What's so bad about Polishing?
Like Tree37Likes

Thread: What's so bad about Polishing?

Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 58
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    12

    What's so bad about Polishing?

    Of all the different "cliques" I've been a part of during my life, I think the watch collector/lover group has, by far, the coolest people. That said, that doesn't mean we all always see eye to eye. On topics such as removing engraving from watch backs, there are those who see doing as being tantamount to sacrilege, and those like me who stand firm on the, "it's my watch now, I can do what I want" camp. (seriously though, if you bought a house that was perfect in every other way, but it hadn't been redecorated since the 70's, would you really keep all the shag rugs, dark paneling, and wallpaper that looked like the hideous Rolex champagne tapestry dial just because it was part of the houses provenance?)

    Which brings me to my point. Polishing. I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I hand polish my watches as soon as the fine hairline scratches become visible. I began doing so in 1990, when I bought my first Rolex from an AD (an Oyster Perpetual) which marked the beginning of my watch collecting, a passion that's even stronger now, 30-plus years later. I was a police officer at the time, so hand polishing metal was something I did nearly every day for more than twenty years. When my oyster was about a year old I noticed the hairline scratches, so one day I brought my polishing kit home and returned it to like-new condition. I won't bore you with the contents of my kit, but it included abrasive and non abrasive polishes and cleaners, various types of polishing cloths, etc. Polishing is part art, part science, and I'll admit that by the end of my career I was quite good at it.

    I still regularly polish my daily wear watch whenever it needs it. (although I just bought a Royal Oak, and I'm going nowhere near that combination of brushed and highly polished case. And another point: a while back I bought a vintage 1949 Vacheron & Constantin two-tone dial model from a small watch shop in Argentina. I'm not even slightly exaggerating when I say it looks as though, when the original owner bought it he left it in the box, put the box in a drawer, and the next time it saw daylight was when I bought it. The subtle tone-on-tone grey dial looks like it has never even been struck by a single ray of sunlight. My point: If I decide to sell it someday, will it be dismissed from consideration because it underwent restoration when in fact it hadn't?
    DiverBob likes this.

  2. #2
    Member JohnnyKarate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Re: What's so bad about Polishing?

    I enjoy polishing my watches and jewellery but i force myself to resist the urge. As i'm sure you know every time you polish it takes off a fine layer (especially gold). Over time they'll lose their sharp edges and shape ever so slightly. Imo the first few scratches really stick out but once it get lot's of scratches they all seem to blend together and don't stick out as much.

    I will occasionally run a 600 grit sand paper down my brushed bracelets every 6 months or so to get rid of those light desk diving marks. Only on steel though.

    Also just a heads up, if that is your actual email address as your username i would change it since you might be setting yourself up for a bunch of spam mail
    tonyfu919 likes this.

  3. #3
    Member Medusa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Juneau, Alaska
    Posts
    4,795

    Re: What's so bad about Polishing?

    What I think is so bad about polishing is -

    Removes metal.
    Rounds corners.
    Changes the watches finish from original.
    Gets dirty polishing compound in the cracks of the watch like between the case & case-back and the bezel area.
    De-values the watch.
    I would be upset if I bought a 98% watch and then found out it was polished.

    I don't polish my stainless watches but I have Scotchbrited or polished the bracelet to remove blemishes. I do polish my bronze watches.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member arcadelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,001

    What's so bad about Polishing?

    There is a vast difference between you cleaning (polishing) your watch by hand and a watchmaker or amateur poorly machine refinishing (also polishing) a watch. Itís the latter that most collectors are concerned about. However, some professionals do it better than others:

    https://omegaforums.net/threads/poli...on-here.30014/

    https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/th...00t-searambler
    CaptainCustard, fish70 and Hands90 like this.

  6. #5
    Member Medusa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Juneau, Alaska
    Posts
    4,795

    Re: What's so bad about Polishing?

    Quote Originally Posted by arcadelt View Post
    There is a vast difference between you cleaning (polishing) your watch by hand and a watchmaker or amateur poorly machine refinishing (also polishing) a watch. It’s the latter that most collectors are concerned about. However, some professionals do it better than others:

    https://omegaforums.net/threads/poli...on-here.30014/

    https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/th...00t-searambler
    I like how the Omega watch is taken apart for polishing. Filling the Doxa dings with weld surprised me. I never imagined that.
    DiverBob likes this.

  7. #6
    B79
    B79 is offline
    Member B79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Land Down Under
    Posts
    926

    Re: What's so bad about Polishing?

