Are you tired of looking at your old, worn-out watch and wishing it could look brand new again?

Do you want to restore your timepiece to its former glory but don’t know where to start?

Look no further than watch refurbishment!

This process can breathe new life into your beloved accessory, making it look and function like it did when you first bought it. In this article, I’ll explore the steps involved in watch refurbishment, common issues you may encounter, and how to maintain your newly refurbished watch. Plus, I’ll weigh the pros and cons of professional versus DIY refurbishment. So, grab your favorite timepiece and let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Regular maintenance and refurbishment of watches can save you money in the long run by prolonging the life and good looks of the watch.
  • The first step in watch refurbishment is inspection and analysis to gather information about the watch’s make, model, and specific issues that need to be addressed.
  • Having your watch serviced periodically is important to prevent damage and ensure it continues to work properly.
  • Regular maintenance is essential to keep a refurbished watch in good condition.
  • Professional cleaning is recommended for jewelry to ensure a thorough cleaning and prevent potential damage.
  • The cost of watch refurbishment varies depending on the type of repair needed and the brand of the watch.

Watch Refurbishment

Watches are more than just timekeepers; they are often treasured pieces of jewelry that hold sentimental value. Regular maintenance of watches is important to keep them in good condition and maintain their value.

Watch refurbishment is the process of restoring a watch to its original condition, and it involves cleaning, repairing, and replacing parts as necessary.

Regular Maintenance Saves You Money

Regular maintenance of watches can save you money in the long run by prolonging the life and good looks of the watch. Everyday pollutants, soaps, and perfumes become embedded in the watch bracelet, causing excessive wear and requiring premature replacement of the bracelet.

Regular cleaning of the watch case and bracelet can prevent this from happening.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaning is an efficient way to remove pollutants like fingerprint oils, dust, rust, dirt, flux, and oil from watches. Professional jewelry cleaning and repair can help to restore the shine of jewelry, including watches, and keep them in top condition.

Types of Watches That Can Be Refurbished

There are different types of watches that can be refurbished. The types of watches are classified according to how they are powered. The following are the different types of watches that can be refurbished:

  • Quartz watches: The most popular type of watch due to its extreme accuracy, limited maintenance needs, and affordability. These watches are battery-powered and are powered by a quartz crystal inside that vibrates at a certain rate per second.
  • Mechanical watches: The oldest type of watch, mechanical watches are still intricately crafted around the world. Full of moving parts, the mechanical watch typically requires yearly maintenance. These watches are powered by winding up the internal mechanism.
  • Automatic watches: These watches are similar to mechanical watches but have a self-winding mechanism that winds the watch as it is worn. Automatic watches also require yearly maintenance.
  • Vintage watches: These watches are considered antique and may require specialized restoration services. Some manufacturers offer in-house services, but many have a cut-off date for the age of the watch. Vintage watches may require more work and assessment than modern watches.

Steps in Watch Refurbishment

Inspection and Analysis

The first step in watch refurbishment is inspection and analysis. Before any restoration work can begin, it is important to gather information about the watch. This includes the make, model, and any specific issues that need to be addressed.

The watch is examined for any visible damage, such as scratches, dents, or cracks.

The watchmaker will also check for any internal issues that may affect the watch’s performance.


Once the watch has been inspected, it is time to disassemble it. The watchmaker carefully takes apart the watch, separating each component. This allows for a thorough cleaning and inspection of each part.


During the cleaning phase, every part of the watch is cleaned of unwanted oils and impurities. The watchmaker uses specialized cleaning solutions and tools to remove dirt, grime, and other debris. If any component needs to be replaced, it is taken care of at this stage.


After cleaning, the watch is reassembled. Each part is carefully put back into place, and the watchmaker ensures that everything fits together perfectly. This is a delicate process that requires precision and expertise.

Exterior Restoration

The exterior of the watch and all its components are meticulously cleaned to ensure that everything is ready for a perfect polish. Any scratches or dents are carefully removed, and the watchmaker ensures that the watch’s original finish is restored.


