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How To Remove Scratches From Watch Crystal At Home

It’s very irritating to see a fresh scratch on your watch’s face. 

The feelings can be even worse if it’s your brand new watch, or one that just returned from servicing. 

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to remove scratches from watch crystal.

So read this before you send your watch back off to get the crystal replaced. Consider trying to easily remove scratches from watch crystal at home. 

We’ll help you determine what type of watch crystal you have. Then show you how to remove scratches from watch crystal that is made from plastic.

And finally, show you how to protect mineral crystal or sapphire crystal watches from getting scratched or chipped.

Photo of all the items you need to remove scratches from watch crystal made from plastic; masking tape, polywatch, microfiber cloths, and sandpaper
Remove Scratches From Watch Crystal Kit

How To Remove Scratches From Watch Crystal

  1. Determine the type of watch crystal
  2. How to remove scratches from acrylic crystal (plastic)?
  3. Can you remove scratches from mineral crystal or sapphire crystal (glass)?
  4. Protect your watch crystal with a glass protector

1. Determine the type of watch crystal

You need to first determine what type of crystal your watch face is protected by. Before we can start attempting to remove the scratches.

There are 3 main types of watch crystal:

  • Acrylic Crystal
  • Mineral Crystal
  • Sapphire Crystal

Why not first learn the pros and cons of each of these types of watch crystals. 

Acrylic Crystal

Acrylic crystal is a watch crystal made from plastic. It’s the most easily scratched. But a plastic watch crystal is the easiest to remove scratches from at home.

Acrylic crystal is also the cheapest watch crystal to have replaced.

You’ll often find acrylic crystal on vintage watches, inexpensive watches, and military watches.

Check out our guide on how to remove scratches from watch crystal that’s made from plastic i.e. acrylic crystal.

Mineral Crystal

Mineral crystal is a watch crystal made from glass. It’s not as easily scratched as acrylic crystal, but not as scratch resistant as sapphire watch crystal.

When mineral crystal is scratched, these scratches can’t easily be removed at home. You’ll often need to have the mineral crystal replaced.

You’ll often find mineral crystal used on entry level and affordable watches.

Sapphire Crystal

Sapphire crystal is a watch crystal made from a kind of glass. Sapphire crystal is very scratch resistant and is the most scratch resistant of all the three main watch crystals.

Sapphire is very rarely scratched, but if it is it usually needs to be replaced. As scratches can’t be easily removed from sapphire crystal at home.

Sapphire crystal is the most popular crystal, and is the go to watch crystal for luxury watch brands.

How to determine if your watch crystal is glass or plastic?

If you want to find out if your watch crystal is made from glass or plastic. You can do a simple test at home.

First get your finger, and press it against the watch’s crystal. Then rub your finger from side to side against it. 

If there’s a squeaking noise then that means it’s an acrylic crystal, and made of plastic. 

If there’s no noise then the watch crystal is made of a type of glass. So it’s either mineral or sapphire crystal.

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How to determine if your watch crystal is mineral or sapphire?

Here is a simple test you can do at home to determine if your watch crystal is a mineral crystal or a sapphire crystal.

You just need to drop a small amount of water onto the watch crystal, and see how it reacts.

If the watch crystal is made from sapphire crystal, then the water on it will run off and there will only be a couple of drops left stuck to the crystal.

However, if the watch crystal is made of mineral crystal, then the water will spread over the entire crystal and stick to it.

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2. How to remove scratches from acrylic crystal (plastic)?

Acrylic crystal is the easiest watch crystal to remove scratches from. Even deep scratches.

Take a look at the steps taken by a watch enthusiast on YouTube called WatchKeeper. He shows us how to remove scratches from a domed acrylic crystal on an Omega watch.

What is needed to remove scratches from an acrylic crystal:

Photo of all the items you need to remove scratches from watch crystal made from plastic; masking tape, polywatch, microfiber cloths, and sandpaper
Remove Scratches From Watch Crystal Kit

Step 1: Protect the watch’s case

Use the masking tape to protect the watch’s case from the sandpaper.

Step 2: Sandpaper the acrylic crystal

Take the 600 grit sandpaper, and add one or two drops of water to it. Then gently sand down the watch’s crystal.

Stop and check on your progress regularly. Making sure you’re not too rough and that the watch case remains untouched by the sandpaper.

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Step 3: Polish your acrylic crystal

Final step is to polish your acrylic watch crystal. Take a bit of PolyWatch, or something similar.

Take a microfiber cloth and a few drops of your watch polish. Then work it over your acrylic crystal until you’re happy with the results.

It’s good to keep the masking tape on and continue protecting your watch’s case.

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By the end you should have a scratch free acrylic crystal again.

3. Can you remove scratches from mineral crystal or sapphire crystal (glass)?

If your watch crystal is made from mineral crystal or sapphire crystal. It’s a glass type of watch crystal, and these scratches are much more difficult to remove at home. 

Unlike acrylic watch crystal, as outlined above.

There are many YouTube videos claiming to show you how to remove scratches at home. 

However, many of these methods either don’t work, or can even damage your timepiece. So be careful on the advice that you follow.

Unfortunately, removing scratches from your mineral or sapphire watch crystal is very difficult, you should attempt it only if you are confident in your skills and are patient.

We recommend that the best way to remove glass watch crystal scratches is by replacing your mineral or sapphire watch crystal. You can get this done when you get your watch serviced.

4. Protect your watch crystal with a glass protector

A popular method to protect your watch crystal is by adding a glass protector to your watch crystal.

You can purchase glass protectors for any watch size on eBay or Amazon.

Often they look very discrete and will be a great way to keep mineral or sapphire crystal replacement costs down. 

They will also give you peace of mind while wearing your favorite watches.

Check out YouTuber; Wymen’s Corner of the World. He has a very entertaining video promoting how glass protectors will help keep your watches safe from scratches and repairs.

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Finally

You’re going to scratch your watch crystal at one time or another. The only way to protect your watch crystal completely from scratches is to never wear your watch again. Which isn’t fun or realistic. 

Acrylic crystal is the easiest type of watch crystal to remove the scratches from at home.

Whereas mineral crystal and sapphire crystal are very difficult to remove scratches from, and will more than likely just need to be replaced.

Learn more about watch crystals in our guide comparing the main types of watch crystals.

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