    I buy watches for me.
    If something even remotely makes me think I wonít keep it, I leave it as it is- just in case I want to flip it.
    Watches that are keepers are refinished when serviced (case, crystal, bracelet only). I like these keepers looking as best as I can for me. I dont get sentimental over scratches and at the same time they donít bother me enough to fix ASAP.
    I donít let anyone touch the dial, hands etc though. I have boundaries

  8. #7
    Member Triton9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    5,428

    Re: What's so bad about Polishing?

    Only Rolex or Patek watch is worth non polish. Other than that, I will take a good looking well polish vintage over some scratch battle vintage watch. The polish will not devalue but in fact increase the selling price.
    " A great time piece on your wrist show you are serious of time "

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    1,193

    Re: What's so bad about Polishing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Triton9 View Post
    Only Rolex or Patek watch is worth non polish. Other than that, I will take a good looking well polish vintage over some scratch battle vintage watch. The polish will not devalue but in fact increase the selling price.
    Well, youíre totally wrong there. Plenty of watches that are not from those two brands will lose value if polished. For example, a pre-moon Speedmaster. Polishing will definitely decrease value in lots of vintage watches.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    rfortson likes this.

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    12

    Re: What's so bad about Polishing?

    When I said part art, part science what I meant was, if you know what your doing it's actually quite easy to avoid rounding corners. I'm not trying to be a wise ass but the way you do it is by not doing it, specifically, don't rub the corners with anything abrasive. if you place your polishing cloth around a firm but pliable, flat piece of rubber, then polish towards the corner from the side and then the top, you are in fact making the corner even sharper. You also bring up the, "removes metal" myth. If I gave you a flat piece of stainless steel 1/32 inch thick, a stack of polishing cloths and the most abrasive compound -not polish, but compound- available, then you spent eight hours a day, every day for a year, I submit that even with a micrometer the amount of metal you removed would be immeasurable. So imagine how much metal would be removed by 45 minutes with a mild abrasive.

    I'm glad you made your comment because I'm starting to understand why so many people on this forum say similar things. You honestly don't understand the difference between polishing something and taking a high speed electric buffer, using a heavy compound, then holding the buffer in the same spot for an extended period on corner or edge until the metal heats to a point where the metal actually distorts. Edges don't get rounded because metal was removed, they get rounded because the were heated to a point where the metal distorted.

    I think I can provide an example that will prove what I'm saying is correct. When I was in high school I worked part-time at an auto body shop. Because I was just a lacky, I was always given the least desirable task: wet sanding freshly painted cars. Now remember the piece of stainless you polished for nearly 3000 hours and didn't even remove a measurable amount of metal? The thickness of paint on a car is something you can measure in increments of thousandths, it also extremely soft, especially when compared to stainless steel. To wet sand a car you start with 400 grit sandpaper, which by the way, is exponentially more abrasive than even the heaviest compound. You wrap the paper around the block and, with great downward pressure repeatedly go back and forth across the relatively soft paint until the paint has a uniform, flat luster. You then repeat the process with 600 grit, then again with 800 or 1200 grit after which the paint has a uniform flat appearance. The final step is to run a high speed buffer with compound over the car until the paint is lustrous.

    I want to say again that in no way am I trying to be a smart ass, my intention is to shine a light on the myths about polishing watches that are so widespread they are accepted as fact. Using my comparison with wet sanding a car covered with very soft paint whose thickness can be measured in thousandths by using abrasive sandpaper repeatedly proves beyond any possible doubt that rubbing stainless steel with a cloth and mildly abrasive polish for 45 minutes simply, logically, cannot damage the watch.

    Hopefully, the lesson learned is that there is a night and day difference between abusing a watch by subjecting it to a level of heat so high it distorts the metal (But admittedly it will be really shiney) is not the same as polishing a watch. I'll get off my soapbox now.

  11. #10
    Member Triton9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    5,428

    Re: What's so bad about Polishing?

    Quote Originally Posted by kepa View Post
    Well, you’re totally wrong there. Plenty of watches that are not from those two brands will lose value if polished. For example, a pre-moon Speedmaster. Polishing will definitely decrease value in lots of vintage watches.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I polished a $350 seamaster 1012 automatic from scratch battle to decent condition and sold for $399. Do you think they care about being polish?

    Check out ebay of many SouthKorea seller doing a good job polish and restore many omega vintage seamaster and making good money out of it.
    " A great time piece on your wrist show you are serious of time "

Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts