One of the advantages of acrylic crystals is that you can easily polish away scratches to make the crystal look like new again.
This is especially useful if your watch has the original signed crystal or a crystal that’s not easily available anymore.
It’s better to use the original parts if possible. However, sometimes the damage is just too severe. If the crystal is cracked or chipped, there’s no other solution than to fit a new crystal.
With this guide, you’ll learn how to easily replace an acrylic crystal yourself.
Sooner or later you’ll come across a watch that has a broken watch stem because it’s one of those parts that often break.
Or perhaps you want to replace a worn crown or upgrade it for an original crown and the length of the old stem isn’t right.
With this guide, you can easily replace the winding stem yourself.
Before you begin
If you don’t have a healthy stock of spare stems, you’ll need to order a new one.
To be able to do so, you need to identify the movement.
If you know what movement it is, you can buy a new stem on Cousins UK or Windingstems.com.
You can also use a Ronda catalogue to order a new stem. If you don’t know the brand and caliber, you can even use the Ronda catalogue to identify the stem with the dimensions of the square part and other dimensions.
A good choice of strap can really enhance the looks of a watch. All the same, a badly matched one can make it look odd. How to avoid the latter? That’s the question I’ll attempt to answer by providing a set of three simple guidelines for matching the colour and style of the strap to the watch.
- Match the colour with the dial
- Match the grain with the watch
- Avoid extreme combinations
The majority of the vintage watch collectors like their watches as original as possible. I’m one of those people. But sometimes I like to make an exception. For example, when someone else tried to relume the hands already and failed (miserably). Or when there is almost no original lume left. Read about one of those exceptions here.
In those cases, I do like to relume the watch hands. That’s a personal preference, though. Of course, I always discuss the possibilities with the owner if the watch isn’t mine.
This article is for those who agree with me that sometimes reluming is the lesser of two evils.
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