How To Polish A Watch Crystal – 4 Useful Steps
Do you have a scratch on your watch? Before you think of replacing the watch crystal, you might want to know how to fix this. How to polish a watch crystal is the obvious question that runs through the minds of many watch users. Polishing is the act of removing material from the surface to make it smoother.
If you ruin your watch by scratching it and want a watch glass repair, there are lots of inexpensive and readily available products you can use. In this article, we will examine three things.
- Types of watch crystals.
- Which products can polish them and
- Useful steps to follow to achieve a well-polished watch crystal.
3 main types of watch crystals
A watch crystal is typically the window covering the watch dial from dirt, dust, or water. Therefore, a watch crystal is very important as it protects the internal mechanism of the watch from external harm.
There are three types of crystals commonly used as wristwatch glass covers. Each one is different in terms of scratch resistance, durability, and affordability.
1.) Acrylic Crystal
Acrylic crystal aka Hesalite, a plastic-like material, is one of the oldest options for a wristwatch. Acrylic crystals are very popular in cheap watches because they are very affordable to produce. It is a low-quality crystal compared to other watch crystals.
- It is a lightweight material. Therefore, watches produced with acrylic materials are lighter on the wrist.
- Very useful material for a kid’s watch.
- Very easy and cheap to replace.
- Very easy to polish out its scratches
- Acrylic crystals are very prone to scratches.
- They crack faster than other watch crystals.
- Not suitable for people with an active lifestyle.
2.) Mineral Crystal
Mineral crystals are glass-like materials treated in the lab to increase their scratch and shatter resistance. Popular brands like Seiko, Citizen, Orient, etc commonly use mineral crystals in their watches. Seiko patents it as a Hardlex crystal. These brands commonly use them on their low-price and middle-class watches.
- It is scratch-resistant.
- It chips out rather than shatter.
- The scratches and breaks are not visible from most angles.
- Less costly to replace the crystal.
- Scratches are difficult to polish compared to acrylic crystals.T
- hey are durable compared to acrylic crystal
3.) Sapphire Crystal
Sapphire crystal glass is the best crystal for watches, though also on the pricey side. It is very resistant to scratches. On the universal scale of hardness, it is only second to diamond in terms of hardness. Because of these properties, sapphire glass has won the reputation of luxury watch brands in producing luxury watches. Because of its hardness, sapphire crystal is very brittle, meaning it is prone to shattering upon hard impact.
- Very resistant to scratches.
- Very useful for people with active lifestyles.
- Very durable.
- Very expensive to replace.
- Brittle, so prone to shattering.
- Difficult to polish.
So there you have it. The most commonly used watch crystals.
What type of watch crystal do you have?
How to polish a watch crystal depends on which crystal you are aiming to polish. So the first step is to know which crystal you want to polish. The video below can help you recognize yours.
N.B: If you’re still unsure what type of crystal your watch has, please contact the manufacturer.
How to polish a watch crystal: Products you can use
There are many readily available and inexpensive products on the market you can use to polish. Some are easily available in the United States, while some are easily available in Europe. We give you some easily available ones.
Best for polishing acrylic and mineral crystals
You can use dispex for removing scratches from mobile phone displays, plastic car instruments, mahogany wood, and plastic watch crystals. If you’ve been thinking about how to polish a watch crystal-like acrylic, dispex will do the job for you. It is readily available in Europe.
Brasso is easily available in most supermarkets & hardware shops in the UK. Brasso is manufactured in England. The company markets this product in two forms. Either as a tin full of pre-soaked wadding or as a liquid polish. Its producers market it as a polish for brass, copper, and chrome. It’s a watch glass scratch remover also suitable for mineral crystals.
3.) Polywatch Polish
The Polywatch glass polish is very popular in the United States and is very useful for removing scratches from acrylic watch crystals. It removes scratches after just about 2 – 3 minutes of continuous buffing.
Best for polishing sapphire crystals
4.) Dia-Paste Compound
Polishing sapphire requires a lot of care and attention. While Polywatch is good for polishing acrylic crystals, Dia-Paste is good for polishing sapphire. It is made in the United States. A light application will create a highly polished surface for a sapphire.
5.) Lapping Paste Compound
This compound is suitable for use on jewelry, steel, hard metal, etc. If you can’t get Dia-Paste polish for your sapphire watch, Lapping Paste is a perfect replacement for polishing a sapphire crystal.
How to polish a watch crystal – use these 5 steps
So now you know which watch crystal you want to polish and the polish you will use. It’s time to learn how to remove scratches from watch crystals. If the scratch on the watch crystal is too deep to polish, skip straight to step 4.
Step 1: Protect your watch.
The very first thing to do before you polish your watch is to protect it. You need to cover all parts of the watch near the crystal with painter’s tape. Take special precautions to cover the watch bezel, which is the outer ring that surrounds the watch crystal. Covering with the painter’s tape will prevent the rest of your watch from damage. Also, remove the watch straps if you can easily remove them.
Step 2: Apply a small amount of polish.
Squeeze out a small amount of polish onto the surface of the watch crystal. Avoid squeezing too much as it may spill all over the place. Just a small amount of polish can get the job done. With the Dia-Paste 3-micron compound, a small amount is just enough.
Step 3: Begin Buffing
With a soft microfiber cloth, gently buff the polish in small circles around the watch crystal to remove scratches from the watch face. Keep the pressure light as you buff out scratches in a circular motion until you polish the scratches out of glass. After a few minutes of buffing, the scratches will eventually disappear. The polish will give your crystal the glass-like finishing it once had. Once you achieve the perfect results, wipe away the excess paste and inspect your work.
Step 4: Consider replacing the crystal
If you can’t get rid of the scratches because they are too deep, consider replacing the watch crystal. If you have the options, consider returning the watch to the manufacturer. Ask them to replace the watch crystal. However, one drawback to this is, unless it’s a recent model, most manufacturers might not have the watch glass replacements. As an alternative also, consider changing the crystal at a local repair shop.
How to polish a watch crystal with toothpaste
Using toothpaste to polish a watch crystal is a well-known DIY (Do It Yourself) method discussed in most watch forums. This method can only repair minor scratches on your crystals. Since there are many varieties of toothpaste on the market, the main problem here is choosing the right toothpaste for the job. Avoid toothpaste with a colored dye added to it as you can end up with a colored crystal. Also, stay clear of the popular charcoal paste. Regular white toothpaste is the best paste to use.
Now that you know the toothpaste to use, you can follow the same steps outlined above. That is how to polish a watch crystal using your favorite toothpaste.