I believe this is their information I have the company name at home.

    International Watch Repair
    6337 Orchard Lake Rd
    West Bloomfield, MI 48322
    248-626-4080
    “Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent”

    -- John Maynard Keynes

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    Re: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best

    Are you thinking of Universal Watch in Michigan? I think they only do redials as part of a complete restoration, and the charge $400 or more just for the dial.

    Desmond also recommended Sonny Dewan of Miami Beach Watch Repair Inc. He does the restorations (not refinishing) for major auction houses.

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    Re: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best

    There are no guarantees. From what I can tell, every watch/dial is different to some extent. I have heard both good and bad things about these vendors.

    With redialing and reluming, you pays your money and you takes your chance. But it can never be undone. This is one of the reasons many of us only would redial a watch which would otherwise be very difficult to use.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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    Re: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    There are no guarantees. From what I can tell, every watch/dial is different to some extent. I have heard both good and bad things about these vendors.

    With redialing and reluming, you pays your money and you takes your chance. But it can never be undone. This is one of the reasons many of us only would redial a watch which would otherwise be very difficult to use.
    That's what bothers me. If a dial can be reconditioned/refinished and re-lumed by a "qualified" dial refinishing company, then why do these companies "screw up" the dial? It seems to me that the 2 major dial reconditioning/refinishing companies (International Dial of Ohio and Kirk Dial of Seattle) that are in the United States are "both incompetent". There are a combination of good and bad reports on both of these companies. This tells me that both companies do not do consistent quality work. Some people are happy with both companies and others aren't. It's really very frustrating trying to find a dial and hand reconditioning/refinishing company who is competent and who doesn't screw up while doing the work. I've come to a conclusion that there is no place that can do a "consistent" high quality and excellent job reconditioning/refinishing and reluming a dial and hands on a watch. I don't want these companies to screw up the dial on my watch. I think that it's best to leave the dial and hands on my 2 Bulovas alone rather than having them ruined by someone who doesn't know what they are doing. It's a real shame because I only need to relume the dial and hands on both watches and to refinish the hands. The dial in both watches are in excellent shape and condition. It's only the lume that's a problem and also the hands needing refinishing and reluming because they have some corrosion on them.
    Last edited by dimitribouras; June 16th, 2010 at 20:28.

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    Re: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best

    I asked the same question about reluming and got this as part of a PM from member:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jack at IWW and Chris at Weigand Watch Works. I've done business with Chris and he does great work.


    http://wiegandwatches.com/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=4


    http://internationalwatchworks.com/
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You could also contact Craig: [email protected] (he's a member here too but I forget his screen name.... chronodeco? chrono - somethingorother)

    He did my Heuer Autavia restoration. He was going to relume it but the previous bad job ruined the dial and it had to be replaced. He does very good work for very reasonable rates.

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    Re: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best

    That is a completely different and laudable proposition. If the watch is legible but "lived in" then there is no good reason to redial it. Hands are actually quite easy to recondition and I'd suggest that you have that done instead.

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    Re: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best

    Quote Originally Posted by tomshep View Post
    That is a completely different and laudable proposition. If the watch is legible but "lived in" then there is no good reason to redial it. Hands are actually quite easy to recondition and I'd suggest that you have that done instead.
    The dial on both watches are very legible and in excellent condition. The only 2 things that are not good is that the lume on the dial and on the hands on both watches is completely dead and don't glow at all. The lume is still fully intact, but it does not glow at all.
    The second issue is that the hands on both watches have some corrosion on them on the edge of the plating where the plating meets with the lume. It's not a whole lot of corrosion, but it's very noticeable. The hands on one watch has more corrosion than the other one.
    Both watches are currently with my watchmaker right now. He's doing a service on both watches. He is also going to try to clean the corrosion off the hands on both watches. I hope that my watchmaker will be able to make the hands look clean and that he will be able to get all the corrosion off.

    My watchmaker told me that I should not recondition/refinish and re-lume the dial and hands on both watches. He recommends that I leave everything alone and leave the dial and hands original and in "as is" condition on both watches. My watchmaker told me that I shouldn't be concerned about the lume not glowing. He says that it's not important if the lume on the dial and hands doesn't glow at all and that I shouldn't be worried about it.
    As for now, I think that I am going to take is advice and leave the lume on the dial and hands on both watches alone and "as is".
    I fear that there's a good chance that the dial and hands might get ruined or done the wrong way if I try to get them reconditioned/refinished and re-lumed by someone who doesn't know what they are doing.

    At the most, I might just get the hands re-done and re-lumed whenever I get both watches serviced again. I have been somewhat spoiled with my 2 year old Citizen diver's watch and with some other watches that I currently own which all have excellent lume and which all glow in the dark without any problems. I'm basically very much used to wearing watches with "working" lume on them and that's why I'm kind of disappointed that the lume doesn't work on the 2 newly acquired vintage Bulovas that I currently own. I guess that I need to start getting used to the lume not glowing and not working at all on my 2 vintage early 1970's Bulovas.
    Last edited by dimitribouras; June 17th, 2010 at 03:07.

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    Re: Kirk Dial of Seattle & International Dial Co. of Wilmington, Ohio..Which is "THE" Best

    I think your watchmaker is giving you good advice about leaving the lume as is. It's much more valuable that way.

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