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Do Watches Get Scratched Easily? (What You Need To Know)

July 28, 2021

You just bought an expensive new watch. It’s no surprise that you’re worried it’ll get scratched – you want to keep it in perfect condition. We’ve answered the question do watches get scratched easily, as well as what you can do to prevent and solve the problem.

How Do You Prevent Scratches On A Watch?

Sooner or later, your unit would have a couple of scratches; that’s just how it is. But you’ll appreciate how you can reduce the chances of this happening.

Careful Storage

You might be tempted to store timepieces together. This is a bad move as clasps can be sharp, scratching surfaces. The watches would also move together, causing scruffs.

Thankfully, most collectors store their timepieces in the boxes they came with – so this risk would be eliminated.

Be Wary Of the Activities You Engage In

Your watch looks great, and maybe you don’t want to take it off your wrist. However, you will need to if you take part in strenuous activities at some point in the day.

Once it’s off your wrist, be mindful of where you keep it – what if someone accidentally steps on it or drops it?

Wear It Under Your Wrist

Ever seen John Wick before? You might have noticed that he wears his watch in a very peculiar way. The dial is on the underside of his wrist. As it’s not exposed to the environment as much, the chances of its face getting scratched will be drastically reduced.

Wrist Awareness

The best advice is to have wrist awareness. You can avoid things that could bang into your device, and use your other hand to carry out various tasks instead.

Most watch owners would agree that doorknobs can damage watches. With wrist awareness, you can use the hand that the watch isn’t on to keep your timepiece safe.

Can You Get Scratches Out Of Watches?

To answer this, we have to talk about crystals and bracelets separately.

Bracelet

If your stainless steel band has fine scratches, you don’t have to worry much about getting rid of them. All you need is a jewelers cloth. It would have a polish in it. If you move it around the watch in circles, the scratches would disappear.

If the steel was brushed, be careful with how rigorous you are. Being too rough would get rid of its shine.

Is the bracelet made from gold or another soft metal? This might make it scratch easily. Expensive timepieces tend to be made from these materials.

Crystal

If your watch has an acrylic or mineral crystal (more on this below), a polish and soft cloth would buff out fine scratches.

More expensive units tend to have a sapphire glass. You won’t be able to use regular polish on it. You’ll need a 0.5 Micron Lapping Paste, a polish especially made for this substance. Once on the surface, a microfiber cloth can be used for the buffing.

Person Wearing Gold Analog Watch

How Easily Do Watch Crystals Get Scratched?

Let’s talk about the three types below.

Acrylic

Acrylic is the oldest watch glass. It’s essentially a type of fancy plastic. Sadly, it attracts scratches like magnets. You don’t have to worry about shattering it, though. It’s pretty resistant.

Affordable watches commonly house acrylic. It’s known as the cheapest glass on the market.

Mineral

Mineral glass is quite common. Seiko, the Japanese giant, is especially a fan of this – they’ve produced their own version of mineral called Hardlex. It’s known to be more resistant than the regular kind.

It isn’t as shatter-resistant as its counterpart. However, it handles scratches much better. And when it does shatter, it chips instead of falling apart.

Sapphire

Sapphire is the king of watch crystals. If you own a Rolex, it probably has the glass in place. It’s one of the hardest materials around, just below diamond. It’s almost impossible to scratch, but if you do, there might be a couple of scruffs. As it’s so hard, it won’t be brittle.

You don’t have to purchase a very expensive unit to get sapphire. More affordable brands like Citizen and Seiko have started to create synthetic versions. They’re pretty tough as well.

Krysterna

We just have to talk about Krysterna. Unless you’ve owned a Stuhrling watch, you might not have heard of this glass before. The company claims that it’s more durable than sapphire. Although this is debatable, it can handle scratches better than its cheaper counterparts.

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Final Thoughts

When it comes to watches, it’s only a matter of time before there will be scruffs. You shouldn’t worry about it too much though. But as discussed, there are several ways to reduce this. The most effective would be wrist awareness and wearing your timepiece on the underside of your wrist.

You can easily buff scratches out. Just get hold of some polish and a cloth. Thankfully, some crystals are tougher than others. If you own a Rolex, it’ll likely have sapphire glass in place. It’s incredibly tough, only being second to diamond.

Author
Thomas Vanderlaan
When Thomas Vanderlaan was a child, the moment he learned about mechanical watches he was hooked. His first love being mechanical watches, he decided to pursue a career in engineering as he was entranced by the science behind its gears. As the years passed, his passion grew. Although he worked a hectic career as an automobile engineer, he’d always collect watches during his spare time.
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