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Thread: Submariner disaster and polishing advice!

  1. #1

    Submariner disaster and polishing advice!

    This weekend my girlfriend inexplicably managed to chuck my prized and completely unpolished Sub in her hair products bag with a bunch of metal clips etc and..well... give it some patina.

    The end result is lots of little hairline scratched on the polished sides. They don't look deep and cannot be felt with a finger nail running over them so really are hairline marks I think. There are one or 2 deeper scratches in it anyway but not really noticeable and I certainly don't want to take much metal off getting these out (ruining the lines/chamfers)

    It's running fine but due a service anyway... so I think my options are:

    1. Send it to Rolex for full service with a note saying light polish only to remove the hairline marks (would they pay attention to this?)
    2. Send it one of the forum favourite watchmakers for full service and very light polish
    3. Use a forum fave watch maker for the service and a separate polishing specialist for the marks (any recommendations?)
    4. Leave it as is and enjoy it warts & all

    What do you think? Any advice welcome. My main concern it protecting the chamfers / case lines etc.

  2. #2
    Master
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    From memory Rocco at Watchworks,Bristol works on Rolex and has a lapping machine,if needed.
    Might be worthwhile to ask him .

  3. #3
    Master
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    So in general these so called marks are probably nothing. Wear it. Iím sure it will pick up a few more. In a few years when movement needs a service it will come back like new. Watches are meant for wearing just wear it.


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  4. #4
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Errmm 4.

  5. #5
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    4 all day long

  6. #6
    Thanks mate, hopefully it won't need a lapping machine!

  7. #7
    Master
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    Cape cod them, I swear Rolex owners these days are turning into a bunch of mary Anneís

  8. #8
    If they are just surface hairline marks why don't you just polish them out yourself? There is no magic about it.

    Doing this is totally different from removing scratches that are really obvious or can be felt with a fingernail.



    Mitch

  9. #9
    Grand Master
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    I sent the OP a very detailed post ( via PM) on how to refinish the polished sides himself. As Iíve stated many times, it isnít rocket science but you do need to understand what youíre doing, a piece of Cape Cod wrapped around your finger isnít the best way.

  10. #10
    Master
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    Option 5 dump girlfriend for causing you all this stress and this will then leave you more money for more watches...simples

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    I sent the OP a very detailed post ( via PM) on how to refinish the polished sides himself. As Iíve stated many times, it isnít rocket science but you do need to understand what youíre doing, a piece of Cape Cod wrapped around your finger isnít the best way.
    Haha, Paul I've just replied to your pm then seen this post! Thanks for the advice, really appreciated! Though I'm feeling pretty scared about taking a cape cod to it.... maybe I just need to man up and do it!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mjc1216 View Post
    Option 5 dump girlfriend for causing you all this stress and this will then leave you more money for more watches...simples
    This is the answer I think.... I'll start the separation proceedings tomorrow.

  13. #13
    WellÖ looks like tz is turning into wus and trf OMG MY SWEATER LEFT MARK ON MY LUXURY WATCHÖ

    I really hope this will not become a trend.

  14. #14
    Craftsman wainy001's Avatar
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    Number 4 defo.


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  15. #15
    Master
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    Leave it alone.

    It’s part of the story of the watch in my view. As my travel watch, my Moonwatch has some specific scratches I can relate to adventures or anecdotes which make it one if a kind in a good way.

  16. #16
    Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    I sent the OP a very detailed post ( via PM) on how to refinish the polished sides himself. As Iíve stated many times, it isnít rocket science but you do need to understand what youíre doing, a piece of Cape Cod wrapped around your finger isnít the best way.
    Care to share with the forum the best method, Paul? Iím only aware of the ďcape cod wrapped around fingerĒ approach that I have found works for me.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    Care to share with the forum the best method, Paul? Iím only aware of the ďcape cod wrapped around fingerĒ approach that I have found works for me.
    A second vote for this. Iíd love to hear how to remedy this sort of issue properly.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by WatchFanUK23 View Post
    A second vote for this. Iíd love to hear how to remedy this sort of issue properly.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    A third vote from me....


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  19. #19
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    Care to share with the forum the best method, Paul? I’m only aware of the “cape cod wrapped around finger” approach that I have found works for me.
    No.

