Classic watches, watchmaking, antique tools, history, vintage ephemera and more!

Learn about mechanical timepieces and how they work, the history of the American watch industry and especially all about the Elgin National Watch Company! Check back for new content daily.

Although this is technically a blog, the content is not generally in a time-based sequence. You can find interesting items throughout. Down the page some is an alphabetical word cloud of keywords used here. A great way to dig in is to look through those topics and click anything you find interesting. You'll see all the relevant content.

Here are a few of my favorites!

There are some large images on some posts, so that might impact your load times, bit I think you will find it worth the wait. Thanks for visiting!

Cleaning Dials

From Horology magazine, October 1939

Cleaning Dials

The Waltham Watch Company has prepared the following instructions for cleaning watch dials of its own manufacture.

'Our dials are lacquered for protection before the printing is applied. Therefore, finished dials can be cleaned only by such methods as do not remove the printing. Such cleaners as benzol, benzine, carbon tetrachloride, trichlorethylene and patented watch cleaners tend to soften and remove the printing. Benzol, carbon tetrachloride and cyanide cleaners also soften and remove the lacquer; Small scratches on the dials produced by careless handling allow cleaning solutions to flow underneath the lacquer with the result that the lacquer may peel. The use of a buff stick in cleaning hands may cause the lacquer to crack at the sharp edges of the hands and later this lacquer will peel. Under no circumstances should dials or hands be put into washing machines.

"Dials and hands may be cleaned by brushing with a dry camel's hair brush or with a dry, soft, jeweler's brush. If more vigorous cleaning is necessary the brush should be moistened with ethyl alcohol. (Grain alcohol)

"Another method of cleaning dials and hands is to brush them with a camel's hair or soft jeweler's brush dipped in cold soapy water. The soap should then be thoroughly rinsed off with clean water after which the dials should be dipped into ethyl alcohol and dried immediately in sawdust.

"A number of tests performed on dials six months old as well as some just taken from the dial department showed that the dials could be cleaned by the proper procedure without causing the lacquer to peel" 

Post a Comment

Click "Older Posts" just above for more, or use the archive links right here.

Blog Archive