Poll: Who is your favorite dial refinisher and why?

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by sderek, Nov 13, 2010.

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Who is your favorite dial refinisher?

Poll closed Dec 13, 2010.
  1. International Dial

    7 vote(s)
    77.8%
  2. Kirk Dial of Seattle

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. Eagle dial

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Southwest Jewel

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  5. Kirk-Rich Dial

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Kirk of Georgia

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Kirk of Pennsylvania

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    Who is your favorite dial refinisher and why?

    I know of 4.

    Eagle dial in Philadelphia
    International dial in Ohio
    Kirk dial in Washington state
    Southwest Jewel in Texas

    I've used International dial for many years. Their prices are reasonable and they have good customer service. I've never tried anyone else.
    I'll leave the poll open for 30 days, and then post the results.
     
  2. Literustyfan

    Literustyfan Registered User
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    I have a couple of things at International right now, I'll cast my vote when I see the results next week.
     
  3. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User
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    I recently changed from the dial finisher I had used for decades. Their work was exceptional, and I was always pleased with the result. They recently sold out, and the new outfit does crummy work, and their prices are up. I wrote a letter to the outfit several months ago, expressing my dissatisfaction, and they have not condescended to reply. No names mentioned, but they are not located in the US ;)! I currently have a dial at Kirk Dial of Seattle (Kent, Wash., actually). My dial should be back in the next couple weeks, and I'll report at that time.
     
  4. burnz

    burnz Inactive User

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    Anyone know the status on Kirk dial of Atlanta Georgia?
     
  5. mrbill

    mrbill Registered User

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    It's very hard to beat Southwest Jewel which is going by the name of
    "Dials & Watches" Same address. Especially if you need "Rolex Dials" their specialty !
     
  6. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    I was just made aware of another dial refinisher.
    Kirk Rich in California.
    Could this be added to the poll by the moderator?
     
  7. Cary Hurt

    Cary Hurt Registered User
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    Done.

    I've used all of these companies with the exception of Southwest Jewel. I've also used Kirk of Pennsylvania and Kirk of Georgia, Some I use for specific things, others I won't use any longer. Some are too expensive for most of the watches for which I would refinish a dial.

    Have fun with the poll.
     
  8. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    Thanks Cary!
    Can you give us your opinion as to which you would use? Or which you would recommend?
     
  9. Cary Hurt

    Cary Hurt Registered User
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    I use different companies for different dials. I've had enough done that I have developed favorites based upon what I perceive as their strengths and weaknesses.

    International is reliable and relatively inexpensive. Their web based services are very convenient. They are not always consistent, and there are some dials that I don't like the way they choose to do them.

    Eagle is more old school, and on some dials they are far and away the best. There are others where their version is not what I want. They are also slower, but less expensive.

    Kirk Atlanta, and Kirk Pennsylvania are both good with some dials, but have not been as consistent as in the past. They are also a bit more expensive, so I tend to use them less often. Kirk-Rich of California is quite good, but they are quite costly as well. I have used them mainly for high grade watches.

    I am aware of a couple of European companies that are very expensive, but can replicate anything, and you can't tell it's not the original finish. At least I can't.
     
  10. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    Cary,
    Would you add the other options for Kirk dial (that you mention above) to the poll?

    many thanks!
    Derek
     
  11. Steven Mercer

    Steven Mercer Registered User
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  12. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    Thanks Steven,
    have you used their services?
     
  13. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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  14. Steven Mercer

    Steven Mercer Registered User
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    sderek

    I have not used their services for any my own dials but my boss wanted the dial on his Omega pocket watch repaired.

    Here are before and after pictures of the dial. You can make your own judgement on the quality of the repair. Personally I do not like the glossy finish on the dial after the repair. 76376.jpg 76377.jpg
     
  15. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    Wow! Is that a porcelain (or enamel) dial? I didn't realize there was anyone repairing those.
     
  16. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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  17. burnz

    burnz Inactive User

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    What is this "bump" stuff all about?
     
  18. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    I'm just trying to keep the poll at the top of the list of topics in this category. I notice there are only about 6 people who have voted and/or commented. This poll will run for a month... I may "bump" it a few more times, just to keep it near the top.
     
  19. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    Anyone else care to chime in?
     
  20. Weight Driven

    Weight Driven Registered User
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    I've used Kirk Dial LA and International. Both are ok but not great. One time I got back an Omega Constellation dial with two stars on the dial except the normal one from International but other times they have been ok. There is one in Germany I would like to try and knowing the Germans the quality would be excellent. I believe they are Causemann-Zifferblatter.de. Have not tried them but could be pricey but I feel the quality would be very good, at least.
     
  21. shagslayer

    shagslayer Registered User

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    #21 shagslayer, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
    what would be the cheepest cost to do this

    1.
    https://mb.nawcc.org/ View attachment 3864

    switch the guts out of these watches so i have the black case on purple dial.