    I’ve explained this many times over the years, I could spend another 20 mins typing, only to see my post disappear and be lost without trace. Life’s too short!

    Edit:
    Hairline scratches can be polished out with Cape Cod polishing cloths but you have to be v. careful not to polish the brushed/ grained surfaces, that’s where people go wrong. A better way is to obtain a small flat piece of hardwood (1cm 2.5cm ) and a cloth, a piece of yellow duster will do. Wrap the cloth around the wood and impregnated it with metal polish ( Autosol us ideal). Work away on the polished surfaces, using the block will avoid overlapping the edges and contacting the brushed areas, the metal polish will cut faster than Cape Cod but using the block will have a flatting effect and take the protruding tops off the scratches. Think of a scratch like a ploughed field, where does the metal go? On a microscopic scale it stands proud of the surface. If there are any linear scratches it helps to polish down the length of them, this helps to remove the with the absolute minimum of metal removal. Finish the job off with Cape Cod wrapped around the block, don’t press on hard.

    More significant scratches are best removed using fine wet and dry paper wrapped around a block, that may sound harsh but if its done properly the scratch can be removed with the absolute minimum of metal.


    Cut and paste from the PM I sent the OP last night.
    Last edited by walkerwek1958; 19th October 2020 at 22:31.

  20. #20
    Master
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    Brasso on a soft duster. A lapping machine would be a bit extreme for the problem described, I think.

  21. #21
    Journeyman
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    I hope the watch wasnít an HAIRloom?


    Sorry, couldnít resist.


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  22. #22
    Journeyman M1011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    No.

    Iíve explained this many times over the years, I could spend another 20 mins typing, only to see my post disappear and be lost without trace. Lifeís too short!

    Edit:
    Hairline scratches can be polished out with Cape Cod polishing cloths but you have to be v. careful not to polish the brushed/ grained surfaces, thatís where people go wrong. A better way is to obtain a small flat piece of hardwood (1cm 2.5cm ) and a cloth, a piece of yellow duster will do. Wrap the cloth around the wood and impregnated it with metal polish ( Autosol us ideal). Work away on the polished surfaces, using the block will avoid overlapping the edges and contacting the brushed areas, the metal polish will cut faster than Cape Cod but using the block will have a flatting effect and take the protruding tops off the scratches. Think of a scratch like a ploughed field, where does the metal go? On a microscopic scale it stands proud of the surface. If there are any linear scratches it helps to polish down the length of them, this helps to remove the with the absolute minimum of metal removal. Finish the job off with Cape Cod wrapped around the block, donít press on hard.

    More significant scratches are best removed using fine wet and dry paper wrapped around a block, that may sound harsh but if its done properly the scratch can be removed with the absolute minimum of metal.


    Cut and paste from the PM I sent the OP last night.
    Glad you remembered that copy & paste is a thing

  23. #23
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogroover View Post
    Brasso on a soft duster. A lapping machine would be a bit extreme for the problem described, I think.
    The problem with using anything soft is the risk of overlapping onto the brushed/grained area around the edges. A harder backing is far more effective at removing scratches whilst taking the absolute minimum of metal off, it's also a whole lot quicker and more force can be applied.

    I worked this out for myself based on previous experience refinishing cars, its the same principle as levelling/blocking but on a smaller scale. I suggest people think about this and try to visualise what's happening, its easier to do this for deeper scratches, but the principle's the same.

    Buy some 1500, 3000, 5000 and 7000 grit wet and dry paper, make a couple of small blocks from wood and flat hard rubber, buy a tube of Autosol, get hold of a soft polishing cloth, and finally buy some Cape Cod cloths. Compared to the silly money folks will spend on watchstraps etc this is a modest outlay! Follow my advice and see how well it works.

    The only additional equipment I use is a 4" soft polishing mop on a mechanical polisher, after masking the brushed areas with heat-proof tape I give the polished sections a quick blast on the polishing wheel to get the same lustre as a new watch, but after a few weeks wear that'll be lost as the watch acquires fine hairline scratches again.

    Seriously, lots of you could learn to do this, it isn`t hard. Same principles apply to refinishing acrylic crystals too, use polywatch as a final finish instead of Cape Cod but do the hard work using wet and dry followed by metal polish.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    Glad you remembered that copy & paste is a thing
    Yeah, but I post this advice every few months!!

