These questions, and answers can help provide additional context to the electroplating and metal refinishing processes.
What is electroplating?
Patented in 1840, electroplating is a process by which layer of gold, silver, palladium, and other metals are deposited onto a conductive object to enhance its appearance and value. Utilizing an electrical current, positively charged metal "ions" travel through a liquid solution known as an "electrolyte", and are deposited onto a negatively charged metal object.
What can be electroplated?
Just about any type of metal or conductive surface can be plated. We do not plate nonconductive items such as wood, plastics, leather, or stone.
How large an object can be plated?
Though we rarely encounter object size as a problem, we can plate objects with the outside dimensions of 18 inches x 18 inches x 24 inches. Watches and bands are well within this size range.
Will the electroplating alone "fill in" wear marks, pits, or surface scratches?
No. The electroplating processes will replicate the existing surface profile. That is why each part must be refinished prior to plating. Refinishing includes removing surface imperfections through metal filling, contouring, and polishing. Each step utilizes specially designed tools so that edges, and contours are not removed, but enhanced and restored. Brushed textures are restored prior to the plating process.
Typically, what are some of the watch brands being restored?
At The Time Preserve, we have refinished a broad cross section of Modern, and Vintage brands including: Accutron, Allegro, Armani, Baume and Mercier, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Bulgari, Bulova, Cartier, Casio, Certina, Chopard, Citizen, Chronoswiss, Concord, Corum, Dakota, Ebel, Elgin, Eterna, Girard-Perregaux, Glycine, Gruen, Gucci, Guess, Hamilton, Hublot, IWC, Invicta, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jules Jurgensen, Junghans, Longines, Mido, Montblanc, Movado, Ulyssee Nardin, Omega, Oris, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Pulsar, Rado, Raketa, Raymond Weil, Rolex, Seiko, Swiss Army, Tag Heuer, Tissot, Universal Geneve, Vacheron Constantin, Waltham, Whittnauer, and Zenith. There are no restrictions on brand.
Will The Time Preserve restore previously plated watches?
Yes. Typically the old plating would be removed first. Then it would then be refinished, and cleaned prior to plating.
If my watch has gemstones in it, can it still be plated?
Yes, most of the time. Plating bath temperatures and chemicals can be very harsh on gems and stones such as opal, malachite, lapis lazuli, and turquoise. We would have to protect them prior to plating to prevent any damage.
Can enameled objects be plated?
Yes. With proper care and handling enameled items can withstand the plating environment.
Can items with a decorative matte, textured, or photo-etched surface be plated?
Yes. We can plate over any type of metal finish. (see Suitability )
Do you refinish pocket watches?
It depends. This is due to the delicate hinges, and inherent risks involved with hinge disassembly. However, if your pocket watch does not have hinges, then it can be refinished and plated.
How long does it take to have a watch refinished, and returned?
Figure on 2-4 weeks for disassembly, refinishing, plating, reassembly, and return.
What are some of the different factors that influence plating prices?
For extreme cases, such as re-attaching, or replacing lugs there is some extra cost as noted in the services list . If your case has some severe gouges or other damage we will let you know in advance if there would be any extra changes for the restoration.
How does The Time Preserve ship finished items?
Unless otherwise instructed we ship U.S. priority mail, insured. For special rush orders we will ship FedEx overnight at an additional charge. All shipping costs are paid by the customers.
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