Repairing a Scratched Dial? - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum – Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sushi 6119-7160 Sports divers are rare, so when one was offered cheap, I pounced.



But what seemed from the seller's photo to be a scratch on the crystal, turned out to be a scratched dial!



I've been doing some online research. I came across this piece on striping and re-varnishing dials:

http://watchguy.co.uk/cleaning-and-p...nish-on-dials/

In addition I've seen before and after examples of Spencer Klein performing miracles of scratch removal on Seiko dials in his videos. And while he never reveals all his secrets, he has hinted at re-varnishing.

I was also wondering if these dial scratches were analogous to fine automotive paint scratches, most of which are in the top clearcoat layer and are removed through fine sanding followed by a refinish of wax or clearcoat.

I have this other blue dial from the same year to practice on.



Helpful ideas would be appreciated.

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Old 09-19-2018, 12:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmkqr6Xn..._web_copy_link

James has had some luck and yes, using automotive type polish. This is really going to depend on your dial type, scratch 'type' and depth etc. But it is possible you may get some improvement.

The chap kindly sent me some, I tried it on a few scratched up pogue dials but too deep to start, ended up polishing off too much, as well you can imagine (they were scrap anyway).

Though I did use it to nicely tidy up an old Rotary dial:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BnUG8WPH..._web_copy_link

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Old 09-19-2018, 02:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thickman808 View Post
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmkqr6Xn..._web_copy_link

James has had some luck and yes, using automotive type polish. This is really going to depend on your dial type, scratch 'type' and depth etc. But it is possible you may get some improvement.

The chap kindly sent me some, I tried it on a few scratched up pogue dials but too deep to start, ended up polishing off too much, as well you can imagine (they were scrap anyway).

Though I did use it to nicely tidy up an old Rotary dial:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BnUG8WPH..._web_copy_link
I wonder if the scratch cover waxes used on cars would help hide minor scratches. The ones that are colored wax to match the paint.

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Old 09-19-2018, 03:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I too was considering automotive wax. It would be less invasive than varnish. My only worry is heat.

On a sunny day it is a greenhouse under the crystal. Would the wax hold up to the heat?
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I too was considering automotive wax. It would be less invasive than varnish. My only worry is heat.

On a sunny day it is a greenhouse under the crystal. Would the wax hold up to the heat?
They actually use a wax to repair dials, and automotive wax stands up to being out in the heat. I don't think a watch will get hotter than a car out in the sun. I just got in a 7005 dial that is scratched up, but not gouged. I might try it out, got nothing to lose with this dial, it came on a 6119 movement I wanted.


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Old 09-19-2018, 07:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Repairing a Scratched Dial?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seiko Hoarder View Post
I too was considering automotive wax. It would be less invasive than varnish. My only worry is heat.

On a sunny day it is a greenhouse under the crystal. Would the wax hold up to the heat?


I highly recommend Flitz Polish. We use it on $200,000 Show Trucks. Their products are far superior to any of your typical off-the-shelf automotive waxes. It is non-toxic, non-abrasive and non-acidic. Polishes chrome, fiberglass, restores plastic, exct. removes scratches in clear coats...it’s fantastic.

If I run into a similar issue such as the one you’re facing...this will be what I reach for first.

https://www.flitz-polish.com/collections/polishes
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The below link is to an exhaustive how to guide to repairing scratches in the paint of fine automobiles.

It's writer, Larry Reynolds, is my car care guru, and i have used these instructions to repair scratches on my cars.

I don't know whether this would translate well to the reduced scale of a watch dial, but I offer it up because I thought more info was better.

https://store.carcareonline.com/repairpaintchips.aspx
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your input.

I decided to go with the auto wax method. On my way home from work I picked up some auto wax and dropped the dial and wax off with a jeweler whose daughter is my student.

I explained to him that this was an experimental procedure, and that I understood the risk. I told him that I expected to either have a restored dial or a ruined one. I wouldn't hold it against him if it ended in disaster, but if I ruined the dial, I could never forgive myself.

Either way, I'll post the results.

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Old 09-21-2018, 01:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You really want polish rather than wax, a stage 2 car polish (quite a light polish that finishes before wax)

Take care though as obviously you’re not working with a lot of clear coat and it can only take out light scratches if they’re not right through the clear coat.
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncleluck View Post
You really want polish rather than wax, a stage 2 car polish (quite a light polish that finishes before wax)

Take care though as obviously you’re not working with a lot of clear coat and it can only take out light scratches if they’re not right through the clear coat.
If they're down through the paint it's gonna be tough to do, but if it's only the clear coat and you can get those voids filled and polished, it should look fine, theoretically anyways. The problem I'm running into is getting a material to stay in the void, polishing keeps taking the wax material back out.
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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There are other automotive paint restoration products that might be better than either a wax or the "stage two" type of cleaner polish.

The cleaner polish may take off too much of the old paint.. remember the dial here is pretty old and the paint itself isn't anything like the new grades of automotive paint.

Maybe try a glaze product..this would have no wax but is designed to fill scratches in auto paint and has a similar finish to a quality wax.

In either case, if you're filling a scratch, rather than removing it, it won't be a permanent solution...the wax or glaze will only fill the void for so long and then will need treatment again.

Also consider that you will likely change the texture of the dial in the areas you polish and it will look different than the rest of the dial.

Past that, I can't recommend anything that would be safe to use on the dial.

I've touched up dials in the past, but only in an emergency and my results weren't perfect.

I think another challenge with the wax, cleaner, polish or glaze, is that it could be difficult to remove the residue.

Hope it goes well.

Mike
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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wow that looks really scratched, would it not eb cost effective to just get a replacement crystal or is it because it is not avaialble for that watch
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The wax works!




Not perfect, but under a new crystal (which will reflect the light in place of the dial) the scratches should be much less perceptible.

BEFORE


AFTER


The bottle costs less than five bucks.

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Old 10-12-2018, 10:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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All done.

I think I got petty close to what I wanted.



THERE SHE GLOWS!

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Old 10-12-2018, 11:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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nice job - looks fantastic - another great one for the collection ....
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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All done.

I think I got petty close to what I wanted.
]
That came out great!
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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WOW - was following with great interest and I am surprised how good it turnd out. Looks real good.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:57 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Holy cow that turned out nice!
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seiko Hoarder View Post
The wax works!



The bottle costs less than five bucks.

Amazing! Please, can you tell if this was used only in the crystal or also to polish the watch body? Thanks mate!
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srsdive View Post
Amazing! Please, can you tell if this was used only in the crystal or also to polish the watch body? Thanks mate!


Unless I’ve been reading the thread all wrong, this was used on the dial brother!


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Old 03-03-2019, 05:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I was just imagining that depending on composition, it could work on the body/crystal as well. thanks!
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Old 03-03-2019, 06:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Well that came out great John. Wouldn't know it was ever there especially under the crystal.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Thanks Guy.

I thank all the members who shared their ideas and experience. I hope it helps other people stumble on this thread in the future.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:36 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Aloha
Friend here gave me a whole gallon to try on my ...Pocket Watch Dials and it works great. He has
a.... Custom Bike and Car and Street Rod Shop here for some years.
This gallon costs about .... $60.00 to $70.00 Dollars. I use it on some of
my dials to try it and it works good. I use a .... Q-Tip to work it but very lightly
to see how it works on many dials.
It works great on ...Porcelain Dials on Pocket Watch's and many others
Some Dials can not use this because it removes the Dial printing on it.
Louis
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