Polishing is an art, and it is done to restore the watch’s luster and remove scratches on the metal. The watchmaker uses specialized tools and techniques to achieve a mirror-like finish. This is the final step in the watch refurbishment process, and it leaves your watch looking brand new.

Jewelry Cleaning and Refurbishment

In addition to watch refurbishment, jewelry cleaning and refurbishment are also important to maintain your jewelry’s shine and sparkle. The process involves inspection, checking for loose or missing stones, replacing missing or damaged stones, stone matching, cleaning, and polishing.

The Jewelsmith offers jewelry refurbishment and cleaning services, which include hand-polishing the item to remove all scratches and restore it to its original shine or finish, rhodium plating to restore the ultra-white sparkle of white gold, ultrasonic cleaning to remove any dirt or debris from under the stones, and steam cleaning to restore the shine and sparkle to the heirloom.

Frequency of Refurbishment

The frequency of watch refurbishment or servicing depends on the watch model, how often it is worn, and how it is stored when not in use. As a general rule, most Swiss and German watch manufacturers recommend a complete overhaul every five years, while some suggest four years and others suggest up to ten years.

A good range to keep in mind is every five to seven years.

However, some watch experts suggest that a watch should be overhauled approximately every three to five years if it is worn frequently. A complete service is a complicated process that involves opening up the watch, taking it apart, cleaning and polishing it, replacing any worn-out parts, reassembling, lubricating, and regulating the movement, and changing the gaskets to ensure water resistance.

Common Issues in Watch Refurbishment

When it comes to watch refurbishment, there are several common issues that can be fixed during the process. Here are some examples of the most common issues:

Battery Loss

One of the most common issues with watches is battery loss. If you notice that your watch is losing time or has stopped working altogether, it may be due to a dead battery. This is a simple fix that can be done by a qualified watch repair specialist.

Water Damage

Another common issue with watches is water damage. If your watch has been exposed to water, it can cause damage to the internal components. It is important to have your watch serviced by a qualified repair shop to prevent any further damage.

Damage from Impact

Watches can also be damaged from impact, such as dropping it or hitting it against a hard surface. This can cause the watch to stop working or affect its accuracy. A qualified watch repair specialist can assess the damage and repair the watch accordingly.

Second Hand Skipping

If you notice that the second hand on your watch is skipping, it may be due to a mechanical issue. This can be fixed by a qualified watch repair specialist who can assess the issue and repair it accordingly.

The Importance of Periodic Servicing

It is important to have your watch serviced periodically to prevent damage to components and ensure that it continues to work without serious problems. A qualified watch repair specialist can assess your watch and perform any necessary repairs or maintenance.

Working with a Qualified Repair Shop

When it comes to repairing watches, it is recommended to work with a qualified repair shop to ensure that the repairs are done correctly and to prevent further damage to the watch. It is also important to note that self-repair or repair done by someone other than a watch repair specialist can forfeit any warranties the watch had and lead to costly bills that could have been avoided.

Therefore, it is best to opt for experts when your high-end luxury watch develops an issue.

Maintaining a Refurbished Watch

If you have a refurbished watch, it is important to keep it in good condition to ensure it lasts for years to come. Here are some tips for maintaining a refurbished watch:


Cleaning your watch is an essential part of maintaining its appearance and function. Here are some steps to follow when cleaning your watch:

1. Use a soft cloth: Use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe down the watch case and band. Avoid using abrasive materials or chemicals that could damage the watch.

2. Use water sparingly: If your watch is water-resistant, you can use a damp cloth to clean it. However, avoid getting water on the watch if it is not water-resistant.

3. Clean the band separately: If your watch has a leather or fabric band, remove it from the watch and clean it separately. Use a mild soap and water to clean the band, then let it air dry.

4. Avoid magnets: Keep your watch away from magnets, as they can disrupt the movement of the watch.

5. Store properly: When you are not wearing your watch, store it in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight.


