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How to Wow Your Customers With Watch Polishing

Take extra time that your competitors don’t to make those watches pop!

“Wow! My watch looks great!”


Don’t you just love to hear those words from your customer after you deliver their watch repair? The customer’s first impression of the service you have provided often sets the tone for the rest of the season. A great looking polished and refined case and band seems to validate the cost of your customer’s watch repair. After all, the exterior of the watch is all your customer gets to see. So in turn, the customer determines the acceptability of our work by the final exterior appearance.

Of course, we have to be sure that all of the technical aspects of the movement are correct as well. A great looking case and band, however, will not cover up poor technical workmanship. On the other hand, a precisely performed watch repair installed in an unpolished or dirty case makes the entire job appear halfway done.

Let’s define a few terms and talk about how to light your customers’ eyes with a little watch polishing–


watch polishing image

Know your buff

Do you buff, polish or just clean the watch cases and bands? Do you know the difference? Buffing, also called pre-finishing, is an abrasive process that can actually remove a minor amount of the surface of the case or band. White Diamond Tripoli (#47-3280) or Merard AVIVOR Polishing Compound (#47-3223) or other scratch removing compounds are great products for buffing out scratches or dings in the cases and bands. However, this can also remove the gold plating from watchcases! Plated cases need to be cleaned in the ultrasonic and not buffed.

Watch polishing

After buffing, you will need to polish. Apply this Watch Masking Tape (#47-3231), which comes in 3mm, 6mm, 7mm, and 8mm widths, to protect areas on the watch that you don’t want polished. Then, check out our supply of various rouges for finishing specific types of metals. Try using Merard ORAS Polishing Compound (#47-3225) to put that final high luster finish on metal bands and cases. However, be advised that polishing brass with Merard can contaminate the ultrasonic solution and turn other brass items in your tank dark.


After buffing and watch polishing, you need to put them in the ultrasonic. We recommend the L&R® Non-Ammoniated Watch Cleaner #566 (#54-4393). This product is a waterless, non-ammoniated solution formulated for use in either mechanical or ultrasonic cleaning units. It will not spot or streak. It does a great job removing the compound and rouge from the case and metal bands. And as with most ultrasonic solutions, it works better when heated.

Crystal clean

As a final thought, we find that people who do the best jobs in their professions do the little extra things better than anyone else. So here is an often-overlooked detail. How about the scratches on the watch crystal? Many times that part of the watch is neglected. And, after all, it is the place we look to actually see the time. Do you polish the crystal? It is the extra touch you can give to make the customer’s first impression one they will remember and tell their friends about. Try the Crystal-Kleer (Re-New-All) Plastic Renewer (#47-3100) and the PolyWatch Scratch Remover (#64-5100) as good scratch removers for all of those plastic crystals.

Here’s a quick step-by-step

watch polishing tools needed

Tools needed: 47-323134-2242 • 47-3225

watch polishing 3mm masking tape

Mask areas on the watch you don’t want polished

watch polishing buffing

Put that high luster finish on metal bands and cases

watch polishing difference polish left right side

Notice the polished (right) vs. unpolished (left) links

watch polishing wrist try on

Take that extra time that your competitors don’t with a little watch polishing to make those cases, bands, and crystals pop! Then you will be pleased when you hear your customer say, “Wow! My watch looks great!”

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