Can A Watch Face Be Polished Or Replaced


The worst fear of many watch-owners is having the face be damaged or having it break. When this happens, is it possible to have the face of your watch polished or replaced?

Yes, the face of your watch can be polished or replaced. Go to your jeweler and inquire about the options. Sometimes, having the face of your watch polished or replaced will fall under the warranty, but because it usually happens because of external causes, it most likely won’t.

The face of your watch doesn’t break easily, but sometimes, it sadly will break. Luckily, there are some options for you to save your beloved timepiece.

Replacing The Face Of Your Watch

A crack in the glass, the face of your watch is extremely undesirable. It’s one of those things that immediately takes away from the aesthetics of a beautiful watch.

Luckily, you can have the face of your watch replaced. But, because the damage to the glass is almost always because of external causes, chances are there’s no guarantee on it.

When we talk about the ‘face’ of your watch, we mean the glass part that covers the timepiece. Most commonly, this glass will mineral glass or sapphire glass. Sapphire glass will be more common in luxury watches and it’s scratch-free!

However, with enough force or bad luck, both types of glass will be able to break or crack. When this happens, you probably want to have your glass replaced.

When the glass is replaced, the same type of glass will be used; mineral or sapphire glass. But how does the face of your watch gets replaced?

  1. The watch will be dismantled. When the watchmaker receives your watch, he will carefully dismantle the watch. The screws and crowns will be loosened and stored, revealing the inside of the watch.
  2. The watch will be cleaned. After the watch has been dismantled, it will be cleaned. If there are any shards of glass present, these will be removed, as well as any residual glue.
  3. Your new glass will be measured. Once the watch is cleaned, it is time for your new glass. This new piece of glass will have to be a perfect fit. Therefore, the old glass will be measured, and these measurements will be used when preparing the new piece of glass.
  4. The new glass will be placed. Once everything is cleaned up and measured, the new piece of glass will be placed.

Polishing The Face Of Your Watch

If you have a minor crack in your glass, another option could be to polish the face of your watch. You can either do this yourself or have it done professionally.

How you should polish your watch will be determined by the value of your watch. A cheap watch will have a different face when compared to a luxury watch.

Most affordable watches are made with an acrylic crystal (acrylic crystals were also commonly used before the 1980s), which you can polish with Brasso paste, Polywatch paste, or even with toothpaste. Just make sure the toothpaste isn’t grainy, otherwise you can cause even more damage to the face.

If your watch is a step up from the more affordable ones, but not a luxury watch yet, chances are it’s made with mineral glass. If you want to polish mineral glass, you can use pretty much any type of crystal watch polish. For a complete, in-depth review of polishing your own watch, you can read this article from WikiHow!

If you have a luxury watch, you can polish it yourself, but we would recommend leaving this to your watchmaker or jeweler. It’s best to not do a DIY project on an expensive watch. Contact your jeweler and see what the options are!

Can You Replace The Face Of An Apple Watch

Polishing or replacing the glass of a traditional watch is actually quite simple, especially if you leave it to an expert. However, with an Apple watch, things become more complicated.

An Apple watch has a touch screen, so messing with it can become quite dangerous. One misstep and you can easily destroy your watch and the technology behind it.

Apple has come out and said that in the off-chance that the face of your Apple watch will crack, they will replace it free of charge. So there you go, the quickest, easiest, and apparently cheapest way to get your Apple watch face fixed up!

How Much Will It Cost To Polish Or Replace The Face

The replacement of your Apple watch face will be free. This, sadly, is not the case for most other watches. And since the damage to the glass of the watch is almost always because of external factors, this damage usually does not fall under the warranty.

The glass of a watch is extremely sturdy and won’t break that easily. You’ll have to hit it hard, and often from the side, to cause the glass to break. It’s actually much more difficult than you’d think.

The actual cost of your glass replacement can differ a bit. A cheaper watch with an acrylic watch face will be relatively cheap. You’re probably looking at no more than $20.

The more high-end watches with a standard, flat face made from mineral glass will probably end up costing you between $15 and $50. You can add another $5 to $10 if you’re glass is dome-shaped.

If we’re looking at luxury watches, it becomes kind of difficult to give an average. Luxury watch brands can charge you whatever they want. Usually, they charge you a bit more than you would pay for the mineral watch face replacement. Also keep in mind that the luxury watches use a different, more expensive type of glass, which will drive up the price as well!

How To Prevent The Face From Being Damaged

We all heard the phrase ‘preventing is better than curing’. And it’s no different in this situation. Not only will a watch face replacement cost you money, but you’ll also have to give away your watch for a certain amount of time.

As mentioned before, damaging your watch face is rather difficult. The glass is compact and sturdy and doesn’t break as easily as you might think. Only a very heavy force or a hard smash on the side of the glass can leave lasting damage.

Luckily, because it’s so difficult to damage your watch face, it will be pretty easy to avoid it. Don’t drop your watch from high surfaces, don’t smash it against the wall; these are all basic things we already do.

But these are things you can do by accident. I personally dropped my watch more times than I’d like to admit. That’s why I now only take off my watch when sitting down on a table, ensuring it won’t fall a long distance. What it really comes down to is this; be aware and be careful, even if the glass is hard to break. One unfortunate mishap and your watch could be damaged!

Closing Words

Damaging the face of your watch is one of the most undesirable things to happen. Luckily, it is very difficult to break the glass face of a watch, but on the off-chance that it does happen, you can get the face replaced.

Take your damaged watch to your jeweler or watchmaker and explore the options. Having the face replaced is almost always your best bet.

Alternatively, if there’s only a small crack, you can decide to polish it. Polishing is actually quite easy, but I wouldn’t recommend polishing an expensive luxury watch yourself. But you can definitely polish more affordable watches!

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