Thread: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

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  1. #1
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    Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    So I somehow managed to scratch the Hardlex on my SKX175. (9 out of 10 on Moh's scale...I'm very impressed with myself :gold ) Very light but visible and annoying. From reading the forum it looks like I have a few options...

    1. Use 'Polywatch' or Colgate toothpaste to polish the scratch out...maybe.
    2. Replace crystal with acrylic ($20-25 at repair shop?)
    3. Replace crystal with another Hardlex

    What should I do?

    How much would replacing with Hardlex cost if I go that route?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member Snowback's Avatar
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    Re: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    Duarte @NEWW charges $15.00 labor to replace a crystal & the price includes a 10 ATM pressure test. If you are interested, here's a link to his site: http://www.newatchworks.com/services/index.php
    I recently had a crystal replaced on an original Seiko 6309-7040 & it took less than a week from the time I sent it until I had it back. First class service & highly recommended! :gold I would check around before I used a local jeweler, as you never know what goes on in the back of their shop & there are certainly a lot of horror stories around about hacks scratching a case back. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Member JCraw's Avatar
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    Re: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowback View Post
    Duarte @NEWW charges $15.00 labor to replace a crystal & the price includes a 10 ATM pressure test. If you are interested, here's a link to his site: http://www.newatchworks.com/services/index.php
    I recently had a crystal replaced on an original Seiko 6309-7040 & it took less than a week from the time I sent it until I had it back. First class service & highly recommended! :gold I would check around before I used a local jeweler, as you never know what goes on in the back of their shop & there are certainly a lot of horror stories around about hacks scratching a case back. Good luck!
    Wow that looks like an awesome service. So you've had work done and you were happy?

    Definitely bookmarked. Thanks!
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  4. #4
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    Re: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    Not a bad deal...so did you replace it with sapphire or hardlex? Should I go for the sapphire?


    Quote Originally Posted by Snowback View Post
    Duarte @NEWW charges $15.00 labor to replace a crystal & the price includes a 10 ATM pressure test. If you are interested, here's a link to his site: http://www.newatchworks.com/services/index.php
    I recently had a crystal replaced on an original Seiko 6309-7040 & it took less than a week from the time I sent it until I had it back. First class service & highly recommended! :gold I would check around before I used a local jeweler, as you never know what goes on in the back of their shop & there are certainly a lot of horror stories around about hacks scratching a case back. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Member Snowback's Avatar
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    Re: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    If you scratched the Hardlex, I'd stick with that. Sapphire is not as forgiving to knocks & bangs are are quite a bit more expensive. It cost me ~$35.00 for an original Hardlex crystal for the 6309; acrylic crystals for the 6309 run about $10.00, but are plastic & scratch more easily. Not sure how available parts are for yours, but my 6309 is 27 years old & it's getting harder all the time to find parts (I like to keep my watches as original as possible).

  6. #6
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    Re: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    Thanks Snowback. That's where I'm going to send it for the Hardlex replacement. Mine's only three years old so parts shouldn't be an issue. I think I'm going to wait a little until I accumulate a few more scratches and bang up the bezel before sending it in. I think I'm unintentionally rough on my watches so it's only a matter of time...

    Know what you mean about tough finding parts for vinage watches.

    (Caution off topic!!!)I have a 25 year old Clinton diver (they sold them packed in water!) and I can't find anyone who is willing to restore it beacuse they might not be able to find the parts for it if they open it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowback View Post
    If you scratched the Hardlex, I'd stick with that. Sapphire is not as forgiving to knocks & bangs are are quite a bit more expensive. It cost me ~$35.00 for an original Hardlex crystal for the 6309; acrylic crystals for the 6309 run about $10.00, but are plastic & scratch more easily. Not sure how available parts are for yours, but my 6309 is 27 years old & it's getting harder all the time to find parts (I like to keep my watches as original as possible).

  7. #7
    Member Bluesummers's Avatar
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    Re: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    I thought sapphire was a 9/10 on Moh's scale. Is hardlex the same now?

  8. #8
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    Re: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    I thought I read that someplace. Maybe I'm wrong?


    ...just did a little research and I don't think I'm right...from the Seiko FAQ's...

    Seiko crystals are made from a variety of materials, including:

    Acrylic-Plastic crystals are not as scratch- or glare-resistant as are expensive formulations. Shallow scratches can be buffed out.

    Hardlex or Mineral-A heat-treated composite material containing barium and silicon. It withstands scratching and marring better than glass.

    Sapphire-The most durable of all crystals is three times as hard as Hardlex and ten times harder than acrylic.

    Sapphlex-A highly scratch-resistant composite made of Sapphire and Hardlex.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bluesummers View Post
    I thought sapphire was a 9/10 on Moh's scale. Is hardlex the same now?
    Last edited by nrvous; April 1st, 2007 at 18:06.

