What can be done if the watch glass gets scratched or breaks?
There’s a subtle difference between looking and inspecting.
We are used to “looking up the time”, but how often do we take time to check whether the watch we usually wear on our wrist is showing signs of wear on the glass? An unintentional knock, that we took no notice of, or an accidental fall may have scratched the glass.
Before looking away from this page to focus your attention on whether the glass of your timepiece is intact, we invite you to read this article which will help you to realise what maintenance operations can be performed on a broken or damaged watch glass.
How to remove scratches from a watch glass
If the glass on your watch is scratched, this doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be replaced.
The first thing that the Help Centre will verify is whether the watch is still waterproof, and if the glass is just lined, depending on the type of watch, the glass can be either be polished or replaced.
Glass polishing can only be done on vintage models with a Plexiglas watch cover, a material that is highly shock resistant, but scratches easily. Alternatively, if one wishes, for this kind of timepiece one can also proceed to replace the glass.
Since the mid-eighties, with the exception of a few vintage style watches, major watchmakers are now using sapphire glass, an anti-scratch material that is highly impact resistant. Sapphire is a very hard synthetic stone – a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale – that only one other stone can scratch: diamond. It should be noted that in order to obtain the ultimate transparency of the glass, the polishing has to be done using this precious material.
For these kinds of watches the only way forward in the presence of scratching is replacement.
However, if the waterproof test shows that the glass no longer guarantees the watches’ water resistance, then both for Plexiglas and sapphire watches, it is essential to have the watch completely serviced to remove any dampness and humidity that may have seeped into the case, before replacing the glass.
What should one do if the watch glass breaks?
In the event of the glass on your watch breaking, whether it is made of Plexiglas or sapphire, there’s only one option: have the watch completely serviced and replace the glass.
Our Servicing centre suggests that the first operation to be carried out is to stop the watch mechanism: place the watch crown in the hour adjustment position in order to stop the watches’ movement and avoid any fragments scratching the dial by being dragged across it by the watch hands or, worse still, ending up impeding or even damaging the movement.
Then you must take the watch to the nearest certified Servicing Centre to have the watch repaired. To guarantee the highest quality in the event of a sapphire watch breakage, the Hausmann & Co. watch specialists, following the watchmakers’ prescriptions, underline the need to dismantle the entire calibre and proceed with a complete revision of the watch. This operation, however exacting it may seem, is the only one that can guarantee the perfect operation of the watch over time by completely eliminating any trace of glass inside the case.
How to avoid breaking your watch?
Check the watch glass every time it takes a slight knock and if you notice any slight lining of the face, head over to a servicing centre to make sure your watch is still waterproof. Preventing the scratches from getting any deeper will avoid you having to have the watch serviced.
Be careful when wearing the watch: the statistics of the servicing centres show that most glass breakages and dented cases are the result of falls from a height of 1.5 m., therefore linked to the moment when one fastens the watch strap or slips the watch bracelet onto the wrist.