I recently added two vintage watches to my collection, both from the 1970s, and both with acrylic crystals (plexiglass). I had always heard that one of the benefits of plexiglass crystals, over sapphire crystal, was that if they got scratched up, it was incredibly easy to buff the scratches out using a product called Polywatch.
Having lived in the world of sapphire crystal for a long time, scared a scratch would show up each time I examined my watches, I took a look at the slightly scuffed up crystals on my new-old watches and wanted to make them scratch free again on my own.
So I picked up a few tubes of Polywatch for about $8 on Amazon, they came in the mail today and I set to work googling how to use the stuff and figuring it out on my own. It was pretty straightforward.
First, I used a lens cleaner to make sure there were no oils or debris on the watch crystal from being handled. The presence of hand oils gets in the way of the process, and its best to start with as clean a crystal as you can.
Second, I placed a small amount of Polywatch directly on the crystal (you don't need as much as you see in the animated GIF below). I found it was better to apply small amounts and buff it until it is gone, and then repeat.
Third, I began to rub the Polywatch into the crystal. A Q-Tip (cotton swab) didn't work great so I quickly switched to a piece of t-shirt and a cotton cleaning cloth from Varaet, which made it much easier to apply even pressure. A cotton ball can also be used.
I spent about three minutes quickly rubbing the crystal and adding more Polywatch with very firm pressure, and felt it get warm to the touch after I was done. From what I understand, part of the process is that by rubbing the crystal fast, the friction and chemical compound melts a very thin layer of the plexiglass, redepositing it into the scratches on the crystal.
Finally, after both crystals were done, I took a microfiber cloth and wiped any excess compound off the crystals and cleaned them up.
The results were spectacular and lived up to the hype I've read about online. Such a cheap tool to keep in your watch maintenance arsenal, especially if you love vintage plexiglass watches (Moonwatch purists I'm looking at you). Both crystals were much clearer and all the visible scratches I examined before using Polywatch were just gone. Highly recommended!
See the scratches near the 4, 5 and 9 o'clock markers. That's on the crystal not the dial.
Clean and clear. Took off a layer of general fog as well exposing the dial's beauty.