In part two of this series we take a closer look at the case and the bezel. As we recall from our last blog we know that the bezel has an ugly crack and the case got eaten away on one lug. How are we going to tackle these problems?
Let u first take a closer look at the bezel.
I talked with my dad about it and we were wondering about our options. We could just get an aftermarket bezel. This would look too new and would ruin the vintage vibe that this 50's watch has in my opinion. He could get into steel working as there are some softer steels that we could order to fill the gap. To frame this explanation, my dad is a goldsmith. He has nearly 35 years of experience working with silver and gold but he doesn't have any experience working with hot steel. Using some sort of steel solder or laser welding would be the contemporary way of doing it. Unfortunately we don't have any experience in either of them. He does have experience with patching a hole with silver and I don't bother about a silver spot. Eventually this was the route we decided to go on.
First off cleaning out the bezel in the ultrasonic cleaner, a very important step if you want the patch a hole. The silver has to stick to the steel and that is not possible on a dirty contact. Actually the whole watch case could benefit from a good old clean. There was some real dirt under that bezel...
Alright, filling the hole with silver solder would not do the trick. Dad soldered a piece a silver to the bezel and cleaned off the edges to make it smooth again. It does look pretty need if you ask me.
Next up: the case. I mentioned before that I was not planning on using some laser welding techniques on the case. I don't have any laser equipment nor do I have experience with it. The only other option to it was to smooth the scratches out as best as I could. I chose to do this by hand. Machine polishing could be a little bit out of hand if my attention span swims off for a few seconds. To sand these scratches out I first filled in the lug hole with a piece of blue rolling steel. Filling the hole does reduce the chance to make the hole (even more) oval.
Sanding, it goes from a rough grit to a smooth grit. I have the idea most people do have the basic idea of sanding down.
After sanding the case for half an hour I was satisfied with the result. There are still some scratches but I don't want to end up with no lug in the end of the day. I did polish the case and bezel afterwards but I don't want to spoil too much of the results already!
The other case point that did need some attention are the caseback and the crown pendant. I did resurface the caseback but did not make any pictures of this. You will have to wait to see this too! The thread on the crown was A Okay after the ultrasonic session. On the other hand was the thread on the pendant was pretty much gone. Now the waiting game on new parts has started.
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