WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've searched around the forums a bit browsing some of the old threads on the subject of re-finishing a watch after polishing, but I'm curious as to what people are using and if one technique/material is more effective than others. I've read of people using sanding blocks and fine grade sand paper to scouring pads. Any advice on what I should use or techniques to getting that NIB finish back is appreciated.

I've researched enough to get the basics (buy polish and apply) and have some Cape Cod and Mother's Mag on hand, but am looking for advice on getting the finish to look like the pics I've seen posted around here.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
626 Posts
For me the 3m scotch scouring pads have worked well to take care of small scuffs in brushed finishes. There are also Bergeon sand blocks that will give you the grade of brushing that gets as close as possible to factory finish, for Rolex for example.

I've tried all kinds of polishing agents including the ones you mention. For a true mirror polish that holds up to a 10x loupe with no micro-swirls you will need a professional or you need professional equipment and lots of practice. Don't use the Cape Cod unless you are perfectly alright with micro-swirls so big you can see them with the unaided eye. I also tried to put the Cape Cod agent on other substrates like q-tips, mc cloths and so on. It helps but not by much.

The best I could come up with was Mother's or other metal polishes actually rubbed in with my naked skin on the tip of my finger. This way I had the best control. You want ever decreasing pressure on each pass. Do clean the metal completely before each pass with new abrasive compound and lower pressure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Polishing is essentially put coarse set of scratches and then laying down finer and finer layers of scratches until you get a very smooth surface. This is different than something being shiny. I would recommend getting a variable speed lathe as doing a true polish by hand, even on something as small as a watch is a pain to polish. You will also need buffing wheels, polishing compounds (at least white and red for coarse and fine), and if you want a brushed surface, you will need to get brushes as well. Rio Grande Jewelry is a good place to start for supplies. All told, for buffs, brushes, lathe, and compounds you are only talking $75-$100 or so.

If you don't want to go through all of that, you can get a rouge cloth for polish and 3m pads for brushed, but it won't be the same as LNIB finish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Ok. So Cape Cod isn't the best compound to use. I'm polishing a few old Movado's that are in very rough shape, and I feel have greatly overstated when I said NIB. My main goal is to have back to a condition to where they are "clean" to the naked eye.

I feel a little less confident I will achieve the level of polish I was hoping for now. The only thing I have on hand close to a buffing wheel is on for Dremel. I assume that could work?

I apologize for implying I was looking for NIB. Still a newbie and got a bit over-excited after realizing I should be able to remove many of the scratches that are on some retired watches!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
Here's one of the better threads I've found on refinishing your watch. http://forums.watchuseek.com/f20/refinishing-your-watches-144273.html The tips from kontai69 are fantastic. I just picked up a Sandflex Handblock from eBay (hands down, best price w/shipping) last week and it is far superior to a 3M Scotchbrite pad for final finishing. Once you cut off small slices of the sand block, it is flexible and infinitely reusable. The fine texture of the sand block will not mat & degrade like a scotchbrite pad. Consequently, it's far more economical than a scotchbrite pad. Of course, individual results may very depending on how course your watch's original brushed finish is from the factory.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
626 Posts
OK. It's good you understand that these remedies will not bring your watch back to NIB level. They can make a screwed up watch wearable again. But for deeper scratches you actually need a machine to take off enough material, unless you want to be at it till your arm falls off.

Careful with the dremel. It turns very fast and the surface is small. Best used by expert hands. And those most often do use big polishing wheels. It's just a matter of how good you are at holding the watch to the wheel. There are people at the big companies that do nothing put polishing. It's an art.

Ok. So Cape Cod isn't the best compound to use. I'm polishing a few old Movado's that are in very rough shape, and I feel have greatly overstated when I said NIB. My main goal is to have back to a condition to where they are "clean" to the naked eye.

I feel a little less confident I will achieve the level of polish I was hoping for now. The only thing I have on hand close to a buffing wheel is on for Dremel. I assume that could work?

I apologize for implying I was looking for NIB. Still a newbie and got a bit over-excited after realizing I should be able to remove many of the scratches that are on some retired watches!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Hi, one thing I might suggest is taking your watch to be polished by a professional jeweler/watch repairman? I have had 2 of my watches polished, and they looked all but new after the polishing. Tourneau also offers this service, but it runs you over $100.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I have a question I'm wondering if anyone that has refinished their watch can answer. When polishing tiny areas of polished metal such as the "insets" between the links on this Juro (the outsides of the "t" on the band), can I get away with not taping off the brushed areas since I intend on brushing it after?

If not I may just leave them as is. They are recessed and have limited wear, I cannot justify the time it would take to tape them all off.

A little update. I quickly tried a sanding block on a small brushed area of one of the watches and it appears with some effort will do a superb job. I used a very fine grade and, for lack of a better term, finished it with a scotch brite. A little buffing later and some deep scratches were starting to fade with the light scratches gone. After finals tonight I will give it some time to see what I can acheive. I fear it's going to take a great deal of time. I'll take some before and afters and post them. Unless of course I fail miserably, then I will simply ignore this thread and hang my head low...
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top