    2.

    have the dial painted with my college symbol and brand changed to Swiss army like this. .. the watch is not designed yet just rough draft. how much in dollars could i get it done for cheapest?

    https://mb.nawcc.org/

    if you think what I'm suggesting is total y stupid don't refrain from telling me, i'm not a pro like you guys, I'm just a guy who had a swiss army watch for a wile along time ago and loved it, and wanted another one but couldn't find one that didn't say victornox on it. now i want to have one with my fav colors and regular Swiss Army brand : ) any ideas / advice is welcome

    also call me crazy but i have a really cool pen called the rotring 600 trio View attachment 3865 its 2 pens and a pencil in one. and I'm working on about 8 differnt degree's and the first one is Drafting and Design and I like Rotring pens so i'm going to end up having buying everything that i need for drafting rotring brand, and i wanted a rotring watch, after a long hard search LOL i found one and OMG ! its like a 3 dollar watch free shipping lol peace of garbage... but the pens were made in germany like this one untill sanford american company bought them out and continues the brand in a much more practical way such as not useing solid brass like this pen instead just substitute with plastic... bleh but at least my pen rocks : ) i bought it for 60 10 years ago and now its valued at around 250, but i wore it out and its in the waterman and something repair shop i'm awaiting how much its going to be for repair.

    rotring's trademark is the red ring so i definitly want to incorporate that into the watch, as i did in the drawing. i would go with a black dial but i find black dials too depressing, purple is my fav color so thats why i went with that, idk if its clashing being red and purple lol, any advice would be much appreciated thanks in advance.
     
  22. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    shagslayer, If you were to take the dial off yourself and send it to International dial, they would probably charge $40-$60 to do the work (just my best guess). If you had to send it to someone and have them take the dial off, you would probably double the cost. Again, this is just my best guess. Anyone else care to chime in?
     
  23. shagslayer

    shagslayer Registered User

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    #23 shagslayer, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
    is swiss legend a good brand ( do you think swiss legeond would be able to send me the watch the way i want it " black case purple dial " ?) is there a german watch comprable to this one? how hard would it be to take it apart myself? ( what tools would i need )
     
  24. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User
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    I mentioned this one in this thread some weeks ago. At the time I was waiting for the dial to come back after a trip to Kirk Dial of Seattle (now Kent, Wash.). I have washed my hands of the outfit I have used for 20 years (not a US company). I am delighted with the result. 77425.jpg
     
  25. bbwatch

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    I've used Eagle in Philly twice with good results both on a three color 12s pocket watch and on a couple of wristwatches. Do they have a website? I've forgotten their address and phone number. If anyone can supply, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Barry B
     
  26. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    I did a quick search on google and found this: Eagle Dial, 132 S 8th St
    Philadelphia PA
    (215) 925-7423
     
  27. bbwatch

    bbwatch Registered User
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    Thanks, Sderek. That's the one.

    Barry B
     
  28. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    shagslayer,
    I don't know anything about swiss legend or comparible german brands. I'm not sure if I'd recommend tackling removing the dial if you don't have any experience. You could get some junk watches to practice on. You'll need some quality screwdrivers and maybe a special tool to open the watchcase.
    I like jules borel for watch tools.
     
  29. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    I forgot to mention a hand remover and something to protect the dial. I also use a special tool to replace the hands, to prevent scratches.
     
  30. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    I just found another dial refinisher advertised in the NAWCC's Mart. American Dial - they're in Keller, TX. They advertise they specialize in Rolex and diamond dials. www.americandial.com I've never used them... I just happened to see their advertisement.
     
  31. Goodguy2

    Goodguy2 Registered User

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    Has anyone ever used The Dial house in Dallas Georgia? This is the second time I've used them and the dials where great and they sent me a before and after picture.
     
  32. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    #32 Scottie-TX, Dec 2, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
    SHAG, I have deleted three of your recent posts for content - language - and value - none.
    Please watch your language and keep you comments on track.
    Also; Also please find a more appropriate signature. The two huge flags are only distracting - not relative to your replies. .
     
  33. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    This poll will close tomorrow. Please cast your vote if you haven't done so.
     
  34. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    Many thanks to all that contributed and voted. International dial was a clear winner with 7 of 9 votes.
     
  35. Hudson777

    Hudson777 Registered User

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    Has anyone ever had an art deco era dial refinished by International Dial which was missing one of the solid gold numerals? Is there any company which remakes them? Or maybe I should ask if any of the companies listed in the above poll specialize in dials with gold numerals?
     
  36. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    International dial should be able to replace the missing marker. I've had them replace missing markers many times.
     
  37. Hudson777

    Hudson777 Registered User

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    Yes, I asked them. They said they take them off of existing watches--if they have a match. I wonder if anyone out there is making them new?
     
  38. Samantha

    Samantha Registered User

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    If it's solid gold, perhaps a local jeweler could make one for you.
    Samantha
     
  39. burnz

    burnz Inactive User

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    I ask before but will try again.

    Does anyone have any current info or contact info on Kirk dial of Georgia?

