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Rolex modder in europe + gold plating


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Decisions, decisions...


First...determine if the plating is actually gold (not as easy as it sounds).

Second...if it is gold, decide how you want to have the plating removed...buffed off or reverse plated and buffed.  The case will also need to be carefully polished after the plating is removed or it will look bad if it is worn or scratched very much at all.  If the scratches are not removed it will just look like a shiny, scratched, goldtone case. 

You can plate over the gold plating but any imperfections will more than likely show more than they do now.


Removing real gold plating:

Years ago when actual gold was used to plate watch cases etc you could 'reverse plate' the item to remove most of the gold plating from the part, polish the remaining plating off, and re-plate it...time consuming and relatively expensive unless you can do it yourself.  I have done this a few times, the last time was about 15 years ago when the yellow gold plating was removed from a square 14K white gold gent's Lucien Piccard watch.  (LP made some fine gold watches back in their heyday)

The LP watch had factory set diamonds in the corners of the case and it was a real hassle to get all the YG plating off around the diamonds, much like a fluted bezel might be if the plating did not come off to start with.

FYI...when you remove the gold plating from a gold case, you are also removing gold from the case itself at the same rate anywhere the plating has already been removed...on flat surfaces for example.  Plating usually comes off of flat surfaces first compared to where diamonds have been set into the case etc.


Q...Why yellow gold plate a white gold case?

A...Back in the 1960s/70s/80s, many jewelers would yellow gold plate over white gold watches to make a sale when the customer said: 

"I want a watch like the one in the showcase but yellow gold instead of white gold."  (mostly lady models) 

The jeweler would then say:

"I'll have one express delivered and you can pick it up in two days."

After the customer leaves, the jeweler goes into the back room to take the watch apart and plate the case.  After all, the watch case is still solid gold, just not the same color as the original base color so as long as the plating does not wear off they could get away with it. 



The main problem today is many/most low cost goldtone watch cases/bracelets are not gold plated at all but goldtone ion plated (or some similar process) that uses no gold at all.  The ion plating is much harder to remove and expensive to reapply so it would probably be cheaper to buy another case.


If you opt for another case, make sure it will accept your dial/movement and can use the same movement mounting method...spacer, clamps/screws or plastic spacer etc.  Cases made for clamps/screws must have a groove cut in the case for them or a groove cut by a 'friendly hobbyist/machinist'.  A 'Big Time' machinist will just laugh and snort at the request or price it very high.  (this is from experience)  

Also make sure the case is contoured between the lugs to fit your bracelet end pieces...round end or partially hooded.

Etc, etc.


Ion Plating Method in the jewelry field - Jewelry Knowledge (maasjewelry.com)



Off topic...

Here is a square LP like mine in yellow gold without the diamonds:

           Image result for solid gold vintage lucien piccard watches


Also have a 'like new' round 14K LP 'Seashark Automatique' similar to this one:

                 Image result for solid gold vintage lucien piccard watches


They called them 'Deep Water' but they must have been kidding.

 Image result for solid gold vintage lucien piccard watches



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