On some antique or vintage clocks, the solid brass faces were originally engraved and then hand silvered. While cosmetic in nature, the condition of a clock dial can greatly affect its readability so it is important to have your mechanical clock’s dial re-silvered if it loses its original luster.
Our earliest dials were silvered and then hand painted. The company then experimented with different materials such as copper plated lead and cast copper before settling with the solid brass dial we use today. Depending on the original application used to make your dial, will determine if it is a candidate for restoration.
The process of “re-silvering a clock dial” basically involves restoring its original finish and luster.
DIAL RESTORATION PROCESS
Before the restoration process begins, the dial is photographed to ensure all key information is retained. Then we remove the escutcheons and raised numerals (if applicable). Next, we refill the etched minute track, numbers and any logos with a black enamel. The dial is then placed on a turn table, spun and wet sanded to repair any fine scratches or imperfections and prepare it for silvering.
Our restoration technicians employ a proprietary process for silvering using a compound solution that has been in place for generations at Chelsea Clock. Our unique, time honored methods give each clock a fine, even silver color and signature circular texture to the final face appearance.
After the clock’s dial has been restored and re-silvered, we apply a lacquer coating to protect and preserve the finish. If the dial was hand painted, we re-silver it first and then hand paint the minute track, numbers and company logo prior to lacquering. Some dials also have a retailer’s name either etched into the dial or ink stamped on. We are able to replicate the ink stamps using steel plates to transfer the retailer’s name onto the dial. Once all of these steps have been completed, new escutcheons are fitted to protect the winding holes from key slip ups.
Do you have a clock in need of restoration? We welcome you to send it to us… Just click here to fill out our repair request form. A free estimate will be sent to you 7-10 days from the date in which your item is received at our factory. Questions? Click here to submit an inquiry or call 800-284-1778.