WWT Shows CLICK TO: Join and Support Internet Horology Club 185™ IHC185™ Forums

• Check Out Our... •
• TWO Book Offer! •
Go
New Topic
Find-Or-Search
Notify
Tools
Reply to Post
  
Rolex Radium Replacement on Dial & Hands "Click" to Login or Register
 
IHC Life Member
posted
Last year I bought a 1920's Rolex wrist watch from Jones & Horan. At the time of purchase, the radium was missing from the dial and the hands. The following shows the process I used to replace the missing radium with acrylic paint (much safer material). This first shot shows some of the numbers having been finished.

 
Posts: 719 | Location: Upstate New York in the USA | Registered: November 21, 2008
IHC Life Member
posted
This shot shows progress after about an hour and a half. Acrylic is fairly easy to work with and can be scraped off the dial if you don't like the final look.

 
Posts: 719 | Location: Upstate New York in the USA | Registered: November 21, 2008
IHC Life Member
posted
This photo shows the condition of the hands at time of purchase. To restore these with the acrylic, I put frosted tape on the front, then painted in 4-5 coats of acrylic into the recesses of the back side. After allowing to dry, tape can be peeled off safely without damaging the paint. After doing the minute hand, I decided I didn't like the fact that the metal was much thinner on one side compared to the other. I dug through my inventory and came up with a replacement. The replacement turned out pretty good.

 
Posts: 719 | Location: Upstate New York in the USA | Registered: November 21, 2008
IHC Life Member
posted
Here is the finished restoration. Watch is triple signed and is quite accurate over a 24-hour period. The case is sterling silver and the movement is a 13L Rebberg.

 
Posts: 719 | Location: Upstate New York in the USA | Registered: November 21, 2008
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
Very nice work Bruce, you must have a pretty steady hand. Can you tell me what type of brush that is and what brand of paint you are using?
 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
IHC Life Member
posted
Lorne, here are some shots of the paint brand and brush. I bought everything at Michael's Craft Store. For this Rolex I tried to mix up a color that matched a small piece of radium that was still present in one of the hands. To arrive at the right hue, I mixed the raw sienna with some ivory.

 
Posts: 719 | Location: Upstate New York in the USA | Registered: November 21, 2008
IHC Life Member
posted
Here is a close-up of the brush. I can't remember if it is synthetic or natural, but I'm pretty sure I stuck with synthetic when I bought it because of the paint being water-based. A natural bristle brush will tend to get "frizzy" when used in water. One other note, I am pretty sure this brush came out of a set of 5 or 6 brushes (much cheaper that way).

 
Posts: 719 | Location: Upstate New York in the USA | Registered: November 21, 2008
IHC Life Member
posted
Here is a close-up of one of the paint bottles. When I went shopping for the paint, I didn't buy just one bottle...I bought each color that looked like old radium I have seen in the past. Even then, I still usually have to mix the paint a bit to arrive at just the right color. Hope this all helps Smile

 
Posts: 719 | Location: Upstate New York in the USA | Registered: November 21, 2008
Site Administrator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Phillip Sanchez
posted
Bruce, great job.
 
Posts: 5158 | Location: North Georgia Mountains in the U.S.A. | Registered: March 31, 2006
IHC Life Member
posted
Thanks Phil. Unfortunately, after doing the 3-hour project, my arthritic neck was killing me!!! Small price to pay, right? Wink
 
Posts: 719 | Location: Upstate New York in the USA | Registered: November 21, 2008
IHC Member 1636
Picture of Dave Turner
posted
Just found this post that answers some questions to my previous post Eek
It's my understanding we're just going for color and not luminescence?

[Luimus paste]


Dave Turner
 
Posts: 1906 | Location: Wilson, North Carolina in the USA | Registered: November 15, 2011
  Powered by Social Strata  
 


©2002-2019 Internet Horology Club 185™ - Lindell V. Riddle President - All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Internet Horology Club 185™ is the "Family-Friendly" place for Watch and Clock Collectors