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Thread: Cleaning a vintage watch

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Cleaning a vintage watch

    This turned up during a clear out. Apparently my grandfathers wedding watch, so at least 65yrs old. Needs a damn good clean, lots of nasty gunk between links etc.

    Remove the bracelet, use a soft brush?

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Cracking find! Careful with the cleaning :)

  3. #3
    Master
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    Polywatch for the plexi glass. I would take the gold coating away to leave a ss finish., but it's not my watch.

  4. #4
    Clean the watch head and polish the crystal then put it on a nice leather strap.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MADDOG View Post
    Polywatch for the plexi glass. I would take the gold coating away to leave a ss finish., but it's not my watch.
    Taking off the gold coating would leave a brass base, it's not a steel watch. You can see it where chunks of the gold are missing on the lugs.

  6. #6
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vortgern View Post
    Clean the watch head and polish the crystal then put it on a nice leather strap.
    This.

    M

  7. #7
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    I would imagine it might need a service; if you choose to do this the watchmaker should stick the case in an ultrasonic cleaner which is probably as much as you want to do with it. Any polishing will likely reduce more plating.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  8. #8
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    I would imagine it might need a service; if you choose to do this the watchmaker should stick the case in an ultrasonic cleaner which is probably as much as you want to do with it. Any polishing will likely reduce more plating.
    +1, I`m not convinced that crystal can be repolished, it may have fine cracks in it. Replacement is probably the better option. sometimes the cracks are only visible under magnification, it's frustrating to spend time repolishing a crystal only to find it has tiny cracks in it.

    Trying to polish the case is a no-no, as already stated it'll remove more of the plating. A light wipe over with a rouge cloth will keep it gleaming and brighten up the areas where the base metal is showing through.

    It may be possible to have the case replated, but that'll add significantly to the cost.

    Paul

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