Old Watch Restroration

I know this blog post got nothing to do with photography in general. But in here I will use some of the basic technique I developed to clean up a watch, same way I would clean up certain parts of old cameras. This is an automatic watch, no winding needed. The casing is made out of metal, looked like brass, and chrome plated. One unusual thing is the clear piece on top of the watch is made of plastic instead of glass. Here is what I did. Oh yeah, I think this watch belonged to my Great Grandpa.

Here is a before photo of the watch itself. You can tell its quite dirty, and the top is heavily scratched.

Here is another view of the watch, seeing how dirty and scratched up it is.

First thing first, I did what I would do to anything that needs to be clean, using a damped tooth brush, brush away everything that will come off in this step. And then…

And then I decided to use some Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound (buffing compound/heavy cleaner), you can use metal polish for the metal part if you want. Buff everything with a work cloth/towel. For the plastic part, I actually hold the watch upside down and rub the surface on the cloth while pressing down slightly, because of how heavily it is scratched. After this step is done, brush off everything with a damp tooth brush and wipe it off. After that I used another finer rubbing compound for plastic and a different cloth for the clear plastic. Then, you use the tooth brush again and do a final cleaning.

Here is the finished product. Now you know the power of a tooth brush, rubbing compound, and a cloth. Do a little test spot on whatever you’re cleaning first,  some rubbing compound might be too strong for certain materials or paint. Proceed at your own risk.


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