Sunday, February 12, 2012

Clear coating the watch dial from a Hamilton 917-refinsihed

I finally had a moment over the weekend to hit Homedepot and pick up some clear finish products. After browsing the area for a few minutes and consider what I had on hand at home, I decided to purchase the following;

Spray on products,

Rust-oleum Specialty Lacquer-Gloss UPC: 020066190682 Model: 1906830 Clear

Rust-olum Crystal Clear Enamel-Gloss UPC: 020066770181 Model: 7701 Clear


Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Gloss Crystal Clear UPC 020066167097 Model: 242057 Clear

1" Sponge Brush

1" Purdy XL (Nylon/Polyester)

1" Purdy Soie Blanche (Natural hair)

When I bought this stuff, I did not realize that I purchased all Rust-oleum products, I have Krylon clear coats at home and those are the other comparisons from known products used in the past. It is purely coincidental that they are all Rust-oluem products.

I started by cutting out an aluminum sheet large enough to accommodate five waterslide decals of the dial design for five different application of a clear coat. I posted in my earlier post of my criteria that I need out of the clear coat's performance on the watch dial, the five tests against the control which is my actual dial are;

1) Spray Enamel
2) Spray Lacquer
3) Sponge brush applied
4) Natural hair brush applied
5) Artificial hair brush applied

Its hard to tell in the photo what in the end finished well, it was down to the Natural hair brush and the spray enamel, I went with the spray enamel as it coats an even stippling looking effect, which goes to subtly dulls the gloss coating in a very pleasing fashion. The other finishes less than stellar, the sponge creating huge streaks and the nylon brush having fine streaks across, and the spray lacquer having uneven coverage. I think I may try the spray lacquer again but with a different nozzle, looking at the sputter that it sprayed it could be attributed to a bad nozzel or uneven press from the nozzle. It could be user error but when I sprayed it on initially, I depressed fully in an attempt to not affect the outcome of the test. If the new nozzle that I will hope to get around to testing in a later date, it may favor the spray lacquer as it did coat and dry the clearest of them all.

Next I lightly paint the border of the dial where the decal and the dial meet with a thin layer of superglue to reinforce the edge and to prevent peeling up.

I also re-used the original hands, I placed the hands on a vice block from a mill as to have a flat surface and took some of the plating off with 0000 steel wool but only applied the effect to the minute and hour hand. I decided to leave the second hand alone to have a contrast in the sub-dial.

Awaiting on a Unitas 6497/8 stem to arrive so that I can get to fitting it for the watch case.

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