How to Repair a Watch Crystal

Written by jasonr
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How to Repair a Watch Crystal
(Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The most common types of damage for watch faces are scratches in the crystal - the usual blemishes of everyday wear. Many scratches can be easily repaired by buffing them out, especially for acrylic or plastic crystals. Larger cracks and breaks, or deep scratches in mineral or sapphire crystals may require the crystal to be replaced, but try this method first to see if the crystal damage is reparable. You may be able to make your watch look shiny and new again and save yourself a trip to the jeweller.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Brass cleaner
  • Clean rags
  • Cotton washcloth

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  1. 1

    Examine the crystal and make sure that it is free of particles and debris.

  2. 2

    Apply a small amount of brass cleaner to a clean rag.

  3. 3

    Rub the polish rag against the face of the watch crystal, lightly but vigorously. Try a circular motion first, then rub along the grain of any stubborn scratches. This should fill in most scratches in the crystal.

  4. 4

    Wipe off any excess brass cleaner with a rag, then wipe the face of the watch using a wet cotton washcloth. This will ensure that there's no residue left on the watch crystal. Be sure that the crystal is immaculately clean. Any leftover cleaner on the crystal can attract grime and interfere with the clarity of the watch face.

Tips and warnings

  • For deeper scratches, cracks and breaks, or for watch crystals made out of harder, scratch-resistant materials, take the watch to a jeweller or watch repair shop for replacement. This is a fairly straightforward job that should not be too expensive.

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