To polish or not to polish?
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  1. #1
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    To polish or not to polish?

    Hi all,

    Like most people, I try my best not to do any harm to my new watches but as expected, the harder you try to keep it from harm's way, accidents tend to happen.

    So my question is, should you send your watch for polishing if your watch picks up a scratch or two or should you just leave it be?


    When I was younger, it would bother the hell out of me that my brand new watch had a scratch, even if it was not noticeable but as I am now starting to build a proper collection of mechanical watches that I plan on keeping for the foreseeable future, I would like to see people's opinion on this.

    Discuss!

  2. #2
    Member Shikyo's Avatar
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    Re: To polish or not to polish?

    Leave it be. It's not possible to polish a watch without removing a tiny amount of material. The more often you get your watch re-finished, the further from the original look it will get. Watches are made out of metal and metal tends to get scratches from use. It simply wouldn't be very effective(not to mention the cost) to keep getting the watch re-finished because of few scratches.

    Use them for years and get it done with the service if after all that time it bothers you.
    Veda, lenny, X2-Elijah and 1 others like this.

  3. #3
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Re: To polish or not to polish?

    I wouldn't. If it was really scratched up and I was thinking of selling, then I might.
    Brad (@bradwatch)
    - appreciating fine affordable watches since 2011



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  5. #4
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    Re: To polish or not to polish?

    Thanks for your thoughts. I'm curious, do you think that scratches on watches diminishes its overall value? i.e. if you were looking to buy a used watch (probably not yet old enough to be vintage), would a scratch or two change deter you from making the leap?

  6. #5
    Member watch_hor's Avatar
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    Re: To polish or not to polish?

    Not a fan of polishing beyond the typical "touch-ups". Its very difficult to restore a factory finish with most polishing jobs making the piece "off" by just a bit, whether that's a slightly different brushing pattern when viewed from a certain angle or the more severe softening of edges that sometimes happen. My motto is to be careful, touch-up when you can with scotchbrite and cape cod otherwise leave the battle scars as they are. And for the same reasons even if selling a piece I will leave polishing to the discretion of the next owner and not make that decision for them.
    fld likes this.

  7. #6
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Re: To polish or not to polish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wong Chee Mun View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts. I'm curious, do you think that scratches on watches diminishes its overall value? i.e. if you were looking to buy a used watch (probably not yet old enough to be vintage), would a scratch or two change deter you from making the leap?
    Of course it would affect the value, but it would affect it differently for each person.

    Say there are two watches for sale. Both identical in every way, except one is pristine and the other has some scratching - nothing major but certainly enough to notice. If they were the same price, which would you rather buy?

    The relative difference in value between the two watches will vary depending on the buyer's feelings about scratches. Some might say that have almost the same value, others wouldn't even go near the scratched one. Most people will be somewhere in between.
    Brad (@bradwatch)
    - appreciating fine affordable watches since 2011



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    Re: To polish or not to polish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wong Chee Mun View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts. I'm curious, do you think that scratches on watches diminishes its overall value? i.e. if you were looking to buy a used watch (probably not yet old enough to be vintage), would a scratch or two change deter you from making the leap?
    I do believe for vintage rare pieces it is more valuable to auction it unpolished.

  9. #8
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Re: To polish or not to polish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Veda View Post
    I do believe for vintage rare pieces it is more valuable to auction it unpolished.
    And presumably even more valuable if it is untarnished in the first place?
    Brad (@bradwatch)
    - appreciating fine affordable watches since 2011



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    Re: To polish or not to polish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bradjhomes View Post
    And presumably even more valuable if it is untarnished in the first place?
    Obviously

  11. #10
    Member Vlance's Avatar
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    Re: To polish or not to polish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bradjhomes View Post
    I wouldn't. If it was really scratched up and I was thinking of selling, then I might.
    I hate when people sell their watches polished. Half the time its them, or some newb doing the work and I would prefer to have it scratched then to have rounded off edges.
    lenny, X2-Elijah and fld like this.

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