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How To Polish Stainless Steel Watches


I've owned a few watches in my days - Guess, Timex, and for the past 10+ years, Seiko has been my favorite. They have the awesome design, not too cheap, not too expensive, just right. Most of the Seiko models come with a Sapphire Crystal face surrounded with stainless steel case and band. But as careful as I am, I always seem to get the stainless steel all scratched up within weeks. So I found a practical way to get my stainless steel watches looking practically new again!


Stainless Steel Watch Polishing


Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance and familiar lustre make it an ideal material for many applications. There are over 150 grades of stainless steel, of which fifteen are most commonly used. Most watches these days are made of 316L, 904L or Surgical Grade Stainless Steel.

As pretty as they are, these metals are prone to scraches and scraps. Rather then paying a jeweler every few weeks or months, I wanted a more economical way to do it myself. Althought there are differnt types of stainless steel or Stainless steel grades, these techniques for polishing will work for anyone owning a stainless steel watch.


Review of products for Stainless Steel Watch


Flitz Metal Polish

This product is a thick paste, thicker then toothpaste. It has a slight oder and seems to make my watch shiner. However, I have to say you can get the job done easier with a Cape Cod cloth. Basically it does ok for 98% of scratches but if you have deep scratches, try the Cape Code. One tip though - do not use this on brushed steel or you can kiss the brushing good bye.


Cape Cod Polish Cloth

These were excellent in polishing my stainless steel watch. They do have a strong (but pleasant) odor, so I recommend using them in a well-ventilated area and wearing some latex gloves. The manufacturer recommends using thse on polished metal surfaces, NOT brushed metal surfaces. These cloths take off a fine layer of metal as you rub.


MTL Polishing Cloth Kit

The entire kit comes packed in a metal can and inside you will find twelve individual polishing cloths wrapped in a plastic film and sealed (2) per plastic bag, one buffing cloth and one pair of latex gloves. The directions are on the lid of the can in English and French. This was also good for removing superficial scratches on your stainless steel or gold watch. Its not designed for deep scratches thought.


BlueMagic 400 Metal Polish Cream

This stuff is definitely not organic and smells HEAVILY of ammonia. But it also does great on my stainless steel watches. Light scratches will polish out well with just light pressure. Becareful as it will remove metal. It is quite messy so I recommend wearing gloves.


Techniques to Polish a Stainless Steel Watch


1. Rub the surface of the watch with a soft cloth to remove dirt. Often, grime will collect in crevices in the band and around the watch face. If this is the case, use the dry toothbrush to reach into the spaces and dislodge dirt.
2. Apply a polish material of your choice to a cloth and thoroughly rub all sides of the watch face. Start by rubbing in a circular motion. Dip the brush into polishing material and scrub the band on the top and bottom. Wipe clean with the cloth. If the watch band is removable, remove the watch band from the face, and scrub with brush.
Remember to start out gentle as these materials are designed to remove metal. You can increase the pressure as you get more experience and a better feel of the process.
3. Rinse the watch band with water, being careful not to let it touch the watch face if the band is still attached and the watch is not water resistant. Apply a small amount of water to the cloth, wring it out and wipe the face clean.
4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 until you get the desired look. Rinse the watch band thoroughly, and wipe it dry with a cloth.


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