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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by SideB View Post
    I have a WWI Pershing dialled Elgin that has lost its original black finish. Do you know if that would have been paint or liver of sulfur?

    If you are referring to a Depollier cased model, the adverts and the milspecs (known) say that the case was originally oxidised.
    Whether this was done using LOS at the time is not known, but the tests on cases recently have shown fantastic results.

    The NAWCC and Stan did a lab test on a single Depollier case, the results show that the case was coated with paint.
    However, a single test cannot show that this was the original finish, or that all other examples are painted too. Many of these cases were used up until WW2, and there is every chance that when those watches were sent in for servicing, they could have had any cases with original finish degradation getting recoated with paint. This could happen at any time during their life in the military.

    Myself, I tend to believe the adverts/milspecs.

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbee View Post
    If you are referring to a Depollier cased model, the adverts and the milspecs (known) say that the case was originally oxidised.
    Whether this was done using LOS at the time is not known, but the tests on cases recently have shown fantastic results.

    The NAWCC and Stan did a lab test on a single Depollier case, the results show that the case was coated with paint.
    However, a single test cannot show that this was the original finish, or that all other examples are painted too. Many of these cases were used up until WW2, and there is every chance that when those watches were sent in for servicing, they could have had any cases with original finish degradation getting recoated with paint. This could happen at any time during their life in the military.

    Myself, I tend to believe the adverts/milspecs.


    Here are some ways that were used in WW1 to turn nickel dark.
    "Black Nickel" was an industry name for the process of turning nickel and nickel-coated items black.

    These are the ways nickel and nickel-plated items would have been finished, the easiest and cheapest-not to mention quickest-ways to turn them black.
    I have searched through these books and magazines for the metalwork industry from 1900-1925, and the only mention I have found of painting metals is from the car industry (Ford), and is a form of lacquering, an expensive and time consuming method.





    First is from 1915.










    Next is 1916.










    Next is 1919, and mentions "outdoor" military items.










    Here is the rest of the article.













    Here is a 1918 Sears, Roebuck & co. catalogue page full of men's watches. Note that of the eight watches with radium dial/hands, six of them had only radium dots on the dial, not full painted numbers.

    The middle watch has this notation regarding wrist watches printed on the strap:


    "The universal acceptance of the wrist watch by the boys in khaki is convincing evidence of their value as a practical and convenient addition to a man's attire.
    Soldiers, Sailors, Policemen, Bankers, Clerks, Railroadmen-all find the wrist watch a handy-and after once worn-a necessary possession."

    This shows the acceptance of the wearing of wrist watches in every day life.
















    A 1918 watch crystal protector display, showing several types, finishes and sizes.







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