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Thread: Hand Painting

  1. #1
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    Hand Painting

    Has anyone tried repainting watch hands and wish to give advice. I have an old watch that I am trying to bring back to life. New hands are not available so I am thinking about repainting the old ones. Humbrol enamel paint seems to be suitable. There is a good choice of colours. Should I remove the old paint first? Any thoughts or experience? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    Has anyone tried repainting watch hands and wish to give advice. I have an old watch that I am trying to bring back to life. New hands are not available so I am thinking about repainting the old ones. Humbrol enamel paint seems to be suitable. There is a good choice of colours. Should I remove the old paint first? Any thoughts or experience? Thanks.
    Absolutely remove the old paint first, gently with paint stripper. Then immerse the hands in a solvent such as cellulose thinner or trichloroethylene, (hairspring cleaner). Place the hands on a spike through their holes, holding steady with rodico. Thin Humbrol paint to 50% and use a clock oiler to stroke the paint along the hands from the holes to the end. Thinned paint gives a very flat finish. Leave the first stroke for 2 hours then coat again. Then leave for 48 hours for the paint to harden.
    You may need to practice painting hands first.
    Hope this helps.
    *I found that an electric coffee stirrer with the scoop mostly cut away is a great Humbrol paint mixer.

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    Adapted coffee stirrer or for the posh members, a cappuccino maker. Powered by a U2 battery.

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    Thank you very much! I could not have wished for a more helpful answer. My only problem now is to keep a steady hand!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    Thank you very much! I could not have wished for a more helpful answer. My only problem now is to keep a steady hand!
    Thank you Kaffe. Definitely not a task to be taken on after a night out with the boys !

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  6. #6
    Very clever Brendan.

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    Ha ha. Very true. Maybe just one glass then to steady my nerves!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    Ha ha. Very true. Maybe just one glass then to steady my nerves!
    Why not ? Watch repairing has to have good spirits !
    Here' are the stakes I use for either painting or reluming hands.


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    Thanks. I assume that it's not necessary to use an etching primer first? I normally use it when painting metal. I suppose it would make the layers too thick for a watch hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    Thanks. I assume that it's not necessary to use an etching primer first? I normally use it when painting metal. I suppose it would make the layers too thick for a watch hand.
    Primer is unnecessary. It would make the paint too thick. What is important is to clean the hands thoroughly. Show us when you've had a go.

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    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Interesting thread guys. Love the knowledge base on here.
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    Primer is unnecessary. It would make the paint too thick. What is important is to clean the hands thoroughly. Show us when you've had a go.

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    I hate a challenge! Will do. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    I hate a challenge! Will do. Thanks again.
    Very funny ! I won't ask you to fit a new drive belt to my Aiwa tape deck then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    Very funny ! I won't ask you to fit a new drive belt to my Aiwa tape deck then.

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    You've lost me there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    You've lost me there!
    A challenge ! The rubber drive belt on a cassette tape deck I found at the car boot has turned liquid, like those older Omega gaskets.

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    That should not be a problem to a man of your skills. I can offer no help. I have not used a cassette player for a long time. Good luck.

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    You think you have problems. I've just bent the bezel on my Seiko Monster while trying to remove it. I have had to order a new one. The click spring was broken. It seems they are known to be difficult and I have learned the hard way!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    You think you have problems. I've just bent the bezel on my Seiko Monster while trying to remove it. I have had to order a new one. The click spring was broken. It seems they are known to be difficult and I have learned the hard way!
    You should have sent it to that webwatchmaker genius. He fixes all my watches.

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  19. #19
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    PS: Those bezels can be a nightmare to remove. First squirt WD40 on it. When bent they can often be straightened again.

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    No matter. There's a new one on it's way. I will have a go at sorting the old one for a spare. Parts are difficult to find for these so will be more careful in future. I had the wrong brain in today.
    My Bergeon case opener was no use. It was too thick. I managed to get a sharp knife under the bezel and pry it up a little. This is where I went wrong, I think. I was trying to pry the bezel up from one side only. If I had fitted a knife on the other side then I could have forced it up from both sides so less chance of distorting the bezel. The case shape does not help. That is my theory, however I hopefully will not be doing it again
    Last edited by Kaffe; 24th August 2019 at 22:35.

