For watch enthusiasts and collectors, a scratch on your watch crystal can be a life threatening situation. Especially when it’s on the watch you just purchased. A new watch or rather that very vintage watch…it doesn’t matter.

You could bring your watch to a jeweler’s or an independent watchmaker to have the scratch removed. But…it will cost money and you probably have to miss your watch for a while. I know!

Before you take these drastic measures, however, it’s often possible to remove these scratches yourself. This article will show you exactly how to polish a watch crystal at home.

Attention! This will only work on acrylic watch crystals. If you’re dealing with a watch crystal made of glass, Esslinger has a very useful article here. You’ll need machinery and a lot of patience, though. In these cases, it might be wise to cut your losses and fit a new crystal.

Tools you’ll need

  • Painter’s tape or a tool to lift the crystal
  • Sanding paper in different grits
  • A hand dust blower or a can of compressed air
  • A soft cotton or microfiber cloth
  • A polishing agent like Brasso etc.
  • A cleaning agent for the crystal

1) Protection

Remove the crystal using the crystal lifting tool. Or make sure to cover the bezel with the painter’s tape.

You don’t want to scratch or dull the bezel on your watch. The tape should overlap slightly to cover the round shape the best.

2) Sanding

Use the sanding paper with the lowest grit. Start to sand down the crystal in a circular motion for a couple minutes. Blow the dust away and continue with sand paper 1 grit-value higher.

Follow these steps until you’ve sanded down the crystal with the finest grit for a couple of minutes.

3) Polishing agent

Blow the dust away or wipe it off using the cloth. Apply the polishing agent.

There are agents specifically made to polish a watch crystal, like Polywatch. I like to use Brasso. There are other options too: toothpaste, Peek or Displex will do the job as well.

Rub the polishing agent with the soft cloth in a circular motion. Every once in a while, wipe the crystal clean and check your progress. Before too long, your watch crystal will look like new again.

4) Cleaning agent

Use the cleaning agent to rid the crystal of any fingerprints and residue from the polishing agent. If you removed the crystal you might want to clean the inside as well. Use the dust blower or a can of compressed air to remove dust particles.

Obviously, if you removed the crystal you want to fit it again. Otherwise…enjoy your watch that looks like new.

How do you polish a watch crystal? Do you have any tips? Let me know in the comments below.

Founder & editor of WahaWatches. I’ve been collecting watches for years. My favourite part is to pull them to bits.

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