Restore dial on a sentimental watch?

Thread: Restore dial on a sentimental watch?

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  1. #1
    Member TorzJohnson's Avatar
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    Restore dial on a sentimental watch?

    I'm taking my Dad's old Benrus to the shop soon for cleaning/lube (probably was never done in the life of the watch) and I was wondering if I should consider getting the dial restored. It's kind of a dark brown but there are traces of lighter colored metal around the dial markers that lead me to believe it used to be gold or copper color. It may just be tarnish, and a little brasso could fix it up. Would you do this, or leave it as it is?

    Here's the watch:


  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Restore dial on a sentimental watch?

    I've seen quite a few Benrus 3 star models from that era, and the all have that problem. Best I can tell is that the clear-coat they used yellowed rather badly with age. I was able to strip the finish off one of mine and still leave (most) of the ink, but it took a lot of fine scraping with a sharp piece of pegwood under a loupe. There was a thread on it here that included some excellent information on dial restoration in general:

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=335700
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  3. #3
    Member Beau8's Avatar
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    Re: Restore dial on a sentimental watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by TorzJohnson View Post
    It may just be tarnish, and a little brasso could fix it up. Would you do this, or leave it as it is?
    That's a vintage watch and refinishing the dial would make it a refinished dial on a vintage watch~Best to leave it alone IMHO, Cheers!

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  5. #4
    Member Ray916MN's Avatar
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    Re: Restore dial on a sentimental watch?

    It is only original once, and as it has sentimental value I would leave it alone.

    If you want a clean dial, get a dial to experiment with and see how it works. If you get good results you can either use the dial and put your original dial away for safe keeping, or go for broke and have your original one done too.

  6. #5
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    Re: Restore dial on a sentimental watch?

    I completely disagree with both dial "cleaners" and the whole idea of not reprinting dials. Dial cleaning doesn't work. I'm happy to argue this with anyone. You might get lucky once, but no one has ever come up with a fool proof way to "clean" a dial.

    Secondly, almost every American watch in existence has gone through at least one dial refinishing. In some countries, it seems dials are refinished every time a watch is overhauled. If you get the dial refinished, the watch will look much better, and as the dial has probably already been refinished once or twice, what difference does it make?

  7. #6
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Restore dial on a sentimental watch?

    I'm in the middle on this. I think its overstating the situation to say that every dial has been "refinished"; maybe on high end watches (I don't have enough experience with them to know), but most of the ones I've seen have never been touched.

    I do agree with the idea that its only original once, but being original only has a lot of value if the dial is good to be begin with. Sure, if you're looking at a mint Patak Phillipe chrono from 1940, you probably don't want to be cleaning the dial. But the OP's watch is a fairly generic Benrus; a fully refinished dial can only increase its value.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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