Hesalite crystal of Speedmasters
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What is Hesalite : it is a brand name of a plexiglass , this is the material chosen by Omega to make the crystals of the Omega Speedmaster Professional. This was a logical choice in the end of the 50's but is it still a good material today ?

The Speedmaster Professional is available today with either the Hesalite crystal or Sapphire , Omega keeps the Hesalite version because lots of customers still prefer a watch as close a possible to the one approved by NASA.

I will try to expose here the advantages of the Hesalite crystal and explain how to polish off scratches on it.
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One of the biggest advantages of the Hesalite crystal is its shock resistance, I have personnally tested its resistance on a Speedmaster Professional crystal I had as a spare part :

I have used a little watchmaker hammer to try to break the crystal : even if banged VERY strongly nothing happened to the crystal despite a real horrible noise ! I could not imagine performing such a test with the watch! the crystal then has been hit with a standard hammer ... and survived perfectly the test.

Any glass or sapphire crystal would have broken in such conditions : the Hesalite crystal of the Speedmaster is really shockproof



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One of the real drawbacks of the Hesalite crystal is that it is subject to scratches , on the same crystal I have deeply scratched the surface using watchmaker twisers , the scratches are deep and VERY noticable : I never had so deep and horrible scratches wearing my Speedmaster

I will explain you here the process to remove enven the worse scratches on your crystals , the process might sound scary but works ! if you are working on the watch first of all protect all metallic pieces with scotch tape : the bezel is fragile on the Speedmaster and NEEDS to be protected



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Then you will need to deeply depolish the surface of the crystal (only if you have deep scratches some hair thin scratches can be removed without going through this process)

I am using a grade 600 abrasive , normally used to prepare surfaces to be painted. This kind of abrasive can be found in any general store , of course, it needs to have thin grains : 600 or 1000 is perfect. For deep scratches the process might be quite long.

I highly recommend you to make this process using a a few drops of water on the abrasive : it will prevent overheating of the surface and smooth the polishing.


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When the surface of your crystal is depolished, you can start the polishing process : you will find MANY different products to polish watch crystals : I have a personnal experience with 3 products : one of thoses is now discontinued so I'll not mention it.

I am using for this expenrience a product I have recently found : the "DISPLEX" , this product has been designed to remove scratches from the displays of mobile phones, it should be a product very easy to find either in mobile phone stores or on-line shopping.

The other similar product I have used before is the well known "POLYWATCH" which gave similar results.



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Use only a little amount of the polishing compound like shown on the picture , then polish the crystal with a CLEAN cloth : it is VERY important that your polishing cloth is totally clean and has not been exposed to any dust , otherwise you can not obtain a perfectly polished surface

Polish the crystal applying a certain force on the crystal for a minimum time of 2 minutes , then check for any remaining scratches. If some deep scratches remain it means that your depolishing process was not deep enough : go back to previous step with the abrasive

If only small scratches remain simply repolish the surface with the polishing paste for about 2 minutes.



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And that's it ! your crystal will look brand new !

I hope this little article on the Hesalite crystal has been helpfull to you

You can now feel a little less nervous about those Hesalite crystals which have a REAL interest for sport watches

Omega kept the Hesalite crystal on the Speedmaster Professional not only to respect the historical background of the watch but also for functionnal reasons


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as usual and for legal issues a little disclaimer :

if you intend to do this polishing by yourself you do it at your own risk . The webmaster of this site declines all responsability in case you might make any damages to your watch doing this process


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