Possible to polish a glass crystal?
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Thread: Possible to polish a glass crystal?

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  1. #1
    Member mackguy's Avatar
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    Possible to polish a glass crystal?

    I just picked up this ~1950 Longines 9L last week... it runs splendidly, movement and dial look like new, and the GF case is in better than fair condition, but the crystal is a bit scratched/chipped. The crystal itself is part of why I got this watch as it's a pretty unique shape being both curved and beveled, so I'm not sure that replacement crystals would be easy/possible to come by.

    It does appear to be glass rather than plastic/acrylic.. Is it possible to get it polished out, or is a new crystal (or just living with this one) my only option?

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    Speedmaster 3513.53 (1996)| Constellation (1970's)
    | Longines 9L (1950) | Hamilton ViewMatic (2012)

  2. #2
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    Re: Possible to polish a glass crystal?

    Yes you can and I do it all the time just remove the glass crystal from the case first. To begin with use ordinary sanding paper and if the scratches are deep I start with 160 paper. I usually use grades 160, 800, then 1500 so that only the finest of scratches remain then I polish the crystal with cerium oxide to make a perfect shine.

    I show how a couple of pages into my vintage-quartz thread.
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/vin...tz-948936.html
    Last edited by Shum; August 18th, 2015 at 16:23.

  3. #3
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    Re: Possible to polish a glass crystal?

    Light scratches can be removed with Polywatch, while the deeper ones would need another sort of polishing- to get that done, simply visit a watchmaker. I remember when my long-time-no-wear quartz beater with a mineral crystal needed a good crystal polishing, I just brought it to a watchmaker and he polished it out in less than 10 minutes. I was also getting a new strap back then- I think he charged me for the strap only.
    It'd be an entirely different story if the crystal in your watch would be cracked- then you'd need a new one. And in case of these American-market "tank" watches I don't know how hard is it to get a new one- I'm on the other side of the pond.
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  5. #4
    Member mackguy's Avatar
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    Re: Possible to polish a glass crystal?

    Thanks for the great news, I thought there must be some way but wasn't sure.. There are some deeper "chips" that I may have to live with but it is not cracked thankfully.. Unfortunately in small-town USA the "local watchmaker" isn't something we have handy. I have got a few semi-local contacts that I haven't employed yet (one wanted a $25 "inspection fee" just to open up the case and take a look, and the other is just not in a convenient location for me).

    There is a local jeweler that works with someone so I may see if they can take a look..

    If I go with the DIY method, would the crystal normally just pop out of the case? I tried a bit last night to push it out, but didn't have any success and didn't want to risk damaging either the case or crystal so I left it alone.. how is this normally acheived?
    Speedmaster 3513.53 (1996)| Constellation (1970's)
    | Longines 9L (1950) | Hamilton ViewMatic (2012)

  6. #5
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    Re: Possible to polish a glass crystal?

    I have also used headlight polish. It works on small scratches and polishes the crystal nicely.
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  7. #6
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Possible to polish a glass crystal?

    $25 inspection fee? Did he run away from a psychiatric ward?
    Shum likes this.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    Villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged.
    Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  8. #7
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    Re: Possible to polish a glass crystal?

    There sounds to be a mix up in this thread so as to be clear if it's glass (not plastic) you must use Cerium oxide to polish it so no fast fix like on acrylic plastic. Crystals like this often have a lip that goes under the case edges so must then come out from inside the case.
    Last edited by Shum; August 18th, 2015 at 17:05.
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  9. #8
    Member mackguy's Avatar
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    Re: Possible to polish a glass crystal?

    I did try to remove it after separating the case halves.. May take a look again tonight. perhaps an ultrasonic bath (with movement removed of course) would free it up

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    Speedmaster 3513.53 (1996)| Constellation (1970's)
    | Longines 9L (1950) | Hamilton ViewMatic (2012)

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