Replacing a Cracked or Scratched Crystal On Your Watch
Here at Gray and Sons Jewelers, we are aware that accidents happen. One of our most common repair drop-offs brought in by clients is crystal replacements due to a shattered or dislocated crystal. What many clients are unaware of is that while some watches are able to keep running even after receiving a hit strong enough to break/remove the crystal, once the inner workings of a timepiece are exposed to the atmosphere, the entire movement mechanism is compromised.
Whether a client is picking up a watch they just purchased or just had us repaired here at Gray and Sons Jewelers, we make sure to always provide them with one pivotal piece of advice. This being, whenever putting on or taking off a watch, always do so above a surface at close proximity (i.e. your lap, a countertop, a bed, etc.). This is so that in the case the watch may fall, it falls only a couple of inches rather than a couple of feet.
As mentioned earlier, when a crystal is cracked or completely unattached from a watch, tiny particles, dust, or pieces of dirt are susceptible to entering the movement of the watch. This compromises the integrity of the movement which affects the quality of its performance in keeping time. It is for this reason that whenever a crystal replacement job enters our repair shop at Gray and Sons Jewelers, an entire service is done on the watch where we overhaul the movement as well as clean and polish the outer case and bracelet (if applicable).
First things first, we open the case back of the watch and look for any possibility of water entrance. If we find any rusted or damaged parts that need sourcing, we locate and replace them. Once we’ve diagnosed any issues in the watch and know what extra watch parts are needed, our watchmaker takes apart the watch piece by piece and prepares it for cleaning.
The watch movement, crystal, and watch stem are separated from the head and bracelet. The case and bracelet are given to our head polisher while our watchmakers begin working on the movement. Piece by piece, our watchmaker begins dismantling the watch’s mechanism evaluating every piece.
Once the watch parts that need sourcing are identified, our watchmaker prepares the timepiece’s wheels, springs, pivots, mainspring, barrel, and plates to be cleaned and sources the parts that are needed. We use six different cleaning solutions in an ultrasonic machine to make sure all dirt, dust, and dried oils are extracted from every crevice within the watch parts.
Once the watch parts are cleaned, the watchmaker starts to reassemble the movement while adding lubricants wherever designated and replacing all the gaskets for water resistance. This tedious process usually takes anywhere from two to five hours per watch! Of course, assuming the watchmaker isn’t interrupted and all parts continue functioning. Now is when a brand new acrylic crystal or sapphire crystal is placed on the watch.
While Gray and Sons’ watchmaker worked on the movement, we have our polisher give the watch cleaning and polish around the case to remove the dents or scratches. He then put the case in our ultrasonic machine for a bath and finally to rinse and dry.
Once our watchmaker puts together the movement and re-cases the watch, it's time for the final steps of our repair process. Before returning the client their watch, we must execute a final quality control process to ensure the watch runs as accurately as possible.
In this quality control, we measure the watch’s amplitude using special machines that listen to the heartbeat of the watch. We also test the watch’s water resistance with a machine that simulates a deep plunge using air pressure to check for leaks.
Additionally, we check that all complications are functioning fully (i.e. the hour, minute, seconds, day, date, month, moon phase, chronograph, etc.). If both amplitude and water tests pass, the watch gets put on our winding wheel for observation where it rotates and mimics the movement of a wrist for 6-8 hours. The watch must then rest and run for the next 20-30 hours.
With this machine, we can analyze the power reserve on the watch and make sure the automatic is providing power up to par from 24 - 36 hours. Our complete restoration process can take up to 8 weeks.
Get to Know More About Us, Gray and Sons Jewelers - Watch Specialists and Estate Jewelry Buying and Selling
For over 41 years, Gray and Sons have specialized in the luxury business of pre-owned watches and estate jewelry. Every item in our inventory is estate pieces in platinum, gold, and silver that have been repaired or restored and polished to like-new condition.
Every day customers come into our independent watch repair center to sell us their watches and jewelry items so our inventory is ever-growing. Through our constantly updated website, customers can request a free monthly catalog that includes our updated inventory, as many things come in every month.
Our sales associates are fluent in English, Spanish, French, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian so language barriers are often not a problem. Aside from buying, selling, and repairing, we also do trade-ins or take things in on consignment. For all your luxury needs, come visit us!
Our showroom is located in the heart of Miami Beach diagonally across the street from the world-renowned Bal Harbour Shops. If ever in the area, we highly recommend you come into our store; we’d love to meet you!
#1 Specialist on Watch Repairs
Visit Gray and Sons Jewelers is a one-stop source for all your luxury watches and high-end jewelry needs throughout Florida, especially in Miami, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, and Fort Lauderdale. Gray and Sons have an excellent reputation with many customers in New York, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Chicago. Access our website by clicking here for a free estimate.