Watch faces are covered with crystal to protect the face. The watch crystal is either made of glass, plastic, or synthesized sapphire crystals. Either way, a watch crystal is a component that enables your watch to take abuse without ruining its overall look and function. Sometimes, the watch crystal can come in contact with outside elements accidentally. This leads to scratches and dirt on the watch crystal. Although the crystal is made to protect your watch, you still would want to preserve its appearance. In cases like these, you will need some proper maintenance and cleaning. Doing it the correct way will need some patience and a step-by-step procedure in hand.
- Removing the watch crystal. Most watches can be opened up with a simple insertion of a flat screwdriver along the edge of the casing and prying it open. Other watches are more complex. This is especially the case for designer and antique watches. In any case, read the instructions that come with the watch or consult a watch repair expert. Once you get the watch open, you will need to pop the crystal out of the casing. You can do this by pressing the crystal on the inside going out. This should be done firmly but gently. The crystal should pop out easily. If it becomes difficult, just keep at it. Sometimes crystals are tough to remove because of the finely applied crystal cement along its edges.
- Buff the crystal. Once you have removed the crystal from the casing, get a clean buffing cloth and a bottle of brass cleaner. Apply some brass cleaner onto the cloth and buff away in a circular motion. The brass cleaner contains a chemical that is effective on scratch removal. Any scratches and dirt should be loosened and removed with its application and buffing. Continue buffing with a dry and clean cloth until all the blemishes are gone and the crystal appears clean and clear. Make sure that you hold the crystal only by its edges so that your fingers will not smudge the crystal face.
- Clean the edges of the crystal. Get a cotton bud or Q-tip and dip it in a soap and water solution. Wipe the edges with the Q-tip to remove any crystal cement residue and dirt. Some of the residue may be a little tough to remove so be patient. Once completed, lay the crystal on a clean cloth and let it dry.
- Reattach the crystal. Once completely dry, apply crystal cement on the edges of the crystal and snap it back in the watch casing. As much as possible, do not use your naked fingers to press it back on. Cover your fingers with a cloth to avoid smudging. Let it sit for a while for the cement to take effect and dry. Once dry, start putting the watch back together.
In order for you to accomplish this job, you may need a lot of patience and nimble fingers. If you are not confident, you can always opt to bring your watch to the experts and have them do the cleaning for you. You may choose to buff the crystal without removing it as well. However, this can limit the effect of your cleaning.