My aversion to dial spots (those little adhesive dots used to glue on dials) knows little bounds. It’s a shoddy job, the dial can still turn with time, and in my book, it’s not an appropriate repair. On a £2 quartz movement, dial spots might be appropriate, but on anything mechanical, I’d rather not.
Above, a dial with broken off feet. You can still see some remaining dial spots, and, in preparation for the new dial feet, I have marked the centre of the feet on the dial. I use a sharp needle and a pair of tweezers as a ruler.
The accurate position of the new feet is vital, so it’s well worth spending some time marking their position.
I’ve tried various pieces of equipment, including a purpose built dial feet soldering machine that’s for sale on eBay. My final weapon of choice now is a Weller 100W soldering gun, good flux, and some very thin electronic solder, preferably old stock with lead in. If you look closely, you can see the “DM 1.50” sticker on the flux. If I remember correctly, I bought it in 1982 in Germany, and there is still enough flux in the tub to pass it on to someone after I have soldered my last dial foot.
With a Dremel, I remove any dirt from the spot where the dial foot goes, and rough up the surface a bit. Then I put a thin layer of flux on the spot. Note how I have marked the position of the dial foot with three lines so I can place the new foot correctly.
The dial foot also gets a bit of flux, and I then apply a thin layer of solder on the dial foot.
With the soldering gun, I heat up the side of the foot and the dial at the same time. It’s best to pre-heat the gun, so that it’s as hot as it can be before applying it to the joint. We want to solder for as little time as possible, to avoid damage to the dial.