Dial Cleaning

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rbonn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:55 am

Dial Cleaning

#1 Post by rbonn » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:36 am

Hi, new here and I just received a few watches I've purchased. I cannot find a thread here that discusses mild dial cleaning methods. Can someone direct me to that, if it exists. I know I've read about a product that people use, but I cannot recall its name. I've read NEVER RUB....and I like to be very gentle in clean up work.

Any advice is most appreciated.

JerseyMo
Posts: 1611
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:26 am
Location: NJ, USA

Re: Dial Cleaning

#2 Post by JerseyMo » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:55 am

Welcome to the forum, the product you mention is most likely Rodico. Some uses are dusting crystals, dials, and holding things in place while reassembling movements. It is even good to use when installing batteries in quartz watch.
No watch bench should be without it. But, know that it will not remove blemishes or spots, rather only lift off surface dust or grime. Be very careful with dials as they will react differently. Printing can be erased and you may pull off inserted
markers. Buy a lot of junker watches or dials to practice with to get the feel for what can and can not be done.

Good Luck.
“Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But, until that day, accept this justice as a gift”

retroworx
Posts: 4328
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:24 am

Re: Dial Cleaning

#3 Post by retroworx » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:26 am

Many people on the forum use Haggerty's jewelry cleaner mixed with some percentage of water to improve their dials. Just proceed with extreme caution and know that the solution may strip the lacquer or print from the dial.

I personally use a Tarn-X and water solution with mixed results. Too much or too long and I am likely to lose the lacquer.

Some variables I have noted over the years:

1) Early dials from the 20s and 30s seem to hold the print during cleaning better than later dials, and so I can be a bit more aggressive with those. (I think something changed in the dial printing process after those years that makes the prints less durable.)

2) For the dials after 1920s/30s/maybe 40s: too much Haggerty treatment, I am likely to lose the print. With too much Tarn-X, I am likely to lose the lacquer.

Long and short of it, though, is that I no longer risk cleaning a dial unless I am resigned to it potentially needing a full International Dial restore. ;)
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JerseyMo
Posts: 1611
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:26 am
Location: NJ, USA

Re: Dial Cleaning

#4 Post by JerseyMo » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:49 am

retroworx wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:26 am
Long and short of it, though, is that I no longer risk cleaning a dial unless I am resigned to it potentially needing a full International Dial restore. ;)
agreed 100% :)
“Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But, until that day, accept this justice as a gift”

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GreenBayStamps
Posts: 1505
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:10 am
Location: De Pere, WI

Re: Dial Cleaning

#5 Post by GreenBayStamps » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:03 pm

I agree, cleaning is risky business. My watch guy in a pinch will use white gas otherwise known as Coleman Camping fuel. Leaves no residue, I have lost some type? :shock:
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