Getting the face cleaned


Is it ok to have the face cleaned? I have a shadow of the hands on the dial...which is very odd because this watch was kept in the dark for 25 years. It was put away because the band turned my wrist green and I incorrectly assumed it was the watch. I realized that I just need to make sure I use a SS band as any other bands including leather just make me break out. So I went looking for my Grand Dad's watch and there it was. I came here to find out what it was and was shocked to see that it might be a rare watch indeed. I am excited that I can wear it again as it still keeps good time. I plan to take it in for service and want to know if it is ok to have it completely cleaned. While I don't plan on selling it I don't want to close that door either. So figured I would post here to find out what is ok and not ok to do to a watch and still keep it's value. I am sure the crystal is not original. The band is not original either.

I will ask them to get the markings on the inside once they take the back off too.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted September 25, 2015 - 10:13am

Panel Member

Dials, for the most part, cannot be cleaned. What you are seeing is likely a radiation burn because the watch remained stopped for years. 

The discolourization and 'dirt' is actually oxidization, and the breakdown of paints on the dial, adhesives on the marker, radiation, off-gassing of petroleum based or organic watch oils used in the past, reaction of the metal or paint to environmental pollutants and incursion of water or humidity.

You can remove the surface dirt, but the logos, and in some cases other writing on the dial are very fragile, oftentimes being simply a membrane transfer and easily damaged even by water. The best bet for a badly discoloured old dial is re-dialing, and I can recommend International Dial Co. 

jamesdudman's picture
Posted November 3, 2015 - 11:53am

I have a 60's 10CH movement and need parts or a another movmt is the 10CH compatible with any other movmt???????????



Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted November 4, 2015 - 11:43am

Panel Member

I see no interchangeability in Bestfit but I do have the spec sheet and this model had 3 variations in Balance wheel and other parts, so even one 10CH may not be interchangeable with another. 

Posted November 4, 2015 - 1:02pm

Hi Ken

I have cleaned some dials which have been very dirty by using a baby bud dipped in jewelery cleaner then queezed nearly dry , Then gently rubbed over the dial, It has worked for me in the past, but not for radium burns.This method can only used to remove service dirt, If anything more than this is required I agree with REV Rob redialing is the best option and I can also verify that International Dial do a very good job and their charges are quite reasonable. They have refinished over 20 dials for me so far.