Mar 21, 2019149 views

Notes From The Cleaning Crew

Very curious to hear from the group on the general subject of watch cleaning and polishing. What do you use and where do you use it? Any special tricks you learned over the years? Any mistakes you've made? I lean towards divers and admit to taking a toothbrush and mild soap to my stainless bracelets now and then (amazing the amount of grime they can collect through hot Summer day). For the crystals and polished cases I've found this chammy-like cloth included with a tool kit I purchased (can't recall from who) works wonders--much better than those wispy swatches they include with your sun glasses. I almost wonder if it's treated with something (it works that well) but I suppose not. I'm aware of certain Jewelers Cloths but I'm not sure of the abrasives they contain. Any suggestions there? Finally, who will admit to running their NATOs and Zulus through the rinse cycle in their dishwasher? I hope I'm not going to be first!

Asheikm and StainlessOnly

I use a little ammonia and a tooth brush to clean my bracelets and the watch.
Diluted I hope!
High polished cases are the devils spawn. A gentle breeze scratches them. Cape cod cloths work fairly well but there are still micro swirlies. Can't be used on brushed finishes though. Tegimented/ice hardened cases like Sinn or Damasko are wondrous and eternal. I can't abide a scratched up watch personally. I'd rather be a common heathen and look at my phone for the time than wear a dinged up watch.
So far, I've had good luck with the SELVYT cloths I ordered from Rio Grande--very soft, no scratching noticed--with the naked eye. On the other hand, I'm with you 100% on the scratches and digs. Whenever my Daytonas begin to show those tell-tale signs of ownership, I'm quick to drop them into the nearest Rolex recycling bin, down at the local hardware store. No need to push them beyond a dozen or so wearings--they are what they are and nothing lasts forever...
jeweler here! though fair warning I know almost nothing about watches. any polishing cloth meant for precious metals is almost guaranteed to scratch a mineral or even sapphire crystal given enough time, but would probably do wonders for any tarnish that gathers on a silver bracelet. this is because most jewelry polishing cloths have red rouge imbued in the cloth. red rouge works well for polishing non ferrous precious metals, but would stain stainless steel (yeah, I know) or most crystals (especially acryllic and mineral, though also sapphire depending on the age of the crystal itself and the number of microscopic scrates in it.) they do, however, make cloths without polishing compound. I would recommend a selvyt premium polishing cloth, which tbh seems to be what you have in the picture. you can get them on they don't have any polishing compound in them, and have an equivelent natural grit of more than 20000, so they wont scratch your crystal. these would also work well to repolish a bracelet by rubbing a bit of green stainless rouge on the cloth for stainless steel and red rouge for non ferrous precious metals. just dont mix the two, as a compound made for one metal rarely plays well with other metals. also, any cloth with a rouge on it is unsuitable for lapidary work (crystal polishing).
Good info! I was pretty sure about the embedded abrasives but wasn't aware some of them wouldn't play well with stainless. Thanks for the tip about riogrande too, lotta interesting stuff there! Good video on the Selvyt polishing clothes here, btw:
Update: bought a couple of the SELVYTs as you suggested. The work great on the watches and my glasses too. Thanks for the suggestion!
I find that there is only one BEST cleaning method: Don't get your watch dirty in the first place
Now you tell me!
UPDATE: recently discovered a setting on the dishwasher marked "Automatic"--no idea yet how it works on Quartz.