Smelly bronze vintage watch

Thread: Smelly bronze vintage watch

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  1. #1
    Member Orologist's Avatar
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    Smelly bronze vintage watch

    Hello guys!
    A while ago I found a vintage Russian watch, a Pobeda, made in the 1950's. I had the movement cleaned and put a new strap and crystal on it. The watchmaker cleaned up the dial as well as much as he could. The watch looks amazing now, but: it smells. Bad. Like bronze. Is there any way to do something about it? I would really like to wear it but I simply can't. One day I was without a watch because after an hour or so at the office the smell was annoying me. Any advice?

  2. #2
    Member GBOGH's Avatar
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    Smelly bronze vintage watch

    What does vintage bronze metal smell like? I have a couple newer watches made from bronze material and currently they don't have any odor to them after a year or so.

  3. #3
    Member Orologist's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly bronze vintage watch

    Quote Originally Posted by GBOGH View Post
    What does vintage bronze metal smell like? I have a couple newer watches made from bronze material and currently they don't have any odor to them after a year or so.
    Well, it's hard to explain a smell on the internet, and it would be rather useless telling you it smells like old bronze :-P
    The smell reminds me of some old bronze candlesticks my parents used to have. Wearing it is really annoying.

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  5. #4
    Member GBOGH's Avatar
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    Smelly bronze vintage watch

    I didn't know the metal itself could smell. You sure it's not dirty with some other material on the metal that is emitting the odor? Bronze metal itself shouldn't have an odor. Could be something foul got into the porous areas of the metal and causing the problem. A good cleaning might do the trick.
    Last edited by GBOGH; November 19th, 2012 at 21:07.

  6. #5
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    Re: Smelly bronze vintage watch

    Could it be oily?
    Or oily in the gap between the case and caseback?

    Does other people smell the smell?

  7. #6
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly bronze vintage watch

    Could it be that Brasso has been used to polish the case? Maybe your parents polished
    their candlesticks with Brasso too.

  8. #7
    Member Orologist's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly bronze vintage watch

    Hmm, I do remember seeing Brasso in the house when I was a kid. It might be that, but I doubt the watch was ever polished with Brasso. It was in a pretty bad state when I got it and the watchmaker for sure did not polish the case with Brasso. It could indeed be that it might need another good cleaning. Any suggestions about how to clean it in a such a way as to not destroy it? Other people have smelled it as well. They described the smelled as "bronze". Additional detail: the watch needs to be replated. I was planning to do that in a few weeks. Will the replating help in any way you think?

    GOOGLE UPDATE: Apparently, odors perceived as metallic are in essence by-products of the metals (in this case bronze) reacting with skin or impurities of the metal itself.
    Last edited by Orologist; November 19th, 2012 at 22:17.

  9. #8
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly bronze vintage watch

    Interesting, maybe your family has a genetic propencity for reactions to bronze touching the skin? I've heard of other metals, even Stainless Steel causing issues. Please let us know what you find out, also post some photos of your watch!
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  10. #9
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly bronze vintage watch

    Watches used in cold temperatures were frequently oiled with a byproduct of whale blubber, due to its natural ability to work well under cold conditions. This might be the original source of the smell.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  11. #10
    Member jopex's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly bronze vintage watch

    If it makes any difference case is probably made form brass not bronze.
    Cheers,
    Josip


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