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A Guide to Removing Scratches from Stainless Steel Watches

A Guide to Removing Scratches from Stainless Steel Watches

Removing scratches from stainless steel watches does not need to be so complicated. Follow the steps outlined in this article to remove those pesky sights.
Mar 20, 2024

Removing scratches from stainless steel watches may seem hard at first. With a higher frequency of use or even when taking your timepiece to the outdoor terrains, of course, it will have a higher likelihood of attaining new, pesky scratches.

From the magnificent dress watches, robust outdoor timepieces to the dependable diving timekeepers, most are prone to be scratched – although to a varying degree.

While I suggest you do not try this on your own as it may further damage the timepiece, don’t worry, I will outline the necessary steps professionals will take to remove scratches from stainless steel watches. As a result, you can understand better how these professionals will carry out the job of removing the scratches on your precious stainless steel timepieces. Do read on to find out.

Deciding the Finish of Scratches on Your Stainless Steel Watch 

What you and the professional repairer will want to know beforehand is the type of finish that the particular timepiece has. This becomes the base of where to go next in removing scratches from stainless steel watches.

Out there, two types of metal finish are dominant in the world of horology: polished and brushed. They will have a completely different method of removing scratches. Certainly, you would not want to have a polished spot appearing on your brushed finished timepiece.

The aim first and foremost, is to make sure the surrounding finish and the other surface areas match as well as possible.

How to Remove Scratches from Stainless Steel Watch Case of the Brushed Surface Type

So, what steps will a professional repairer take in removing scratches from stainless steel watches? Most especially that of a brushed surface? Due to the nature of a brushed surface, which consists of many similar scratches on the metal, treating a scratch would mean refinishing the stainless steel.

This type of finish can vary from particularly fine, subtle, and coarse to deep. As such, a professional will cautiously work out a way to match the finishing using a polishing material and applied pressure.

This is done to make sure that there is no particular patch that sticks out from the rest. Achieving a great result usually requires specific tools and instruments. An example of the supply used would be a scratch brush for fiberglass.

This particular supply works like an eraser which the professional will use to follow the scratched particle. More often than not, the repairer will wear a latex glove to protect from getting irritation resulting from the proximity to the fiberglass.

Read also: A Nifty Guide: How to Remove Scratches from Watch Crystals

How to Remove Scratches from Stainless Steel Watch Case of the Polished Surface Type

To carry out the steps necessary to remove scratches from stainless steel watches of the polished surface type will require a few materials. This includes lint-free, soft cloth, formulated watch polish, stainless steel powder, and a microfiber cloth.

This particular effort will begin with the professional wiping down the stainless steel watch and bracelet with a dry, lint-free, soft cloth. As a result, the dust, grimes and other dirt that has accumulated can be safely removed.

Next, they will make a paste made from stainless steel powder added with a few drops of water. This particular grainy texture will assist in providing the friction needed to execute the refinishing job.

Using the soft cloth to dab on the paste, the professional will then apply it in circular motions on the scratched patch. Based on how deep the particular scratch is, the professional will continue to carefully apply and rub the agent onto the impacted area to buff out the abrasion.

Another clean lint-free cloth will be used to take off the remaining stainless steel mixture. The repairer then applies some polishing made especially for watches using a polishing fabric. This will help attain a smooth, sleek result.

The professional may also conduct a cleaning process with a soft cloth to remove the residue from the polish and stainless steel paste.

Factors to Consider Before Polishing Stainless Steel Watches

There are certain cases where polishing a stainless steel watch case may not be such a good idea. An example would be if your precious timekeeper is of the vintage kind. A polishing task may increase the chance of reducing the value of your timepiece.

This is because the polishing may change the silhouette of the case so that it alters from the original finish. As such, the vintage character of the watch may irrevocably be diminished. 

The same attitude of decreasing value will also be taken on the presence of scratches on a watch, hence it’s a matter of choosing your difficulty.

If you are still keen on removing the pesky scratches, I will once again recommend doing so in a professional setting as they will take proper care of the parts of a timepiece and reduce the risk of further damage.

Now, this sums up the guide to removing scratches from stainless steel watches. To prevent the abrasions from once again appearing, remember to take ample care after wearing them. This may include wiping the face down with a microfiber cloth to get rid of dust and grimes.

Read also: How to Start a Watch Collection: Showcase of Personality

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