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Pulsar Date II

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Led-Time

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Pulsar Date II

Post06 Feb 2009, 00:16

After some time thinking will I or won't I buy one I bit the bullet and splashed out on my first Pulsar, a Date II. I liked the look of the P2 but I wanted the date function as well so it’s the best of both worlds.

As you can see from the pictures it could be doing with a freshen up so I’ve some questions…

What is the best method of removing the crystal with the least chance of breaking it.

I know the front of the case should be brushed but what direction do the brushed marks run top to bottom or left to right. How is the sides with the buttons finished and the same for the back. Is the case back completely brushed or is it just the flat bit with the rest mirror polished.

One last question regarding the module, are Pulsar modules really good time keepers the reason I ask is since I got the watch in December its only lost one second which I find quite remarkable its easily the most accurate LED I’ve got.

So after having the watch for just a little while I can now see what all the fuss is about owning a Pulsar its fantastic it looks great has a superb dot LED display and as for the whole magnet setting thing simply brilliant, I should have bought one years ago… :-D

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: Pulsar Date II

Post06 Feb 2009, 09:49

It's your first Pulsar but I guess it won't be the last!

:lol:
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: Pulsar Date II

Post09 Feb 2009, 20:00

No one can help... :eek:
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Re: : Pulsar Date II

Post10 Feb 2009, 06:13

Klippie wrote:No one can help... :eek:

Must all be busy...worrisome economy, tax time coming here in the USA, wildfires in Australia(terrible to think some assholes may have started those fires intentionally...I've been in a minor wildfire once, incredible how fast it moves). Anyway...

Glass - remove module(duh!), turn on your stove/oven to 350 f.(176 Celsius), set the watch in the center of the oven away from any vents from the gas burners or away from the coils if electric. Leave in for about 10 minutes, grab with a rag and gently push glass out from inside. Let all cool down, then carefully scrape all the epoxy out of the lip in the case, especially out of the corners. You can take a sharp razor to the underside and sides of the glass to get most of the epoxy off, but if there is any chipping the razor can sometimes snag it., so sometimes the better path is to use a piece of 600 grit sandpaper and gently sand of the last bits on the sides below the bevel and along the underside edge.

The brushing - usually goes from side to side. You can get very good results with those abrasive pads that are sold nearly everywhere as a replacement for steel wool. The green grade is a good choice for your first foray - the burgundy grade is a little courser so one has to be careful if using those. Best to stay with the green on gold. The most bedeviling thing you will have to get used to is keeping your lines straight with each pass - you'll think your hand is moving straight but really it will be on a slight angle. Sort of like when you get a new computer mouse and they have you calibrate it to accommodate your particular eye-to-hand misalignment. :lol: Lay a larger piece of the abrasive pad in your hand and draw the entire face of the case across it in one smooth, gently movement, then see how your alignment is - don't finish off the front, just take a few swipes to get the worst offender scratches. then do the sides in smooth strokes. The buttons are a problem - you can'[t do an absolutely perfect job with them in, then again, they have generally protected the case slightly. Rather than get into full button removal, you can opt to do the area above and below the buttons gently, then take a few strokes trying to "catch" the whole side in one smooth pass. Not perfect but can be quite nice. After you have the sides down, work on the band. From one side to the other in smooth strokes. I'd suggest holding the band in the palm of your hand and coming down with the abrasive pad on just 2-3 links at a time, not banging into the edge, but "landing" almost in the middle of the link where the worst wear is - inevitibly you'll catch some of the edge anyway, but are less likely to wear/tear the gold filled edge. Finally, give the case face a few passes to finish it off and remove any marks from working the sides. and band

Glue your glass back in with epoxy - I'd recommend the 5 minute type as it is usually the weakest. Easiest to remove if need arises later, plenty strong to hold in the glass. Check the fit of the glass without forcing before mixing the glue up - your brushing may have introduced a slight burr to the crystal opening, which you can remove by carefully dragging a hardened steel item along the inside edge of the groove -small screwdriver is perfect, just don't hop out of the groove and mess up your beautiful finish. :x Clean off the excess epoxy while wet with any type of stronger alcohol(isopropal, whisky,Scotch..whatever )
:lol: :lol:

Oh, and scrub the band with some good detergent before starting the brushing and give it a good rinse afterwards. Rinse around the buttons good, in case you got any grit into them. Disassembling the buttons is a pain, generally takes a small torch or very large soldering iron to generate enough heat to unsolder the caps on the inside. And once again, you'll need to have the glass out, which is why you might want to avoid that thrill on your first foray. :-)

