This week's Omega overhaul (my first full restoration!)

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  1. #1
    pej
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    This week's Omega overhaul (my first full restoration!)

    I bought this watch on the bay a while ago. It was discribed as 'not running' so it was a bit of a gamble.



    I liked the look of it, original black dialed watches from the '40s/'50s are pretty rare :)
    It's a cal. 351 with a 14k Gold Filled case.

    THIS IS MY FIRST FULL RESTORATION JOB!

    The movement was VERY dirty..
    All of the plates were covered in a hard thick layer of muck. The main plate was very rusty, the front was covered in a green furr of copper rust.
    It took me many hours to get it cleaned up, one full night in lighter fluid, a couple hours in a salt+vinegar solution, half a pack(!) of toothpicks, several brushes and some copperpolish.. It's still not looking 'as new' but it was close to a lost cause. Got unlucky there.. ;)


    The reason why it was this dirty was quite simple.. There is an engraving in the caseback, put there in 1954. It's engraved too deep so sweaty dirt got in thru a couple tiny holes..




    The dial also looked pretty dirty and rusty.. Thought I would have to get it redone.


    A lot a work resulted in this! (sorry for the bad pics)




    The dial needed heavy cleaning, and I'm quite happy with the result. Altho the paint started to let go at the edges, most of its writing is still very crisp! Glad a redial wasn't neccesary :)


    The movement was a mess, but I got it working after a big load of lighter fuel and more agressive cleaner stuff

    The bottom balance inablock jewel was broken and the clip was rusted thru, so they were replaced.



    almost there, spring on the autowinder click system (not sure what it's called) was broken and was replaced.:

    finished and cased:

    I should take some daylight pics! too dark for nice clear stuff now.


    Runs and keeps time!
    Last edited by pej; November 17th, 2010 at 18:14.

  2. #2
    Member Fantasyvoyager's Avatar
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    Re: This week's Omega overhaul (my first full restoration!)

    Very well done, wish my eyes were still up to the challenge, I find myself doing less and less of the small stuff and handing it off to my watchmaker friends. Vintage Omegas are also one of my Favorites. Your watch looks very nice now, the black should be easy to touch up.

  3. #3
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    Re: This week's Omega overhaul (my first full restoration!)

    Great work

    How did you repair the case back? Also, how did you clean the dial?

    Aditya

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  5. #4
    pej
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    Re: This week's Omega overhaul (my first full restoration!)

    Thanks :)

    I cleaned the dial first by removing the dirt with some 'gum' eraser, which is available at any art store, a soft piece of soapy wet cloth to loosen the heavily caked dirt.
    DO NOT rub a dial but gently tap it.
    After that I put some Teak furniture oil on it! Maybe that sounds a bit strange, but it does a great job at bringing back the colors without being sticky or attracting dust at all!

    I haven't repaired the holes in the back, but put a transparent dial protection pad inside the caseback to keep new dirt out.

  6. #5
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: This week's Omega overhaul (my first full restoration!)

    Top result!

    I'm really pleased to see more posts like this

    I'm guessing you'll get the engraving filled?

  7. #6
    pej
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    Re: This week's Omega overhaul (my first full restoration!)

    Thanks :) I kind of like the history that an old engraving carries, but since they drilled holes in it I will probably get it filled.
    I'm sure Mr. Mortensen wouldn't mind.. He didn't look after his watch too well anyway ;)

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    Nice work!

    It certainly appears to have been quite a challenge.
    You made the watch look very good.

  9. #8
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    Re: Nice work!

    Nice job Pej for a first overhaul!
    The watch looks great again!

    mvg, Frans

  10. #9
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    Re: This week's Omega overhaul (my first full restoration!)

    Quote Originally Posted by pej View Post
    Thanks :)

    I cleaned the dial first by removing the dirt with some 'gum' eraser, which is available at any art store, a soft piece of soapy wet cloth to loosen the heavily caked dirt.
    DO NOT rub a dial but gently tap it.
    After that I put some Teak furniture oil on it! Maybe that sounds a bit strange, but it does a great job at bringing back the colors without being sticky or attracting dust at all!

    I haven't repaired the holes in the back, but put a transparent dial protection pad inside the caseback to keep new dirt out.
    Thanks for the reply. Sounds like you spent a long time on the dial. It certainly was worth it.

    I am glad you will have the engraving filled.

    Aditya

  11. #10
    pej
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    Re: This week's Omega overhaul (my first full restoration!)

    Thanks all, by the way Aditya, that's some incredible work on your blog! Very inspiring :)

    I will certainly try to skeletonize a watch in the future..
    Have a lot to learn but as I'm 20years old I have a lot of time to do so ;)

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