Workshop: Basic Case, Crystal & Bracelet Cleaning

When you have an older watch it’s important to give it a clean. Same goes for something that you bought pre-owned too, as old bits of skin and dirt can be lurking inbetween bracelet links, pins, deployment clasps etc. Not nice.

Some medium bad scratches on the crystal.

So I set to with this decent looking Seiko 5 SNKL model I’ve owned for about three years. It was a daily beater when I worked in a watch shop replacing batteries, polishing jewellery and all that jazz and it’s suffered a few scratches to the crystal.

Just for fun I used metal polish and Polywatch on the hardlex to see if it made any difference and the answer is yes, up to a point, as you can see from the photos. But it is a trick of the light, the scratches are still there, just not holding so much dirt after being polished

From some angles the scratches have vanished, but shift the watch and you can see them faintly.


You can only really clean a watch by taking it apart and I have to own up here, I didn’t separate all the bracelet links. Instead I used an old hard toothbrush to scrub washing up liquid, then hot water, then a cold water rinse into the various nooks and crannies.

I removed the clasp to get at the push button actuator and clean where the pins go in, as you can see dirt under a loupe.

Basically a petri dish on your wrist. Not good.

The case itself cleaned up very well using the metal polish, with a little bit of Polywatch to finish. I needed to poke at the dirt by the lugs with a cocktail stick and some petrol-ether to shift years of clag. Lugs just attract it, nasty.

The end result is pretty appealing and I really should buy a replacement crystal for this Seiko as it still looks good for something about 15 years old.

He can polish your shoes like mirrors..mirrors. Hey Tommy, get your shine box.

If you look at the before and after pics of the lug shields, you can see how muck creeps in and never gets  removed unless you pop the bracelet off and clean it thoroughly. Very satisfying and just like cleaning a car, it makes you glad you bought something nice when it looks its best.


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