    I should have added (for poll purposes) that I have used them several times a while back with good results.
     
  40. Cary Hurt

    Cary Hurt Registered User
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    Kirk Dial of Georgia
    PO Box 1907
    Woodstock, GA 30188
     
  41. burnz

    burnz Inactive User

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    Thanks Cary.
     
  42. Tom Diss

    Tom Diss Registered User
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    Hate to resurrect an old thread, but I had to comment. I voted for International Dial when the poll was running and it is the only company I've used for about 10 years now and I've always recommended them, but no longer. Their quality has declined, their prices have increased, and their turnaround times are no longer acceptable to me. What used to take several weeks has now stretched into several months.

    For example, I sent them a very hard to find dial in Nov. 2010. It was one they didn't have the die for, so I OK'd them to make one ($100 cost). They said it would be 8-10 weeks to get my restored dial back to me. It was "completed" ($133 total) about 6 weeks ago, but the minute track didn't print all the way around and Robert Miller (the owner) was going to redo it. Still not done. I think 9 months is unreasonable. So I'm looking for a new refinisher. Has anyone got additional comments about who you've used since the poll closed?
     
  43. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    Thanks for bringing this up, Tom. I've noticed problems with International dial lately, also. I'd also love to hear some alternatives. Doug Sinclair seems happy with Kirk dial in Kent, Washington.
     
  44. watchwldr940

    watchwldr940 Registered User
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    I am having the exact same issue regarding the turnaround on a dial that requires custom work. They list it as arriving the first week in May, but that is when they entered it into their system, since it was mailed a little earlier than that. I have phoned them numerous times and have been told that since it is a special order, it would take longer as only the owner (Mr. Miller) handles this type of work.I understand this, but it has now dragged on quite a while. And there is one other thing. The dial was actually listed as being completed, but the photo they put up on the website clearly showed that the minute track was off. Had I not seen this I would have had a very unhappy customer. When I rejected it, they agreed 100% with my assessment and that is when they explained the challenges involved with my particular dial. I am concerned about the fact that they originally were going to send it out without checking it first. They also have a normal, run of the mill dial I sent in about a month ago, where this type of job used to be 10 days to 2 week, at most.
    I had a chance to visit them about a year ago and was impressed with the setup. Their stock of die plates is incredible and the process is fascinating. I can't say what the cause of the delay is, but hopefully they'll get things squared away and be able to reduce their turnaround time soon.
     
  45. Tom Diss

    Tom Diss Registered User
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    Update:
    About 6-8 weeks ago I received the dial mentioned above and the quality was outstanding at a reasonable cost of $33 (excluding the price of having a new die for it made). Also, I was having an issue with a Hamilton Ross dial subsecond track misalignment, and that has also been resolved and now looks great. Until today, I didn't know that Rob re-made the die plate, so all future Ross dials should be aligned. I wouldn't have complained online about the delay on this one had he communicated this information to me. There is enough satisfaction that I sent two additional dials to ID early last week.

    Also, during my discussion with Rob today, he would like to be made aware of any complaints prior to posting issues with the company on the internet. It's not an unreasonable request. On the other hand, it's also reasonable for customers to expect a response within a business day or early the following day. Had this been the case, my complaints would not have been posted on several watch forums, as there had been a number of instances when I got no response to email inquiries (my main communication method and also the easiest) or anyone to answer the phone, both of which are extremely frustrating to customers.

    At any rate, we'll see how these dials turn out. I'll let you know...
     
  46. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    Thanks for the update, Tom. I too would love to have a quicker response to my emails when dealing with International.
     
  47. John Cash

    John Cash Registered User

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    what do you mean by dial refinisher?? do they fix hairlines etc?? and what would be a GENERAL price range (not from one individual but jsut across the board) for such services? thanks
     
  48. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    #48 sderek, Dec 4, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
    A dial refinisher repairs and restores dials.

    I know of only one company that repairs enamel dials: Advance Clock Service in Cary, N.C. http://www.dialrepair.com/ . The cost is $250 and up and there is a 6 month turnaround time. It appears they can repair hairlines. But, there are ways to make them almost invisible using bleach or denture cleaner. You should be able to find detailed instructions by performing a search.
    If you need a metal dial refinished, the prices are about $20 and up.
     
  49. John Cash

    John Cash Registered User

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    so these companies you are talking about here restore and repair porcelain dials:???::???::???::???: what sort of cost range do such repairs have??
     
  50. ben_hutcherson

    ben_hutcherson Registered User
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    Most dial refinishers by and large only handle metal dials.

    I've seen enamel dial repairs where the top layer of porcelain is ground down, and the markings repainted. These look AWFUL-nothing like an original.

    By and large, if you have an enamel dial with hairlines, it's best to get what you can out by soaking(I use simple green). Chips are best left alone, or if really bad can by fixed with dial wax. Doing this can make an ugly dial presentable, and will likely look far better than any "restoration" effort.
     

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