How to Repair a Scratched Watch Sapphire Crystal

Written By: Vahid Moradi

Accidents happen, and in the world of high-end luxury watches, there is no accident that carries the same sinking feeling as a watch glass scratch on the watch's face. A scratched watch glass face actually refers to a scratch in the watch crystals that sit on top of the watch face to protect it, but for brevity's sake, we will refer to the watch crystal as "the watch face" for the rest of this article and will teach you how to repair scratched watch face and polish watch crystal.

Before you bring your watch glass screen into a watch service and repair, you can try buffing out the mineral glass scratch at home, but this polishing process applies only if it is a certain type of watch glass.


So you're looking for a guide on how to repair watch belongings? Depending on the make and model of your watch, you either can or can't buff out the scratch at home with a polishing cloth. If your watch is made from plexiglass, as is the case for most sport types of watches, buffing out a mineral glass scratch should be doable, provided it's a scratch and not a deep gouge. On the other hand, if your watch has a watch crystal face, a scratch is a permanent scar that can only be remedied by replacing the crystal glass covering the watch's face.

Unfortunately, there are not many circumstances where the scratch in a sapphire crystal covering can be repaired without having a watch crystal replacement. Looking at how much is it to repair Rolex watch or how to repair a Rolex watch band?

Typically the cost of a new glass crystal replacement covering for your high-end luxury watch will be around $150 - not including the cost of the labor. If any glass dust gets into the mechanical workings of the face itself, the watch crystal repair might be a little more expensive as the glass crystal will need to be carefully removed to prevent long-term damage. Nonetheless, if you have a vintage watch or a luxury watch brand, it's best to have an expert watchmaker replace it with a new crystal.

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What Are The Benefits Of Plexiglass?

When looking at replacement crystal faces, it can help to explore other options like plexiglass. Obviously, one of the benefits of plexiglass is knowing that if your watch incurs damage in the form of light scratches, it won't have to be completely replaced. That being said, Plexiglass does get light scratches and scuffs more easily than sapphire watch crystals.

Plexiglass is a common crown replacement on watches that will be used for more rigorous activities like dive and pilot watches. Alternatively, sapphire glass and mineral glass crystal are more commonly used in more high end daily use luxury watches and dress watches.

Plexiglass is a softer material than sapphire glass which is why it takes less to scratch or scuff the surface or screen protector. The soft complexion of plexiglass is also what allows the glass to be buffed and shined with the right polishing process, making it easy to remove all those pesky, unwanted scratches by buffing in a circular motion. Similarly, it is the hard surface of a crystal sapphire covering that makes it so hard to scratch but nearly impossible to perform a watch repair should it become nicked.


Despite the inability to buff out a scratch on a sapphire glass face covering with a soft cloth, going with sapphire glass (or even mineral crystal) over plexiglass is absolutely worth it. A sapphire crystal face is a stunning way to elevate the look and feel of your luxury watch.

Even though this article has been very clear that sapphire watches cannot have a scratch buffed out, you shouldn't feel hesitant about taking the plunge with sapphire crystal as these watches are very hard to scratch in the first place.

Typically, watches made with sapphire crystal are billed as being "deep scratch resistant" due to the tenacity of the crystallized glass. However, this does not mean that sapphire crystal is scratch-proof. There are plenty of objects that can scratch a sapphire crystal; it's just harder to do. At the end of the day, while it may be costly, watch service is always available when a replacement crystal face is needed.


Many times Sapphire crystal is also listed as a "synthetic" sapphire watch crystal. This is simply due to the fact that the sapphire crystal used for watch coverings does not occur naturally and must be made rather than harvested.

The process of making the sapphire crystal requires an intricate approach wherein aluminum oxide is heated until it crystallizes. Disks are then cut and polished using a special saw hard enough to cut the mineral glass crystal, and from there, it is buffed and polished until it becomes suitable to be used to cover the face of a watch.


Unfortunately, the major difference between a sapphire crystal and a plexiglass watch is that while scratches on plexiglass can be buffed out, scratches on sapphire cannot be buffed out. If you do get a deep scratch on your sapphire crystal watch, the entire sapphire crystal needs to go in for a watch crystal replacement. For those stubborn scratches that simply cannot be buffed out at home on plexiglass, or for sapphire glass coverings that need replacing, come see CJ Charles for a watch repair that is as easy as it is economical. Whether it's a professional polishing and shine on plexiglass or a complete change with sapphire glass, we'll have the glass of your favorite timepiece looking good as new in no time!

Looking for more sapphire? Shop our sapphire jewelry today!


Written By: Vahid Morai

Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.

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