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How to Clean Watch Dials

To clean dial, always use blower and a sharpened piece of pegwood or toothpick to remove dust and broken pieces of glass from surface. Then use Rodico or something like it to remove any other residue. (Rodico is like silly putty and can be purchased from most material distributors.)

It is always best to remove the hands when cleaning the dial or to straighten them.

If the dial is very dirty, remove it and clean it with a soft dial brush. If that doesn’t work, use a very mild detergent and a soft brush. Be sure to dry the dial immediately. If any liquid stays on the dial for longer than a few seconds damage can and probably will result. I suggest you use extreme caution when putting any liquid on a painted dial, but I do clean many dials with a mild detergent I mix up and have excellent results. This will not remove spots but will remove dirt and yellowing. If lacquer is damaged there is not a lot that can be done but I have had some success re-lacquering dials as a last resort.

Genuine baked-on enameled dials, like old pocket watch dials, can be soaked in detergent in an ultrasonic cleaner and will clean up beautifully. Be sure not to leave the dial in too long; check it often. Usually a couple of minutes will be sufficient. Take extra care if you have a large, very powerful tank. If the dial has chips or loose pieces they will come off so be careful. If the dial is extremely delicate obviously do not put it in a powerful ultrasonic machine.

2017-02-17T09:02:16+00:00

About the Author:

About Carignan Watch Repair Company

Carignan Watch Company was officially started in January 1996. However, long before that, owner Denis Carignan was repairing watches as a hobby. It all began when he found an old pocket watch while antiquing. He was amazed by the craftsmanship and became captivated by what is known as horology.

Over the years, we have repaired and restored thousands of timepieces. We specialize in repairing the timepieces that others give up on. Carignan Watch Company has a large inventory of parts and materials, and we also manufacture parts that cannot be purchased due to age or rarity. We service a variety of timepieces. We are an independent repair shop; we are in no way authorized by, affiliated with, or endorsed by ANY watch manufacturer, company or re-seller, and we like it that way.
About Denis Carignan, Owner, Carignan Watch Company
Many years ago I fell in love with watches and, like many others, I tried having a few serviced by so-called watchmakers and was very disappointed . The “factory authorized service centers” were even worse to deal with unfortunately. When I say I fell in love with watches, I mean it. They fascinate me on many levels and I think it is an absolute shame that it is difficult to get them serviced properly. I began repairing my own watches and before long I jumped in with both feet.

From that point on, watches and the repair of them has been my passion, or perhaps obsession. I have devoted nearly all of my adult life to learning the craft and have been providing people and their watches the best possible services available for may years. When someone says “it cannot be done” or “you can’t fix this,” it sparks something in my mind that is hard for me to stop. At times I have spent hundreds of hours on a project that many other watchmakers had abandoned, determined to see it through no matter what. This is usually not profitable, but it sure is nice to see the look on the customer’s face when I hand them their running watch that is for all intensive purposes “back from the dead.”

If I don’t know something, I ask someone. If I do not have something I need, I find it. If I cannot find something I need, I make it. If something is truly beyond my ability, I admit it and try to find someone who can help. If help cannot be found, I will do everything possible to learn how to do it myself. I take pride in my work, which I enjoy, and I am grateful to God for the abilities he has given me and plan to use those gifts for as long as I can. I came from a long line of engineers, machinists, and inventors, on both sides of my family, so it’s no wonder, I guess, that I am so interested in mechanical things. Every thing I have I worked very hard for. I hope someday my daughter will get into the business, but only time will tell; she is still young.

I am self-employed and independent from any watch manufacturer at this time, for a reason. I do not like being dictated to and refuse to do things that I do not agree with. I am always working on honing the skills I have and learning new ones. I am very well connected and do not shy away from the tough jobs. I take the training I want to take. I work on whatever watch I want to work on, and I use the tools and equipment that I want and deem appropriate to use. I use both antique tools and modern tools that I have purchased over the course of many years. My shop is extremely well equipped and exactly the way I need it and want it. Very few shops have the capabilities that mine does. In my opinion, you should be able to bring your watch to whomever you want to have it repaired; it is your watch and your money. The person you bring it to should be able to get the training, parts, and equipment to service your watch easily and cost effectively, without jumping through constantly-changing hoops and hemorrhaging money. Pomp and circumstance is not something you will find here.