WATCH SELF SERVICE GUIDE
How to remove scratches from stainless steel watches
Removing minor scratches from Stainless Steel finishes
DO-IT-YOURSELF TIPS: Removing minor scratches from SS finishes.
Like wrinkles on your face, scratches on your watch give it character. But not everybody is philosophical about such things. I dont mind scratches that I put on a watch myself but feel a compulsion to remove scratches that I inherit from others on a second-hand watch. It makes little sense, but thats how it is. So if suddenly you feel an irresistible urge to remove scratches from your stainless-steel (SS) watches yourself, here are some tips.
There is no universal way to repair, clean, or polish all SS surfaces: you must use different methods for different finishes. They are not without risk, the only safe way being to send the watch to a jeweller. But if you are adventurous and persistent, the results can be very rewarding.
Polished Stainless Steel
For fine scratches, I’ve found that nothing beats a jewellers cloth, like the Pioneer/Shino Polishing Cloth. It is a double cloth. The inner cloth is impregnated with a red polishing powder (ferric oxide or rouge, i.e., your common rust). The outer cloth protects your hand from the nasty red stain and is also used to give the final polish. This jewellers polishing cloth works even better on gold. You may also use Sylvet washable or the double sided jewellers cloth. The only other tools you need are elbow grease and common sense.
For deep scratches, use Brasso Silver polish (UK) usually sold in super markets stores and hardware stores. Brasso is cotton impregnated with a strong cleaner/polisher. It has an unpleasant smell (like the polishing compound for cars) but works fast, leaving behind only faint scratches that can be removed with a jewellers cloth. And presto, you’ve got a mirror finish! Well, not quite.
CAVEAT: You will always leave microscopic scratches on a highly polished SS (or gold) surface. These ultra-fine scratches are visible only in bright light and from a certain angle. The only perfect finish Ive seen is a factory finish. Even jobs done by jewellers are still inferior to the factory mirror finish. I don't know why.