Hope that helps. And congrats on the first Pulsar - they are a nice piece of kit. Lucky dog - that ONE Pulsar will be more joy for you than a cabinet full for some others. 8-)
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: Pulsar Date II

Post10 Feb 2009, 09:31

If I might suggest a slightly alternate technique... For crystal removal, I use a hot-air gun made for stripping paint...goes to 400 degrees F. Hold about an inch from the face for 60 seconds, and the crystal should pop right out under very little pressure. Big difference here; immediately, WHILE THE CASE IS STILL HOT, get in there and scrape out all the remaining epoxy; it will be soft and have lost most of its' adhesion, so should come out easily. If you let it cool back down, it will be much more difficult to remove; you've just applied a full heat-cure, and it will be harder than it was originally...you'll wind up having to chip it out like concrete. X-Acto blades work well to remove any lingering bits that stick to the crystal itself [of course, if the crystal is too damaged to put back in the case, and is to be replaced, you can skip that step]. Brushing direction on all my P2s [and yes, the Date II is considered to be a P2] is top-to-bottom on the face, front-to-back on the sides, and parallel to the length of the bracelet. Caseback brushing parallels the front. Somewhere in the past, your watch was the victim of the "jewellers' polish"; a terrible idea, as no metal surface is more delicate or vulnerable to cosmetic damage than a mirror one...Time Computers' choice of the brushed finish was well-considered, as it did not suffer so much from the minor scuffs and scratches that are inevitable during daily wear.
Last edited by bruce wegmann on 11 Feb 2009, 03:08, edited 1 time in total.
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: Pulsar Date II

Post10 Feb 2009, 16:14

Bruce: my experience has been the epoxy will actually come off easier after the bake and cool, as it will be degraded from the heat and come off in flakes or crumble, rather than as goo. In cases where I have forgot one in the oven for more like 1/2 hour plus, the epoxy really seems to have given up. The heat gun method isn't bad, but it doesn't get the benefit of the case expansion, which helps pull the glass from the epoxy and the epoxy from the case. There is no inward expansion as the circumference of the hole is expanding much fast than any inward movement...well known principle. Which leads me to wonder about the expansion of the glass in an unmoving(cooler) case and possible thermal shock from the fast blast of a heat gun.:-? But there is some play there, so it probably isn't a big concern either way and glass does have a fairly low expansion rate.

I'll agree that the frontal brushing should go down on a P2 or Date II(basically anything with a smaller link band) - sideways on a Date Command or Executive - my mistake .The brushing direction is controversial - there are some that seem to have came factory brushed the opposite to that "rule". Maybe following whatever traces of pattern still remain is the safest route omn an old piece. I also agree that the brushed finish hides existing surface imperfections better, but I think that new marks are more visible against a pattern than against a glossy finish. Each have their pos and cons I guess. I always think it is kind of funny when someone wants their S.S. Pulsar taken to a mirror glossy...terrible amount of work, darn brushing patterns are deeper than they look. :x
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: Pulsar Date II

Post10 Feb 2009, 23:39

Ed & Bruce thank you very much... :-D

It's the crystal removal I was most worried about, just to clarify the brushed directions should be the way the arrows are pointing.

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I'll post some pictures of my efforts for scrutineering once finished... :-)
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: Pulsar Date II

Post10 Feb 2009, 23:56

You got the brushing correct - thanks to Bruce not me...I was typing half in my sleep and didn't look at the picture. :oops:

Yeah, the crystal removal is always a worry. At least a logo-less piece of glass is fairly easy and cheap to find. :-)
“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
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http://www.retroleds.com - Sales of vintage LED, LCD, analog watches, parts and gadgets - repair tutorials & tips.
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: Pulsar Date II

Post11 Feb 2009, 03:14

All is good except for the direction on the sides; you're 90 degrees off. The angled surface of the caseback is always brushed [Hamilton and Omega polished there, but Time Computer did not].
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: Pulsar Date II

Post11 Feb 2009, 19:49

So the sides are brushed the same direction as the face and no mirror polish on the case back, excellent thanks for that Bruce... :-D

The work now begins... ~:(
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: Pulsar Date II

Post12 Jul 2009, 21:25

I had a bit of spare time today plus the new crystal had arrived so I thought I'd have a go at restoring my Date II, I'am keen to hear everyones comments if its up to the Pulsar standard or not...

