How do you really know if a watch has been polished?
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  1. #1
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    How do you really know if a watch has been polished?

    They say a seasoned watchmaker can always tell- but for an amateur like myself- how can you tell if a watch has been under the buffing wheel? I’ve attached some photos of a couple of my crown guards and pushers for conversation, where it seems it would become most evident.

    If anyone has before or after photos, would love to see the effects!
    Attached Images Attached Images




  2. #2
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    Re: How do you really know if a watch has been polished?

    You can’t know for certain. If a watch was worn lightly and undergoes professional polishing where only a few micron is removed, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

  3. #3
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    What above poster said; if they're good, the point is you won't notice.

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  5. #4
    Member Fordham-NY's Avatar
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    Re: How do you really know if a watch has been polished?

    Polished once or twice, should be pretty hard to tell by the naked eye. Over polished, or polished poorly or too many times, you might be able to notice on a Sub by looking at the side of the lugs by where they come to a point, at the bottom, near the spring bars.

    The sides of a Sub, (your first pic), have no curves as the metal transitions from the brushed top to polished side.

    Good thread here: https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=235439
    Someone polished down the lugs on a GMT Master II so bad, the spring bar holes have been partially ground down... For example, the case of this Rolex look like an Omega Seamaster Pro...
    ..............Rolex
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  6. #5
    Member Don Nghia's Avatar
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    By experience, usually people can only say a watch is OVER polished or not. No one van say if it have ever been polished or not 🙂 !

  7. #6
    Member TwentiethCenturyFox's Avatar
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    Re: How do you really know if a watch has been polished?

    Age of the watch is one tip off I have used that is effective. If a Rolex sport watch is over 10-15 years old and gleams it is a safe bet it has been polished. Not a bad thing if it has not occurred several times. Different watch companies use different case materials so it helps if you know the brand.

  8. #7
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    Re: How do you really know if a watch has been polished?

    Still, babied unpolished vintage safe queens may gleam just fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by TwentiethCenturyFox View Post
    Age of the watch is one tip off I have used that is effective. If a Rolex sport watch is over 10-15 years old and gleams it is a safe bet it has been polished. Not a bad thing if it has not occurred several times. Different watch companies use different case materials so it helps if you know the brand.

  9. #8
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    Excellent feedback everyone.. I’m not sure why polishing is so seemingly frowned upon in some circles

  10. #9
    Member deweyfong's Avatar
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    Re: How do you really know if a watch has been polished?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNYC View Post
    Excellent feedback everyone.. Iím not sure why polishing is so seemingly frowned upon in some circles
    Most people want to keep their watches in absolutely original condition and allow it to age as-is. I understand both camps, but itís strange to see a patina-dialed watch that sports a like-new shine.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #10
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: How do you really know if a watch has been polished?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNYC View Post
    Excellent feedback everyone.. I’m not sure why polishing is so seemingly frowned upon in some circles
    Good question. I think that many owners are concerned about edge and curve definition being softened by polishing. Also when a matte surface is redone the surface can be inconsistent.
    DavidNYC likes this.

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