  24. #24
    Master
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    You should not have done it in the first instance. Less hassle.

  25. #25
    Master Glen Goyne's Avatar
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    But what about the hair products, have they survived the impact with 904L steel?


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  26. #26
    Remember when there were tool watches and dress watches and the sub was among the former?

    I think your gf needs a real man.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    Remember when there were tool watches and dress watches and the sub was among the former?

    I think your gf needs a real man.


    6. Get a grip. Itís a watch. She hasnít dropped your first born.

  28. #28
    Master huytonman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdinand101 View Post
    This weekend my girlfriend inexplicably managed to chuck my prized and completely unpolished Sub in her hair products bag with a bunch of metal clips etc and..well... give it some patina.

    The end result is lots of little hairline scratched on the polished sides. They don't look deep and cannot be felt with a finger nail running over them so really are hairline marks I think. There are one or 2 deeper scratches in it anyway but not really noticeable and I certainly don't want to take much metal off getting these out (ruining the lines/chamfers)

    It's running fine but due a service anyway... so I think my options are:

    1. Send it to Rolex for full service with a note saying light polish only to remove the hairline marks (would they pay attention to this?)
    2. Send it one of the forum favourite watchmakers for full service and very light polish
    3. Use a forum fave watch maker for the service and a separate polishing specialist for the marks (any recommendations?)
    4. Leave it as is and enjoy it warts & all

    What do you think? Any advice welcome. My main concern it protecting the chamfers / case lines etc.
    Something similar happened to me once but the missus put mine in with her diamond rings...messed up the Sapphire very comprehensively. Given the cost to replace and the impact on future premiums I decided to go with my home insurance which covers these sort of events - if it has to go back to Rolex and they insist on a service NFU may ask for a contribution but in fairness they have never done this and just pay up whenever I have claimed for damage so check your contents insurance - dont ring them up though for advice and then decide against, from what I recall that would get logged as an event on their system and you could end up with higher premiums without making a claim, just be sure you are ready to do it when you contact them.
    Keith

  29. #29
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darko View Post


    6. Get a grip. Itís a watch. She hasnít dropped your first born.
    Yet!

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    Yet!
    Or left it in a bag of hair grips

  31. #31
    Master
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    Iíve been coming to the feeling that some forum people have become a bit over-sensitive about their watches. They exist for us to wear and enjoy, over the years. Of course they will get signs of wear, just like us. Eventually, get them serviced and gently repolished. Then wear them for plenty more years. They are not Ďinvestmentsí....that whole approach kills all the fun.

  32. #32
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by darko View Post


    6. Get a grip. Itís a watch. She hasnít dropped your first born.
    True but I believe those are self-repairing.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    Iíve been coming to the feeling that some forum people have become a bit over-sensitive about their watches. They exist for us to wear and enjoy, over the years. Of course they will get signs of wear, just like us. Eventually, get them serviced and gently repolished. Then wear them for plenty more years. They are not Ďinvestmentsí....that whole approach kills all the fun.
    https://www.captiongenerator.com/165...wnfall-of-TZUK

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  34. #34
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    No. 1 for sure.

    Hairline scratches on a dive watch, OMG!!!

    You need to spend at least £1,000 putting that right.

    It will also have the added benefit of you entertaining us with a "Is my Sub too polished?" thread...

    M

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    Last edited by snowman; 21st October 2020 at 14:22.
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    Iíve been coming to the feeling that some forum people have become a bit over-sensitive about their watches. They exist for us to wear and enjoy, over the years. Of course they will get signs of wear, just like us. Eventually, get them serviced and gently repolished. Then wear them for plenty more years. They are not Ďinvestmentsí....that whole approach kills all the fun.
    How many watches have you held on to for years? Just asking:-)

  36. #36
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Laughed my t!ts off at that

  37. #37
    Never fails to make me laugh out loud. Deserves more than the 202 views.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    Remember when there were tool watches and dress watches and the sub was among the former?

    I think your gf needs a real man.

    Clubber Lang?

  39. #39
    Is this a 'friend of mine' story??
    Were they your hair clips that really caused the 'damage'?

