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A Nifty Guide: How to Remove Scratches From Watch Crystal

A Nifty Guide: How to Remove Scratches From Watch Crystal

Does the glass on your timepiece have those pesky scratches? Read on to find out how to remove scratches from watch crystals.
May 22, 2024

Scratch on the glass of your watch can be a distressing sight indeed. Not only does it disturb the charming look of your watch, a scratch, similar to an itch, but it can also grow to annoy the pleasure you used to have when reading for a time. Therefore, knowledge of how to remove scratches from a watch crystal is useful information to possess.

Before delving into the specifics, as it goes, a watch crystal protects the dial and hands. There are three common types of watch crystals, mineral, acrylic, and sapphire. Each of these has its own distinctive feature and purpose. 

While all three allow for varying levels of resistance to scratches, continued everyday wear for extensive periods and minimal frequency in taking care of your watch, most especially its crystal may, unfortunately, result in a graze.

Although a more than 1mm abrasion, unfortunately, can not be cleaned without a professional replacement, not to worry, the smaller ones can be treated easily at home. Continue on reading to learn how to remove scratches from the watch crystal. Yet, still, having a professional to take care of your watch problem is the most recommended solution.  

What You Need

To achieve the best results in removing light abrasions from watch crystal, several things must be prepared beforehand:

  • Tape, its purpose is to cover other areas such as the watch bezel from contact with the polishing agent
  • Microfiber cloth, for wiping and polishing away the dirt and scratch (consider our very own sturdy and reliable microfiber cloth here)
  • Polishing agent, a hardy substance to remove light grazes on your watch crystal

How to Remove Scratches from Watch Crystals

While there are many variations to steps in removing scratches, the general premise involves first, using a tape to cover up the bezel. Next, utilize a soft polishing cloth to slowly work the polishing agent in circular motions to the scratched area. This should take a few minutes to let the substance soak in and the movement to slowly dissolve the scratch away.

For watches fitted with mineral crystals, it is best to replace the crystal. This is because the material is seven times harder than acrylic and the stronger ability to withstand scratches and impact means that it’s more difficult to remove the scratches. 

Not to worry, this mineral type is much cheaper to replace than its acrylic and sapphire counterpart at a more affordable price point than doing the removal yourself.

On the contrary, sapphire crystal is more expensive to repair ( $75 – $250). All is fair, the premium price range aligns with the exclusive properties of the material. In fact, it scores a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale for scratch resistance. 

Unfortunately, it’s advised to replace a sapphire crystal should there be a prominent graze as cleaning them at home bears the potential to make the damage worse. Otherwise, timepiece owners may choose to wipe the surface with a clean, microfiber cloth as an attempt on how to clean sapphire watch crystals.

For acrylic crystal watch owners, removing scratches from the glass surface can be done at the convenience of their own home.

Read also: 4 Alluring Grand Seiko Watches with “Snowflake” Dials

How to Clean Acrylic Watch Crystals

To spare yourself from getting an expensive acrylic crystal replacement, giving a regular clean is a better way to do it. Let someone professional handle it with care or do it by yourself to keep your acrylic glass from light abrasions easily.

Step 1. Tape Off the Surroundings of the Watch Crystal

The first method is preparation. To prevent damage and potential dirt to grow on other parts circling the watch crystal, use a handy tape to cover it.

Step 2. Start Buffing

Place a modest amount of 0.02 ml polishing agent of choice into the impacted area on the crystal. Next, softly rub and buff in circular movements. Wait a few minutes to see the scratch begin to fade.

Step 3. Carry On Buffing

If the scratch remains persistent, wipe away the remains of the polish and layer on top of the layer by applying a smaller amount of the agent. Next, buff using a new spot of your microfiber cloth. 

You will find that this repeated act will return the shine and transparency of the crystal to an extent. After you are finished, wipe the excess paste and residue then inspect the completed work.

Step 4. Repeat the Methods (if deemed necessary)

Should you remain unsatisfied with the results, repeat step 2 and 3 until you are content with the disappearance of the light scratch. Don’t forget to wipe off the remaining paste and check your finished work at the end.

These are the steps necessary to remove scratches from watch crystals of any timepieces made for deep diving to the more exclusive ones. If you spot a light graze, don’t delay the hour or two allocated to removing the modest abrasion. This will make the job of removing the scratch easier and prevent it from becoming much worse.

Stay tuned to our Gnomon blog for more tips and informative wisdom on timepieces and the world of horology.

Read also: Watch Crystal Types: Take A Look at The Different Varieties

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