There are many steps to follow when restoring a watch.
The dial and hands can be restored in several different ways. They can either be restored exactly as they were, but it’s also possible to give them a more modern look.
Polishing is one of the major step of the restoration process, and unlike what you may think, it’s also one of the steps that requiers the greatest skills.
In most of the modern watchmaking trainings, polishing is part of specific course, often optional.
To achieve a proper polishing, the lines and edges must be precisely preserved, in order to avoid distorting the shape of the watch case or bracelet, while removing most of the dents and scratches.
Below you can see 2 before/after examples of polishings: a watch case with a mirror finishing, and a bracelet with a brushed finish.
If a polishing is not properly done, the watch will most likely exhibit an over-polished look. The edges will be faded, deteriorating the original shape of the watch.
On the photo on the left, you can see a good example of an over-polished watch. Edges are faded, and finishing is approximate.
The polishing step must be taken care of very carefully, because most of the time, over-polishing cannot be rectified.
Example of polishing done by France Relume
Depending on the client’s wishes, some used spare parts can be replaced with brand new ones, as long as these parts are available from suppliers.