In addition to cleaning your watch, regular maintenance is essential to keep it in good condition. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Regular servicing: It is recommended to service mechanical watches every 3-5 years to keep them in good condition. This involves taking the watch apart, cleaning it, and replacing any worn or damaged parts.
  • Battery replacement: If your watch has a battery, it will need to be replaced periodically. A general rule of thumb is to visit a local repair shop for a quick look or a battery replacement every year or two.
  • Waterproofing: If your watch is water-resistant, it may need to be re-waterproofed periodically. This involves replacing the gaskets that keep water out of the watch.
  • Calibration: If your watch is not keeping accurate time, it may need to be recalibrated. This involves adjusting the movement of the watch to keep it running correctly.

Signs that your watch needs maintenance

If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to take your watch to a watchmaker for maintenance:

  • Moisture: If there is moisture under the case or near the dial, it is a sign that the watch needs to be waterproofed and cleaned.
  • Loss of shine: If the watch band or case has lost its shine, it may need cleaning and restoration.
  • Stuttering or jumping hands: If the second hand is stuttering or jumping in 2 or 3-second intervals, it may be an “end-of-life” indicator, and the watch needs a new battery.
  • Rattling sound: If there is a rattle coming from the watch case, it may indicate that a piece of the movement broke off or a screw is loose, and it needs to be taken to a watchmaker for repair.
  • Certain functions no longer work correctly: If certain functions of the watch no longer work correctly, it may need an overhaul and recalibration to restore it to proper function.

Reviving the Beauty of Your Timepiece: The Importance of Watch Refurbishment

As someone who loves to accessorize with jewelry, you know that a watch is more than just a time-telling device. It’s a statement piece that can elevate any outfit and add a touch of sophistication to your overall look.

However, over time, your watch can lose its shine and luster, making it look dull and unappealing.

This is where watch refurbishment comes in.

Watch refurbishment is the process of restoring your timepiece to its former glory.

It involves cleaning, polishing, and repairing any damages to the watch’s exterior and interior.

By doing so, you can bring back the beauty of your watch and make it look brand new again.

But why is watch refurbishment relevant to your article about cleaning jewelry? Well, your watch is a piece of jewelry that requires special attention and care.

It’s not just a matter of wiping it down with a cloth.

A professional watch refurbishment service can ensure that your timepiece is thoroughly cleaned and polished, removing any dirt, grime, or scratches that may have accumulated over time.

In conclusion, if you want to keep your watch looking its best, watch refurbishment is a must.

It’s a small investment that can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your timepiece.

So, don’t neglect your watch – give it the care and attention it deserves, and it will continue to shine for years to come.

For more information:

Revive Your Timepiece: Watch Restoration 101

Professional vs DIY Watch Refurbishment

Professional vs DIY Watch Refurbishment: Why Professional Cleaning is Recommended

Cleaning and polishing your jewelry at home may seem like a cost-effective option, but it may not always be the best choice. While it is possible to clean your jewelry at home, it is still recommended to have it professionally cleaned periodically.

Professional jewelers use ultrasonic cleaners with high frequency sound waves and chemicals, which create bubbles that latch on to the dirt on the jewelry.

The high frequency sound waves pull the dirt away from the jewelry and bring them up to the surface.

Professional cleaning can ensure that your jewelry receives a very thorough cleaning, resulting in jewelry and stones that look as good as new.

Polishing jewelry is different from cleaning it. Cleaning refers to an actual deep cleaning of the jewelry to remove any dirt, grease, lotions, or skin oil from the jewelry, while polishing refers to the process of restoring the shine and luster of the jewelry.

Polishing can be done at home with DIY methods or by a professional jeweler.

However, polishing should be done with care, especially with intricate pieces, to yield the best results.

Why Professional Cleaning is Recommended?

Professional cleaning is recommended for several reasons. First, professional jewelers have the knowledge and expertise to clean and polish your jewelry without causing any damage to it. They use specialized equipment and chemicals that are not available to the general public.

