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rossyben

Should a gilt dial always be accompanied by gold hands?

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I would say yes.

At least the ones I've seen typically do.

Usually accompanied by gold bezel (or gold accents), gold bracelet accents and a gold crown too

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Though I'm sure there are exceptions to every rule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A gilt 1675 is perfectly acceptable with steel hands. A gilt vintage Sub? Gotta go gilt with that vintage. If for no other reason than to please the WIS gods. My '58 is gilt and came with steel hands, but the planets aligned when it went gilt-on-gilt.

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Thanks for the continued feedback and fantastic examples, amigos

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I may indeed have to go gilt on gilt with my idea (when I can get it off the drawing board and onto my wrist

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)

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I found a spare set of dial decals the other day for an Explorer Precision dial, and thought if I was to prep the dial blank with Plasticote's Antique Gold paint rather than white, it might give a nice gilt effect

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Of course, planned watch will not be an Explorer, but I just wondered if gilt on gilt was the acknowledged route

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That depends on the model, and then possibly the year. The 6204 Submariner had gilt/gilt while the 6542 had a gilt dial with silver hands. But in later years of the gilt dial I've seen both ways, so they could be replaced or could be Rolex doing as they pleased, again.

The decals I use are for inkjet, so they do not print white. If printed on white decal paper the picture is just what you'll get, regardless what background color the dial is. If you use clear, as I use most of the time, the lighter colors are opaque, so yellow like gold will pickup whatever the background is. I've experimented putting a decal on a rough sanded brass dial. It is too 'gilty', looks a bit like gold leaf.

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Then I tried a matte clear on the brass. That toned it down some, but not enough, particularly in bright sun. What seems to work best for me so far, is the brass dial rough sanded, then white or creme paint smeared on it. I use a piece of thin cardboard and 'squeegee' the paint across. That leaves some streaks of white and shiny brass. The decal then picks up both so the gilt looks like it is aging to white. It also picks up the contour of the paint, so there is a noticeable patina to the dial. Head on it looks glossy and smooth, and from the side it shows the spider cracking of the heavy clear coat I use, and the patina surface.

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I hope that gives some help. If it's been done wrong, I did it! I've experimented a lot with the decals, and really enjoy trying to figure out how to perfect them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Very helpful indeed

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The project I have in mind will be closer to the 6542 than a Submariner or Explorer, so maybe I shouldn't be so hasty as to dismiss the silver hands... The Antique Gold is a funny color to describe, it's quite a dark color, almost bronzey in its finish, rather than yellow gold or polished brass, and I'm hoping the translucency of the decals and then matte varnishing would subdue it further, so it's 'more color, less shine'

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As with most of my projects, this one may be a while before it gets put into action (I need to complete my 16610 to 16800 transition first

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) but I thought it wouldn't hurt to do a little research into the options

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The pics I've seen of Nanuq's gen looks 'gilty' in spots and white in others to me. To my knowledge, all the 1950s gilt dials were gloss. Age has diminished the gloss for certain. How much gloss now is up to us. The decal manufacturer I use recommended using Krylon crystal clear to seal the decal. It comes in gloss, matte or flat. The Krylon is cheap at Walmart, and it does not make the ink bleed. That's what I used on the bare brass to tone it down some, in matte with the decal finished in gloss.

The more 'gilt' in the printing the less of the dial shows through. It will knock down the gold or brassy of the dial for the look that you want. But. And there always is a 'but'. Inkjet uses green in the mix to make the gold color, and that comes through on my equipment. As it set and dried, the green 'tint' was more pronounced. I used Photoshop to blow the pic up, find all the green I could and delete it out. It helped a lot. But I am still experimenting with that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hmmm, might it be worth trying to achieve a kind of semi-gloss appearance?

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Not a uniform finish like the DSSD dial, but maybe a gloss clearcoat, but then an irregular dusting with matte clearcoat as well to create 'patches of patina'? The project I have in mind is a fantasy build of a GMTIIc, but as if rather than building a 6542, the guy got bored and instead pulled a load of parts from stores and slapped them together for the lulz, so if gilt dials were originally gloss and that gloss degrades over time, that is definitely something I would want to try and achieve

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I want it to look as period accurate as possible, as if it was a completely one off build from back in the day

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I've been having photographic issues lately, but will report back on the progress of the dial

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If you look at Nanuq's pic above, it is spider-cracked and nice patina. I can get that using the Krylon clear coat gloss using a heavy 2nd coat. Then after application, handling it a bit. Smoothing the decal with a clean fingertip dulls the gloss some. It's not like a painted dial that picks up every fingerprint, but the clear coat will wear out if you touch it too much. Also, I use, and Rolexaddict now uses too, a water based 'Glow-Paint' for the lume. I'm not in his league, but better than some of the gens I've seen on line. He uses a needle, I've tried that and an oiler, toothpick and everything else you can imagine. I've settled on a toothpick with a flattened tip for the round markers. One dip, touch and it's perfect. Thicker, as RA does takes two or three dip and touches. The markers are harder, take practice, I use a nib pen like they use for calligraphy. It's a couple of bucks at the art store. It too takes practice, but I feel I have better control with it. I've had "photographic issues" my entire life! If he could, I'd bet freddy would like to reach through the screen and shake me! Like all of it, practice, practice, practice! The end result is the pride of accomplishment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For luming, the best paint I've used so far is NightColor by Revell, and as 'the tool', I took one of the nylon threads which are used to attach labels to clothes, and fixed it to the blunt end of a triangular paintbrush

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I found a spare rep dial this evening and stripped the paint from it, so will be putting my plan into action tomorrow if the weather's okay

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The issues I'm having, are not only is my pc not working, but my iPhone is now experiencing the camera/insufficient memory glitch which I've read is quite common, so even if I was to use my regular camera, I don't have access to a pc to load the photos up

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NightColor by Revell label sounds like 'Glow Paint' in that both are acrylic, water based and thick. I bought one of those 99¢ dried paint tins for kids that are activated by water and kids make a mess with, and take a tiny piece to mix in with the Glow Paint and water. Just a very little chunk of brown gives that tan look of aged Rolex lume, and the thickness, even yjinned with water, gives the grainy look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NightColor has a pretty grainy texture, I'm not sure if it's acrylic or not, and when I've used it in the past, I've improvised a pestle and mortar to get it to a smoother consistency. Another luminous paint I picked up a while back was branded as 'glow in the dark paint' and that had a really creamy texture right out of the bottle, so was a pleasure to paint with (glow in the dark ouija board for a friend) but the luminosity was abysmal, certainly nowhere near long enough for use on a watch dial... I'm hoping that where the gold prep coat shows through the transparent areas of the decal, it will also lend a bit of tint to the lume

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I'm 50:50 on this at the moment, I can easily see it going either way with regards finish, but I'm looking forward to doing it, so keeping my fingers crossed

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