  21. #21
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    If you try removing a bezel in the future here are some tips for removing the most stubborn one:
    Take the bracelet/strap off.
    Remove the movement and replace the case back firmly.
    Spray WD40 or thin oil between the bezel and case. It is unbelievable how much dirt gets under the bezel preventing it from turning or lifting.
    When the oil has penetrated spin the bezel until it turns freely, using a rubber case back opener as below:

    Once the bezel spins freely and using a sharp thin wide penknife blade, gently prise it up little by little, going round the bezel evenly, twisting the knife downwards not up. The bezel will then come off without damage. Clean it thoroughly and be careful not to damage the wire retaining spring.
    When refitting the spring, make sure the ends point inwards towards the groove in the bezel, ie they are hidden inside the groove.
    Grease the spring generously with mainspring grease.
    Replace the bezel by placing it over the case and with reasonable pressure, use again the rubber case opener to twist the bezel round and round until it clicks down into place.
    Finally rinse the case in the ultrasonic tank to remove the grease and refit the movement and strap. This method has worked for me countless times.
    This bezel remover bought from Cousins does more harm than good when removing most bezels:

    Hope this helps.

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  22. #22
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    Thank you for your advice. I appreciate it very much! You have made me look for more tools. That is not a bad thing! I have not had difficulty in removing bezels before but the Monster was a problem because of the shape of the case which prevents access all around the bezel. For fitting the bezel I normally use a case back press. I think this will be okay for the Monster. However it may not be suitable for bezels with ceramic inserts. I may crack the insert using this tool. I will follow your advice in future. I note that Bergeon make a bezel removing tool but at a cost of hundreds of euros. I cannot justify this at the moment. Thank you again.
    I realise this thread has drifted. My hand painting has been put aside. I am working on the Monster to put a new movement inside and a sapphire crystal. My work has been interrupted by having to reattach the bath plug to the chain on orders from my wife. A fiddly job and not so satisfying!
    Last edited by Kaffe; 31st August 2019 at 20:49.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    Thank you for your advice. I appreciate it very much! You have made me look for more tools. That is not a bad thing! I have not had difficulty in removing bezels before but the Monster was a problem because of the shape of the case which prevents access all around the bezel. For fitting the bezel I normally use a case back press. I think this will be okay for the Monster. However it may not be suitable for bezels with ceramic inserts. I may crack the insert using this tool. I will follow your advice in future. I note that Bergeon make a bezel removing tool but at a cost of hundreds of euros. I cannot justify this at the moment. Thank you again.
    I realise this thread has drifted. My hand painting has been put aside. I am working on the Monster to put a new movement inside and a sapphire crystal. My work has been interrupted by having to reattach the bath plug to the chain on orders from my wife. A fiddly job and not so satisfying!
    A case back press is a really bad way to put a bezel back on ! It will ruin the retaining groove.
    Funny, fitting a bath plug. I have been waylaid by a Georgian table I bought at the car boot. The top was loose. It weighs a ton and is Brazilian mahogany. Here it is:

    Now watching Carnival Row.....Car boot 4.30am tomorrow.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    A case back press is a really bad way to put a bezel back on ! It will ruin the retaining groove.
    Funny, fitting a bath plug. I have been waylaid by a Georgian table I bought at the car boot. The top was loose. It weighs a ton and is Brazilian mahogany. Here it is:

    Now watching Carnival Row.....Car boot 4.30am tomorrow.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
    That is a lovely table.

  25. #25
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    I haven't heard the word Aiwa for decades.. I remember when they were the final word in audio cassette... I longed for their portable player
    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    Very funny ! I won't ask you to fit a new drive belt to my Aiwa tape deck then.

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    Sent from my LYA-L09 using TZ-UK mobile app

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    That is a lovely table.
    The grain is stunning. Looks like the grain on a prize conker ! Cost me a fiver. I couldn't believe it ! Would have cost over 300.00 twenty years ago.

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    Last edited by Webwatchmaker; 2nd September 2019 at 07:46.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdkelly72 View Post
    I haven't heard the word Aiwa for decades.. I remember when they were the final word in audio cassette... I longed for their portable player

    Sent from my LYA-L09 using TZ-UK mobile app
    Here's the deck. Cost 220.00 in 1981. Just needs a drive belt.

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