Restoring an Oxidized Dial - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum – Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Restoring an Oxidized Dial

I have three orange-dialed Seiko Sports Divers from 1969 thru 1970. This 5126-6010 is my latest:



Over the hast 50 years the paint on the dial has become dull, possibly through oxidation of the top layer of the finish.

NOS examples show brighter dials.



And of course there are some others that exist out there where the orange paint has oxidized to brown.




An idea occurred to me lately, why not restore the finish with 'Nu Finish'?



The stuff's been on the market for 40 years, so it must be legit.

Any thoughts or warnings before I proceed?
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Keep us informed of what you try and how it works out. I have this 6139 dial that seems to have the same issue. You can see between 4 and 5 where I dabbed a little water on a q-tip to see if it was just dirty, it did clear it up a little. I was thinking the exact same thing, a car finish restorer.

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Old 05-25-2019, 09:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not sure if it’ll work or not. On cars, I’ve removed everything from slight haze to heavy oxidation, both by hand and machine. The two things that always concern me about a car are 1) how thick the finish is, and 2) how hard the finish is. The object of the exercise is to take off as little finish as necessary to restore the luster, but the effort necessary to do so can vary a lot depending on the nature of the finish. And if the paint is really thin, it may not even be possible.

If I were going to try it, I would go with something like Meguiar’s M205, applied with some sort of microfiber. M205 is one of the least aggressive polishes used by automotive restorers. If the 205 doesn’t have any effect, I’d try a somewhat more aggressive product like M105. Meguiar’s Web site has more information about both than you’re ever likely to need. Either should be available at an auto parts store.

FWIW, I don’t think Nu Finish is really a polish, regardless of how it’s advertised. AFAIK, it contains no abrasives and is basically a sealant. It’s not a bad product, just not what I would use to restore oxidized paint.
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would steer clear of products with petroleum distilates.

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Old 05-25-2019, 11:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's the Solvents in most "cleaner polish" or "cleaner wax" that removes oxidation through a chemical process as well as an abrasive process that depends on the coarseness of the applicator pad.

With cars, you can always re-paint if you remove too much paint, but that's not as easy with a watch dial.

I have had some good results with a NON solvent based cleaner applied gently with a white micro sponge {Mr. Clean Magic Eraser}.

This method of restoring dials however, known as "The Process", is only meant to be used by professionals and not recommended for normal dial cleaning.

For what it's worth, I think your dial looks beautiful just the way it is and I would never attempt a risky restoration that could result in the total loss of an otherwise nice vintage dial.

Remember, it's the solvents in the car polish that can destroy enamel. Watch dial paint isn't the same as car paint and will likely not hold up to strong chemical treatment.

I vote for "leave as is"

Best,

Mike
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaman View Post
It's the Solvents in most "cleaner polish" or "cleaner wax" that removes oxidation through a chemical process as well as an abrasive process that depends on the coarseness of the applicator pad.

With cars, you can always re-paint if you remove too much paint, but that's not as easy with a watch dial.

I have had some good results with a NON solvent based cleaner applied gently with a white micro sponge {Mr. Clean Magic Eraser}.

This method of restoring dials however, known as "The Process", is only meant to be used by professionals and not recommended for normal dial cleaning.

For what it's worth, I think your dial looks beautiful just the way it is and I would never attempt a risky restoration that could result in the total loss of an otherwise nice vintage dial.

Remember, it's the solvents in the car polish that can destroy enamel. Watch dial paint isn't the same as car paint and will likely not hold up to strong chemical treatment.

I vote for "leave as is"

Best,

Mike
Good advice.

The thing that concerns me the most is what any solvents might do to the decal.

I'll try it on some junk dials and publish the results.
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've had great but not perfect, cleaning results with 1/2 a tab of denture cleaner
i just dissolve it in water and place in the Dial and let it soak..... normally about 12 hours and you get a clean dial ( this won't change oxidised Dials but it will change dirty ones)
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Great work
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