American PW removing light surface spotting and re-blacking engravings

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Kyle Vandewart, Apr 15, 2012.

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  1. Kyle Vandewart

    Kyle Vandewart New Member

    Feb 12, 2012
    Hello, everyone.

    I've been lurking for some time now, and have to say a great THANK YOU all for enlightening me on so many aspects of my new obsession! Alas, use of the search function has failed me, and I'm now forced into my first post.

    I have a decent little collection of old American RR watches: A 23j BW Raymond, a 21j Father Time, a 992, a 23j Vanguard, and a recently purchased 21j 60 hr Bunn Special (can't wait for it to arrive!!!). My problem (which may not be a problem at all) is that a few of them have a couple of little black spots on the movements, generally on the winding and crown wheels. Merely cosmetic, not at all pitted, but still a little irritating. How does one clean these spots off without messing with the damaskeening or finish of the part? Is there a commercially available solution cleaner that'll "wipe" these bits away without harming the movement? Or should I just accept that I have some 70-120 year old watches, and accept that they look a lot better than I will at that age?

    Second question, is there anything around to refill the engravings that have been ultrasonically cleaned? Mostly the Bunn and the BW Raymond; the black lettering for the serial numbers and such is just gone in spots. Any preferred way to darken the lettering?

    The only reason I'm being so picky is that I have them all in display cases, and am getting geared up to build a motorized wooden case to show them off. I'll have them all hanging on hooks which will slowly spin, displaying both the fronts and backs.

    Thanks in advance for your help, and for all you've unwittingly taught me so far!

    Kyle VanDewart
  2. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

    Mar 14, 2008
    Country Flag:
    Welcome to the forum.....

    The black spots, is that remainder of rust? If so it means that some material is missing... I have tried with chrome polish on the end of a flattened toothpick but the result is not 100%, I am looking forward to some better alternatives from other members.....

    For re painting of black letters I use a black, fine tipped, permanent marker pen. Once the recessed letters are filled I wipe away the excess using a small amount of some solvent (e.g. acetone or nail-polish remover) on a cloth.
  3. darrahg

    darrahg Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I agree with Skutt50. the black spotting is probably corrosion. Spotting located on any pattern is more difficult to work on than if on a smooth surface. However, the toothpick routine is best when the toothpick end is soft, wet with polishing material, and frayed. I use Flitz and cannot recommend any others but I am sure many super fine abrasive polishes will do the job. All one can do with spotting on pattered surface is remove the corrosion and gently blend in the damaged area to the undamaged area. After working on the spots I give a plate an overall very light rubbing with my polish. This also helps blend in the damaged areas to the original undamaged areas of the plate.
    I also use a permanent marker but use a alcohol dampened towel for removal of excess.
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