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: Pulsar Date II

Post13 Jul 2009, 02:27

It looks absolutely superb to me 8-)
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: Pulsar Date II

Post13 Jul 2009, 04:20

First rate job! 8-)
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: Pulsar Date II

Post13 Jul 2009, 18:05

Thanks guys, I'am very happy how it turned out... :-D
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: Pulsar Date II

Post13 Jul 2009, 19:06

It look so good I'd like to take a bite out of it! :-D
Superb job Klippie.
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: Pulsar Date II

Post27 Jul 2009, 16:09

very good job!

I have included the basic suggestions on this subject on my website a few years back but I'm now upgrading it so I'll write more details on the individual case types.

I'm currently in a process of total restoration of some 30 Pulsars (pure hell) and have a few comments to the posted directions for brushing a case.

based on the handfulls of cases and casebacks in front of me I have a few thoughts so please correct me and post some picsof NOS watches for reference.

IMO the caseback on a Pulsar should have the flat part brushed vertically but the sides should stay plain, not even polished. I can clearly see on the cases I have that neither of them shows any traces of vertical lines on the sides of the caseback, although the flat parts still show slight traces of brushing despite years of wear. the sides of the caseback do not touch the wrist so the brushed finish should be more visible if it would be there in the first place.
so IMO the sides are plain matt, straight from the factory press.

the P3 is pretty obvious - horizontal everywhere, also the back of the case (not caseback). the same on the bracelet links, vertical on the clasp.

however there might be some confusion with a P2.
vertical everywhere, also on the back (not caseback) but two areas leave some room for dispute. check below - the sides of the lug part.
these areas do not show any evidence of factory brushing and should remain plain matt. the longer part below the front of the case also doesn't give enough room to create a brushed finish.
the same should apply to the area where the bracelet pin is fitted.
bracelet link and clasp - vertical brushing but the sides of the clasp remain polished.

Image

The P4 Exec horizontal everywhere, vertical clasp.
The P4 Classic - the same as a P2.
The P4 Bigtime - vertical everywhere - however the sides are tough to work on because of three edges that have to remain super sharp - a brushing pad is usually soft to some extent so it's not good so you have to work with abrasive belts or paper on a hard surface.

A Dress is not restored very often - horizontal everywhere, except the edge around the crystal which should be polished.

as for the Hamiltons (P2 and P3 only) these have a polished top edge around the crystal and polished sides, the lug part of the case below the crystal is brushed horizontally.
however the casebacks were different. I have three over here and two have polished sides with a spiral brushed flat part and one is totally plain matt.
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: Pulsar Date II

Post28 Jul 2009, 02:01

The clasp was dead simple to re-finish, after fully brushing it all I masked off the middle with aluminium sticky tape then used a scalpel to trim the edges for mirror polishing.

Those parts you highlighted I couldn't do anything with them except use 800 grade paper to smooth them out before brushing the case.

I used a glassfibre contact cleaning pen to re-finish the setting indents this gave a very smooth finish then filled in the letters black.
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Post28 Jul 2009, 09:16

a glassbead-blasting machine would work great for those "hidden" areas to give plain matt before further brushing.

any ideas on blasting at home without buying any heavyduty equipment (these are usually pretty big)?
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: Pulsar Date II

Post28 Jul 2009, 19:32

I've seen these in the local store - http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/heavy-duty-blast-cabinet - it would fit on a workbench easy, this one would probably be better for watch case size objects - http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/sb3-gritblast-gun I would make a hell of a mess though unless you could use a box of some description to catch the blast media.
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: Pulsar Date II

Post28 Jul 2009, 20:15

I've seen these big cabinets and I was even thinking about buying one however my current laboratory takes far to much living space. I'll probably use an external company that restores car and bike parts to new condition with glass-bead blasting as glass is the least abrasive for most metal surfaces and leaves a fine and smooth matt finish.
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Post29 Jul 2009, 01:57

The best blast media I've came across was crushed wallnut shell which gave a satin finish on most metal parts only the really hard steels stood up to that stuff.

Like everything involving cleaning/polishing metal parts you have to put the time in to get the best results but its worth the effort once you see the finished item... :-)
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: Pulsar Date II

Post29 Jul 2009, 09:27

you're right :)
it would be worth giving it a try if Pulsar restoration would be a full time job ;)
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