  9. #9
    Inactive Isthmus's Avatar
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    Re: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluesummers View Post
    I thought sapphire was a 9/10 on Moh's scale.
    You are correct. Sapphire grown in a crystal lattice is that hard flame formed sapphire (like the kind you find in common graduation rings) is not. The Sapphire crystals used in the overwhelming majority of watch crystals are artificially grown (in a boule which is then sliced and the pieces are then cut and polished to shape). This material is very hard an resistant to scratches from common every day use, but it is also (like diamonds) brittle and has a tendency to shatter on impact (provided the impact is just right).

    Hardlex is a Seiko proprietary type of hardened mineral crystal and comes in at least two different varieties (what goes in Seiko 5's is not the same quality of what goes into ISO divers). Hardlex is closer to 7 in the Moh's scale, but is much more flexible than sapphire. IOW's sapphire is harder but more brittle. Hardlex will scratch easier but resists impact much better. You can read more about Hardlex and the different types of it here:

    http://www.larrybiggs.net/scwf/index...&id=1037842045

    Sapphlex is also a Seiko proprietary type of hardened mineral crystal that is laminated (layered on the outer side of the crystal) with sapphire. The idea being to provide the best of both sapphires's superior scratch resistance and Hardlex's superior impact resistance.

    The types of plastics used to make acrylic crystals has varied widely throughout the years. From a performance POV there are acrylics out there which perform very well in professional divers (most dive computers today use acrylic crystals). The problems with acrylics are that although they can be made to be very very impact and preasure resistant (at least in higher end ones), they are highly susceptible to scratches from simple bumps that would normally not scratch a simple mineral crystal. Provided the scratches are not too deep, they can generally be easily buffed out with the appropriate tools.

    Buffing out scratches on mineral crystals (of any kind - sapphire included) is possible, but difficult and time consuming. even then if you are able to remove the scratch, you run the risk of altering the shape of the crystal in that spot. There are no real guaranties as to the quality of results. Although it is possible, it is usually not worth the time and effort to repolish a mineral crystal. Also, since replacements are generally inexpensive, most people prefer to just replace them.

    My advise to you is to buy a replacement Hardlex and replace your crystal. Check out Jules Borel. You can likely buy a replacement for about $10 (+/-).
    Last edited by Isthmus; April 1st, 2007 at 22:12.

  10. #10
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    Re: Well I managed to scratch the Hardlex...

    Great information. Thanks and I learned quite a bit! I've done a little searching on the forum for DIY crystal replacement and it looks pretty involved for me. Not sure I want to invest in the tools and practice on this watch. I think I will stick with the Hardlex and have it replaced at NE watchworks.



    Quote Originally Posted by Isthmus View Post
    You are correct. Sapphire grown in a crystal lattice is that hard flame formed sapphire (like the kind you find in common graduation rings) is not. The Sapphire crystals used in the overwhelming majority of watch crystals are artificially grown (in a boule which is then sliced and the pieces are then cut and polished to shape). This material is very hard an resistant to scratches from common every day use, but it is also (like diamonds) brittle and has a tendency to shatter on impact (provided the impact is just right).

    Hardlex is a Seiko proprietary type of hardened mineral crystal and comes in at least two different varieties (what goes in Seiko 5's is not the same quality of what goes into ISO divers). Hardlex is closer to 7 in the Moh's scale, but is much more flexible than sapphire. IOW's sapphire is harder but more brittle. Hardlex will scratch easier but resists impact much better. You can read more about Hardlex and the different types of it here:

    http://www.larrybiggs.net/scwf/index...&id=1037842045

    Sapphlex is also a Seiko proprietary type of hardened mineral crystal that is laminated (layered on the outer side of the crystal) with sapphire. The idea being to provide the best of both sapphires's superior scratch resistance and Hardlex's superior impact resistance.

    The types of plastics used to make acrylic crystals has varied widely throughout the years. From a performance POV there are acrylics out there which perform very well in professional divers (most dive computers today use acrylic crystals). The problems with acrylics are that although they can be made to be very very impact and preasure resistant (at least in higher end ones), they are highly susceptible to scratches from simple bumps that would normally not scratch a simple mineral crystal. Provided the scratches are not too deep, they can generally be easily buffed out with the appropriate tools.

    Buffing out scratches on mineral crystals (of any kind - sapphire included) is possible, but difficult and time consuming. even then if you are able to remove the scratch, you run the risk of altering the shape of the crystal in that spot. There are no real guaranties as to the quality of results. Although it is possible, it is usually not worth the time and effort to repolish a mineral crystal. Also, since replacements are generally inexpensive, most people prefer to just replace them.

    My advise to you is to buy a replacement Hardlex and replace your crystal. Check out Jules Borel. You can likely buy a replacement for about $10 (+/-).

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