    Sent from my Mi A2 Lite using Tapatalk

  40. #40
    And to the good Reverend, are you thinking of the tooth paste in my turd drawer posts a couple of years back?
    I still sing the song occasionally with the ammended words and chuckle

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  41. #41
    Master
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    I always find it strange why old men, who should know better, always rant on about leaving watches alone and to allow them to retain all the knocks that they have received throughtout their life and to forget about the fact that they really, in all honesty, look bashed up and knackered.

    These same men expect their wives to splash on the make up in order to look younger and better and that seems a contradiction in terms. Either you value the knocks of age or you don't. The truth is that these old men have got it all wrong and the wives have got it right.

  42. #42
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Never fails to make me laugh out loud. Deserves more than the 202 views.
    Brilliant and poignant at the same time

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by nickyboyo View Post
    And to the good Reverend, are you thinking of the tooth paste in my turd drawer posts a couple of years back?
    I still sing the song occasionally with the ammended words and chuckle

    Sent from my Mi A2 Lite using Tapatalk
    ??

    Remind me, it sounds funny but I must have forgotten it.

  44. #44
    Craftsman Blueboy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    How many watches have you held on to for years? Just asking:-)
    All of mine (maybe for not too much longer though...)

  45. #45
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    No.

    Iíve explained this many times over the years, I could spend another 20 mins typing, only to see my post disappear and be lost without trace. Lifeís too short!

    Edit:
    Hairline scratches can be polished out with Cape Cod polishing cloths but you have to be v. careful not to polish the brushed/ grained surfaces, thatís where people go wrong. A better way is to obtain a small flat piece of hardwood (1cm 2.5cm ) and a cloth, a piece of yellow duster will do. Wrap the cloth around the wood and impregnated it with metal polish ( Autosol us ideal). Work away on the polished surfaces, using the block will avoid overlapping the edges and contacting the brushed areas, the metal polish will cut faster than Cape Cod but using the block will have a flatting effect and take the protruding tops off the scratches. Think of a scratch like a ploughed field, where does the metal go? On a microscopic scale it stands proud of the surface. If there are any linear scratches it helps to polish down the length of them, this helps to remove the with the absolute minimum of metal removal. Finish the job off with Cape Cod wrapped around the block, donít press on hard.

    More significant scratches are best removed using fine wet and dry paper wrapped around a block, that may sound harsh but if its done properly the scratch can be removed with the absolute minimum of metal.


    Cut and paste from the PM I sent the OP last night.

    That's really interesting.. I never gave it much thought, but I do wonder what happens on a microscopic level. Not just metal scratches, but when glasses and plates knock against each other. Or cutlery on plates.

    How does this differ on ceramic watches, Sinn hardening, or Damasko ice-hardening... at a microscopic level?



    Quote Originally Posted by darko View Post


    6. Get a grip. Itís a watch. She hasnít dropped your first born.
    There's still time!

  46. #46
    Craftsman
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    I think some on this forum would have a heart attack if they saw the cosmetic condition of some Rolex Subs. etc. I used to see when working in the North sea on a dive vessel. Those people used them for exactly what they were designed for and I never heard nobody talk about failures of the watches to do anything other than what they were intended for. Very refreshing attitudes to ownership of watches that could be relied on to perform day in day out in all sorts of environments.

  47. #47
    How are you disposing of her Body?

  48. #48
    Apprentice
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    Just wear it until the next RSC service, they will take care of it. I had my DJ36 worn everywhere (mountain hikes, beaches, bike rides) with loads of scratches on the case and bracelet, but once serviced it came back pretty immaculate. I honestly don't think polishing takes off that much metal anyways, at the end of the day depending on the interval of servicing, you can probably service the watch max 10 times in your life time.... so just wear it as much as you feel like and enjoy

  49. #49
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsong6688 View Post
    Just wear it until the next RSC service, they will take care of it. I had my DJ36 worn everywhere (mountain hikes, beaches, bike rides) with loads of scratches on the case and bracelet, but once serviced it came back pretty immaculate. I honestly don't think polishing takes off that much metal anyways, at the end of the day depending on the interval of servicing, you can probably service the watch max 10 times in your life time.... so just wear it as much as you feel like and enjoy
    But, but, but, but... think of the Resale value!



    M
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  50. #50
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    You need to leave the watch exactly as it is so that you can overly milk the situation and derive many and regular guilty favours.

    As soon as you and the girlfriend split up immediately whisk it off to Rolex to sort out as the patina no longer serves a purpose.

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