Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?
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  1. #1
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    Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    Hi All,

    I purchased a 1956 Omega Seamaster today and the dial is a little dirty, I expect some of it is dirt, some is UV discolouring.

    Should I attempt to clean it? and if so what is the best method? I have heard that light mineral oil (baby oil) is a good start or warm water?

    What should I not do?

    cheers,
    B

  2. #2
    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    Personally, I wouldn't attempt a DIY job which could end up making things worse. I'd leave it as is or take it to a pro.

  3. #3
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    I wouldn't attempt it. A watchmaker can do certain things - maybe use Rodico to clean it - but if you try it's guaranteed you'll be unhappy. Old watches are supposed to look that way.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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  5. #4
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    Re: Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    Quote Originally Posted by YerbabiE View Post
    Hi All,

    I purchased a 1956 Omega Seamaster today and the dial is a little dirty, I expect some of it is dirt, some is UV discolouring.

    Should I attempt to clean it? and if so what is the best method? I have heard that light mineral oil (baby oil) is a good start or warm water?

    What should I not do?

    cheers,
    B
    You don't give any indication of your level of watchmaking experience, and so I would fist ask: How do you intend to get to the dial? That is, can you uncase this movement, and can you then remove (and replace) the hands? Can you do all this without damaging the watch? That's the minimum you'd need to be able to do before even contemplating cleaning the dial. You should really remove the dial from the movement, too.

    If your answer to the above is no, or not sure, then I'd say you should not be attempting to clean the dial.

    I've never heard of using mineral oil, and see no reason it would be a good idea. Rodico watchmaker's putty can be used to roll grit off a dial is it's fairly loose. A damp cotton swab with a touch of detergent may remove any surface grime. If it's the lacquer layer or the paint that has aged then there not much a surface cleaning will do. The chances of doing damage, such as removal of printing, with more aggressive cleaning is always high.
    Last edited by Gumby992; July 11th, 2014 at 16:10.
    aardvarkbark likes this.

  6. #5
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    Re: Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    Not that any of these are bad guidance, but you may want to post in the Vintage and Watchmaking subforums which are frequented by folks who may tend to do this more than those here.

  7. #6
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    Re: Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    Also, for those who are interested and don't see Teeritz' excellent link posted in the Omega forum...

    Omega Constellation Collectors: Dial Restoration - Cleaning Degraded Dial Lacquer

  8. #7
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    Take it to the pro's to have it cleaned.

  9. #8
    Member tigerpac's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    Take it to a pro. I'm wearing my 1956 Seamaster today as a matter a fact, he says hello


  10. #9
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    Re: Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    Quote Originally Posted by YerbabiE View Post
    Hi All,

    I purchased a 1956 Omega Seamaster today and the dial is a little dirty, I expect some of it is dirt, some is UV discolouring.

    Should I attempt to clean it? and if so what is the best method? I have heard that light mineral oil (baby oil) is a good start or warm water?

    What should I not do?

    cheers,
    B
    It would be nice if you could post some photos of the watch so we can see what its condition actually is.

    In any case, my thought is that if you want it cleaned, have it done by a professional. Way too easy to utterly destroy the dial.

  11. #10
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    Re: Cleaning a 1956 semaster dial? Yes / No?

    Hi All,

    I have the tools to get the back off and dial out etc, it's just a matter of should I attempt it, aside from what I think are a few water mark spots the dial does appear to be 'dirty' on the left side. I've killed a Seiko 5 once by attempting a dial restoration, but that was a Seiko 5, not a 54 Omega (going by the serial number).

    Aside from the Dial I think the rest will buff up nice.
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