Second, professional cleaning can ensure that your jewelry receives a very thorough cleaning, which may not be possible with DIY methods.

Finally, professional cleaning can help to prevent any potential damage to your jewelry, which can lead to costly repairs in the future.

When to Have Your Jewelry Professionally Cleaned?

For optimal results, it is suggested that a piece of jewelry, regardless of its metal type, be professionally cleaned, preferably at least once a year. However, if your jewelry is worn frequently or comes into contact with chemicals or lotions, it may need to be cleaned more often.

It is important to note that professional cleaning can be costly, but it is worth it to ensure that your jewelry looks its best and lasts for many years to come.

Cost of Watch Refurbishment

The cost of watch refurbishment can vary depending on the type of repair needed, the brand of the watch, and the availability of parts. Here are some estimates:

  • Battery replacement: A simple battery replacement can cost between $15 to $35.
  • Cleaning, oiling, and adjusting: The cost of cleaning, oiling, and adjusting a watch can range from $90 to $120 for a quartz watch and $120 for a mechanical watch.
  • Watch overhaul: The cost of a watch overhaul can range from $200 to $1000 or more depending on the brand, age, and movement of the watch.
  • Watch crystal replacement: The cost of a watch crystal replacement can range from $30 for an acrylic crystal to more than $150 for a sapphire crystal.
  • Specific watches: Some watch brands have specific repair costs. For example, a fine Swiss timepiece can cost between $250 to $1000 or more for a complete overhaul. Rolex, IWC, Omega, Patek Philipe, and Tag Heuer have specific repair costs ranging from $250 to $450.
  • Other repairs: Other repairs such as balance work and repairs, machine work, and dial refinish can cost between $65 to $100 minimum.

It is important to note that these are just estimates and the actual cost of watch refurbishment can vary depending on the specific repair needed and the watch brand.

Note: Please keep in mind that the estimate in this article is based on information available when it was written. It’s just for informational purposes and shouldn’t be taken as a promise of how much things will cost.

Prices and fees can change because of things like market changes, changes in regional costs, inflation, and other unforeseen circumstances.

Concluding thoughts and considerations

As we come to the end of this article on watch refurbishment, I can’t help but wonder about the cleaning of other types of jewelry. We’ve talked about the intricate steps involved in refurbishing a watch, but what about other pieces of jewelry that we wear every day?

It’s easy to forget that our jewelry needs cleaning too, especially when we wear it so often.

But just like a watch, jewelry can accumulate dirt and grime over time, which can dull its shine and even damage it.

So, the next time you’re thinking about getting your watch refurbished, why not take a look at your other pieces of jewelry too? Give them a good clean and see how much of a difference it makes.

You might be surprised at how much brighter and more beautiful they look.

In conclusion, watch refurbishment is a complex process that requires a lot of skill and attention to detail.

Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional, it’s important to understand the steps involved and the common issues that can arise.

And who knows, maybe this post has inspired you to take a closer look at your other pieces of jewelry and give them the TLC they deserve.

Looking for a new Ultrasonic jewelry cleaner?

Choosing a gadget can be very difficult if you know nothing about the technology.

Some will pay for features they do not need while others may not consider what they really want.

So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you focus on what is really important to you:

The Best Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners (For You!)

Best Practices For Using Ultrasonic Cleaners For Jewelry

Tip: Turn on the caption button if you need it. Choose ‘automatic translation’ in the settings button if you are not familiar with the english language. You may need to click on the language of the video first before your favorite language becomes available for translation.

Links and references

  1. 1. “The Watch Repairer’s Manual” by Henry B. Fried
  2. 2. “1901 Watch Repair Book”
  3. 3. “Watch Repair Tool’s you will need to start working on Watches” (YouTube video)
  4. 4. Bulova Watch Repair Manual (recommended in forum discussion)

My article on the topic:

Essential Watch Cleaning Guide

Personal reminder: (Article status: rough)