September 01, 2018


  • Household Ammonia –The fumes from Ammonia can be overpowering, so best to do this one outside somewhere. The best method I have found for Ammonia is to place a piece of cotton wool in each corner of your Tupperware container and place your freshly cleaned watch in the centre.  Drop a few drops of ammonia onto each of the cotton wool pieces and quickly secure the lid. Depending on how much ammonia you used, I’d recommend checking at 10 minute intervals, if nothing happens then leave a little longer. NB – be careful with Ammonia as it can be corrosive!

  • Vinegar fume and salt soak – Not a preferred method of mine, but it does give some interesting results. Once again we’ll be using the sealed container and adding both salt and vinegar to the watch, before leaving for a while. This method is a slow reaction, so you may need to leave for quite some time. If you wet the watch case with vinegar the salt will stick better. You could also add cotton wool to the corners of the container again and soak them with vinegar. Seal the lid and make regular checks. NB – this process has less of an effect on brass, but on Bronze it can leave surface scars in the metal, which can be very difficult to polish out. Ref. the refinishing carborundum resin at the end of this blog.

  • Brass Black – this product gives the best results on both Brass and Bronze, the best method I have found is to mix some of the liquid with warm water and immerse the watch. You can actually watch the case turn black; leave in there until it goes totally black, then remove and rinse with clean water. Once the watch has dried off, set to work with a clean cloth, rubbing the watch vigorously until all the high-points have rubbed away and you get a lovely aged look.

  • Stink Bombs – From personal experience, I know you need quite a few of these to get a good reaction, but they are easily available. Use the smallest container (plastic business card holder) your watch will fit in – it’s all about concentration with this method. Add just enough warm water to completely cover the watch and crack open the stink bombs, adding the fluid to the container. Dip your watch and wait for the reaction.


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