It's frustrating when you buy a new wristwatch, only to discover an unsightly scratch embedded into the crystal. Perhaps you accidentally bumped it into a wall, or maybe your son or daughter got a hold of it when you weren't looking. Regardless, crystal scratches do occur, but you can often prevent them by following some simple steps.
Understanding the Different Crystals
There are several different types of crystals used in the construction of wristwatches, each of which has its own level of “hardness.” While these crystals may look the same from an outsider's perspective, some of them are more resistant to scratches than others. Acrylic, for instance, has long been the de-facto choice of watch crystals up until the 1980s. Acrylic is inexpensive and readily available, but it's also prone to scratches.
A step up from acrylic is mineral glass. As the name suggests, this type of crystal is made from the melting of minerals, which subsequently forms a durable glass-like material. Sapphire crystals, however, offer an even higher level of protection against scratches. On the Mohs mineral hardness scale, sapphire scores a 9 out of 10, meaning it's just slightly weaker than diamond.
Watch Where You Store Your Wrist
I think we've all been guilty of doing this at some point in time: when you get home after a long day at work, you may toss your wristwatch on the coffee table or kitchen counter without thinking twice. In doing so, however, you increase the risk of scratching the crystal. A smarter and safer place to store a watch is inside a felt-covered jewelry box or watch case.
Use a Screen Protector
Another tip to help protect your crystal from scratches is to use a screen protector. There are several different types of screen protectors available, one of which is KlearKare. The KlearKare protector is made of a high-grade invisible material that's placed over the crystal of a wristwatch, protecting it from stress and damage.
Help! I've Scratched My Crystal
Try not to panic if you notice a scratch on your crystal. I know that's easier said than done, but you can often repair minor scratches with a simple DIY fix. Acrylic crystals, for instance, can be repaired using toothpaste. Technically, you aren't “repairing” the scratch, but rather you are buffing the surrounding crystal to smooth it out. Toothpaste is highly abrasive, so it's able to smooth out acrylic and other weak crystal materials. And if all else fails, you can always replace the crystal with a new one.