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rolex Silver Prince

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:17 pm
by mrcardigan
Hi all.

I'm a fairly new collector, now with an Illinois and 3 Hamiltons. However, my wife has the jewel in our Crown, identified by antiques roadshow UK earlier this year as a 1932 Silver Prince. (not jealous of her, I promise). It has been sat unknown in the back of our wardrobe for over 20 years, but has kick-started my interest in vintage watches.
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We (she) will never sell it, as it was a gift from her late grandfather. However, we would love to have it restored, and as newbies would appreciate any advice from you experts.

It needs the dial cleaning (want to keep original dial at all costs), case cleaning/polishing, movement servicing, crystal replacing, second hand fixing and anything else needed.

How much would you expect to end up paying for such work? Can anyone recommend a good watchmaker in the UK who could take this on. Not bothered about end value, as I said it's a keeper.

Many thanks,

Andy

Re: rolex Silver Prince

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:36 pm
by JerseyMo
Great family time piece. It will help the members to know where you are located. So that may offer recommendation for watch shops.

If you are located in the the UK. I would suggest you contact Greg Ward at Woodland Tech. He is located in Lincolnshire. He has done several full
restores for me.

Re: rolex Silver Prince

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:23 pm
by mrcardigan
Apologies.. Yes I'm in the UK as you suspected, in Gloucestershire (Cotswolds).

I will look great up, thanks for the lead.

Andy C

Re: rolex Silver Prince

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:50 pm
by afire
I wouldn't hesitate to refinish that dial. Unless I miss my guess, the print is inlaid vitreous enamel. It will remain while only the clear protective lacquer is replaced. I think perhaps the logo itself will need to be reprinted. Cleaning a dial like this is (IMO) not very different from refinishing. I've cleaned this type of dial myself and what you end up with is either a compromised clear coat that will result in more tarnishing after a while, or you spray clear protective lacquer yourself. You may as well have it professionally done. Others may disagree, but I think the collecting community doesn't shun refinishing this particular type of inlaid enamel dial. For other brands and other types, it's a completely different story.

Re: rolex Silver Prince

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 6:46 pm
by seiko_omega
afire wrote:
Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:50 pm
I wouldn't hesitate to refinish that dial. Unless I miss my guess, the print is inlaid vitreous enamel. It will remain while only the clear protective lacquer is replaced. I think perhaps the logo itself will need to be reprinted. Cleaning a dial like this is (IMO) not very different from refinishing. I've cleaned this type of dial myself and what you end up with is either a compromised clear coat that will result in more tarnishing after a while, or you spray clear protective lacquer yourself. You may as well have it professionally done. Others may disagree, but I think the collecting community doesn't shun refinishing this particular type of inlaid enamel dial. For other brands and other types, it's a completely different story.
correct me if i'm wrong, vitreous enamel is the same (essentially) as fired glass? If so, then yes, there might not be much hope without a professional re-dial.

Re: rolex Silver Prince

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 6:47 pm
by seiko_omega
This is one of my grail pieces, moreso because of its near-identity to the Gruen Quadron "doctors' watches". I also acquired a Bucherer Newton jump hour in the (vain) hope that I would quench the longing for a Rolex Prince/Gruen Quadron.

Good luck with your restoration.

Re: rolex Silver Prince

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:00 am
by afire
seiko_omega wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 6:46 pm
correct me if i'm wrong, vitreous enamel is the same (essentially) as fired glass? If so, then yes, there might not be much hope without a professional re-dial.
Yes, it is hard like glass. But only the print is hard fired enamel. So, you can clean the silver parts and recoat them with clear without damaging the black print. But that's really no different from what a professional refinisher would do, except they would likely restore the proper texture and tone to the silver as well. And it appears that the logo is gone, which they would reprint. Those often were not hard fired enamel, which I suspect was done when the dial manufacturer made the same dial for different customers, in this case, Gruen and Rolex. Then they can have one pattern for the hard fired basic dial print, and just add Gruen or Rolex as needed.

If it cleans up acceptably and the patina is okay with the owner, then no need to refinish. But if it doesn't, this type of dial is likely to come out at pretty much original factory quality.