How to Remove Scratches From Any Watch Crystal - Maxim

How to Remove Scratches From Any Watch Crystal

It's surprisingly easy.
Author:
Publish date:
(Photo: Benne Ochs/Getty Images)

(Photo: Benne Ochs/Getty Images)

Chances are, your favorite wristwatch comes in an acrylic crystal case, a mineral crystal case or a sapphire crystal case.

Acrylic is regarded as a cheaper option but was actually common for fancy timepieces up until the 1980s. Mineral remains a popular option for mid-tier watch brands like Timex, and don't be surprised if luxe brands like Omega have them too. Genuine sapphire is reserved for today's top-shelf timepieces (think Rolex or Tag Heuer).

While their susceptibility to scratching and shattering is commensurate with their price quality, none are immune to the usual wear and tear. It is a tragic but shockingly common occurrence for watch nerds.

Don't send in your wrecked watch case in for a costly replacement just yet. There are simple home remedies you can use that will not break the bank.

Here, the quick fixes for acrylic, mineral and sapphire crystal-case watches:

Acrylic Crystal:

This one's easy. There are plenty of cheap-o polishers that promise quick fixes for shallow scratches, including Polywatch for about $12 and Brasso for about $6. Some forum commenters, however, swear by toothpaste (that's right).

The process is as easy as it is to scratch Plexiglass:

  1. Cover up the bezel with tape to avoid damage.
  2. Rub a small amount of your chosen polish over the case in a circular motion, using a soft polishing rag.
  3. Repeat if necessary, and watch the scratch vanish.

Mineral Crystal:

Tough tacos. You probably thought you were making the right choice by buying something a touch less expensive than a sapphire crystal watch, but the hardness of the mineral crystal means its cracks are rarely shallow enough to repair. You are better off just sending it in for a replacement. But if the crack is superficial enough, follow the steps you would use on an acrylic or sapphire crystal case.

Sapphire Crystal:

Sapphire crystal is a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale, meaning you have to do something pretty foolish to scratch one of these. The high prices basically guarantee that they are resilient to drops, fights, warfare and whatever else you put them through.

If it ever happens to scratch, there is hope. Pick up either 0.5 Micron Lapping Paste by TEMO for $8 or 3 Micron DP3 Dia-Paste by DMT for $16, and repeat the same steps used on the acrylic watch, repeated here:

  1. Cover up the bezel with tape to avoid damage.
  2. Rub a small amount of your chosen polish over the case in a circular motion, using a soft polishing rag.
  3. Repeat if necessary and watch the scratch vanish.

If none of this works, you probably shouldn't own a watch, you clumsy ass fool.

h/t Gear Patrol