In some cases the dial on a watch may be damaged. This is usually caused by the watch leaking water or by a broken glass. Some vintage watches often have some spotting or staining and it is personal preference whether this should be restored or left to give the watch character. Dial restoration is a specialised procedure and involves stripping the original dial of all paint and fixtures such as raised battons or numbers. The dial is then prepared and re-painted before any transfers such as logo’s or names are re-applied. All raised battons or numbers are then re-fixed to finish the dial.
A dial restoration can often transform the look of a watch. New luminous compound can also be applied to hands and battons which can also transform the look of a watch especially on military type dials.
Most dial restorations are usually very close if not exactly like the original when finished. Below are some examples of watches and dials where the dial has been restored.
Gents 1930’s Vintage mechanical watch – Although most dials can be restored to nearly the exact style as the original. There are cases such as this one, where the exact template is not available. The nearest and best possible has been found, which is still in keeping with the style and age of the watch. The hands on this watch have also been Re-Lumed.
1940’s Rolex Oyster Royal – Many vintage watches end up with stained and damaged dials after many years of wear and tear. A dial restoration can often transform a tatty looking watch back into a wearable prized possession. It would of course be preferable where ever possible to replace a dial with a new one, if the dial is available. Unfortunately with watches of this age this is rarely the case.
Ulysse Nardin mechanical watch – This dial was on a watch in which we performed a complete restoration. The dial was quite badly damaged with dents, scratches, flaky lacquer and missing hour markers. The dial was repainted and new markers fitted.