Home Forums General Discussion Forum Can you polish a glass crystal Reply To: Can you polish a glass crystal


    Hi all. I’m in the process of polishing a crystal in an 18s case. It’s very thick.
    Actually I thought it was a bit ugly until I put an 1888 Waltham movement into it.
    The thick case matches the thick glass. The whole thing is heavy !! Love it !!
    The crystal is a tad short of 1/8 inch thick and is almost flat.
    It’s loaded with scratches. None of them extreme. So….
    Bob pointed you to cerium oxide powder which takes patience, as He said.
    I bought a pound of it on ebay. a double-lifetime supply !
    I also bought silicon carbide (a pound) 1500 grit. It’ll take off material faster than
    the cerium oxide. It’s put a foggy haze in the crystal so far but when I’m finished,
    the cerium oxide should make it look brand new. At least I hope !
    You’ll need something in the way of a dremel tool with a polishing pad.

    I’ve actually put a new crystal into another 18s case. It was exactly the right size.
    I put a fine bead of epoxy around the bezel and when half cured, removed the
    excess with a utility knife blade under my microscope. Only a trained eye could tell !
    But not likely the way to mount a crystal, I guess.
    Anybody out there know how the pros do it ? What tools are involved ?
    A fine watch movement looks cruddy in a nice case with a scratched and worn crystal.
    But a near perfect dial, a fine case and a brand new crystal makes for a stunning antique !

    By the way, silicon carbide and cerium oxide works very well for polishing any metals
    My 18s case shines like a mirror. Be careful though. The surface metal is plated on, usually.
    Take too much off and it’s ruined. Or at least will need to be re-plated.
    Oh, Bob… I’m still having fun….