Japanese Watches

Can Polywatch Remove Scratches from a Sapphire Crystal? Yes…and No.

You know how it is watch lovers. You wear a fave wristwatch for a special occasion and then bang – it picks up a scratch on its pristine crytsal. You will go through several stages of anger, loss, frustration, rewinding time, blaming the hotel for placing the wall so close to the lift door exit…all that stuff.

If you have a nice Seiko, Swiss watch, or perhaps a new British model like a Bremont or Harold Pinchbeck, you’ll be faced with two choices. Take it back to the dealer, or try a specialist watch repair shop. By specialist, I don’t mean Timpsons, OK? It’s important we need to rule cobblers and key cutters out of the equation – if they aren’t dealing with a variety of watch problems every day, then the chances are they don’t know what they’re doing.

seiko scratch before
Before; clipping a wall whilst dragging in shopping left a nice scar across my Seiko. Curse ye saucy Tesco Gods!

There is a third way. Like Theresa May’s Brexit deal, it more or less works and unlike May’s dog’s breakfast this tip saves you money.

Now if you’ve tried Polywatch you’ll know it’s basically toothpaste for watch crytstals. Actually very good on acrylics, less good on mineral glass and sapphire. Why? Glass – reall glass – is very tough and it takes hours, lots of hours, to hand polish a scratch so it kinda fades into the background a bit.

Ehibit One; Seiko Automatic, everyday watch, bashed around my workshop, rattled along on my bicycle in the rain etc. It’s got a couple of tasty scratches on the crystal, so as the shop was quiet this afternoon I thought I would get busy with soft cotton pads, and some Polywatch.

In terms of action you simply squirt some on, rub clockwise, then anti-clockwise, then cross-hatch across the scratch. Repeat until your wrist and fingers ache like an Inbetweener watching the Stacy’s Mom video for the first time.

After two hours, I could see – and feel – that the main scratch was gradually being worn away. Drag your fingernail gently across the scratch and you can feel the `lip’ of it slowly recede. Keep going. Have a cuppa and biscuit. The polish some more. Yes, this is very tedious work, but given that a tube of Polywatch costs under £4 and cotton pads £1 per pack, it is vastly cheaper than rocking up at Goldsmiths and booking your watch in for a workshop polish and service.

Yeah, you see those big name jewellers generally don’t do one simple job. No, they like to persuade you that your precious Swiss timepiece needs a general makeover; new bezel, movement clean, bracelet links dismantling and polishing. Ker-ching, you just agreed to spend about £650. On a TAG Monaco that’s OK, it’s a £3000 watch, but on a £300 Seiko Pepsi or a 10 year old Raymond Weil quartz worth about £150? Hmmm, maybe not.

seiko after 2
After – not perfect, but certainly a smoother, more pleasing appearance to the Seiko 5

OK, bottom line – the Polywatch has NOT eradicated the main scratch completely. It is there, like a faint shadow of misery playing at being a smile on Lily Allen’s lips, but there is undoubtedly a big improvement in the overall appearance of my workaday Seiko.

You can DIY this same anti-scratch therapy yourself, or pay Warrington Watch Co the handsome sum of £15 and we will set elves to work at night, slowly and methodically polishing your watch, until they achieve a Zen-like state of grace.

Paint a fence Daniel-san. Or Polywatch my crystal. Your choice.

 

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