My watch glass is broken, can it be replaced?

In most cases you can have a damaged watch glass replaced. In this article we tell you all about the different types of damage and how the glass can be repaired.

Is your watch glass damaged?

What a bad luck! You are doing some work around the house and you accidentally bump your watch against a protruding beam, resulting in a large crack in the glass. Fortunately, in most cases it is possible to have the glass replaced or repaired.

The main job of the watch glass is to protect the dial and the movement. So don’t spend too long with a damaged glass, as this can cause dirt and moisture to get into your precious watch.

If your watch is a quartz or automatic watch with a seconds hand, immediately pull out the crown to stop the hands. This prevents small shards of glass from permanently damaging the hands and internal mechanisms of the watch.

Automatic skeleton watch
▴ Automatic skeleton watch

Quartz ladies chronograph
▴ Quartz ladies chronograph

The first thing our watchmaker does when you bring the watch in for repair is to see exactly what the damage is and what can be done about it:

The watch glass fogs up

When condensation forms on the inside of the watch glass, it means there is moisture in your watch. This can be due to damage to the glass, wear to the sealing gaskets or when the watch has been immersed in water with the crown pulled out. In this case, the watchmaker must open the watch and inspect it completely before he can dry the movement, repair it and replace any gaskets. A maintenance or repair always includes a watertightness test.

Fogged watch glass
▴ Fogged watch glass

Scratched watch glass
▴ Scratched watch glass

Cracked watch glass
▴ Cracked watch glass

The watch glass is scratched

Shallow scratches are easy to polish away if the watch glass is made of acrylic (plexiglass). This type of glass is mainly found on older diving watches and Swatch watches. You can easily polish a scratched plexiglass yourself with Polywatch paste and a soft cloth. If the scratches are deeper, our watchmaker can polish the plexiglass by machine.

Deeper scratches are more difficult to polish and may not be completely removed. In that case, the watchmaker will have to order a replacement plexiglass.

Polishing Plexiglass with Polywatch
▴ Polishing Plexiglass with Polywatch

Polishing Plexiglass by machine
▴ Polishing Plexiglass by machine

You can sometimes fill small scratches in mineral glass yourself with a special filler. We sell special sets for this.

Watch glass made of mineral glass or sapphire glass cannot or hardly be polished. We therefore recommend always replacing a seriously scratched mineral or sapphire glass.

The watch glass is broken or cracked

Unfortunately, broken or cracked glass cannot be repaired. The watchmaker can replace the watch glass.

Replace watch glass yourself

We do not recommend replacing a broken watch glass yourself. The impact or tiny glass splinters may also cause damage to the watch other than the glass. The watchmaker has the knowledge and special equipment to remove the damaged glass and detect and repair any additional damage.

Our watchmaker always makes an estimate of the costs before he or she repairs the watch so that you can make an informed choice.

Our watchmaker checks the watch
▴ Our watchmaker checks the watch

Have watch glass made

For most watches that are not older than 10 years, it is possible to order a replacement glass from the manufacturer. For older watches or watches for which the manufacturer no longer has replacement glass available, our watchmaker can order a standard glass of the same size.

How much does it cost to replace a watch glass?

The cost of replacing watch glass depends on two things; the type of glass and how the glass is anchored in the cabinet. Plexiglass and flat mineral glass are generally cheaper and sapphire glass, convex glass and coated glass are somewhat more expensive.

For all repairs – including replacing a watch glass – we first check the watch. This check costs €15, which will be deducted from the final cost of the repair. Repairs with expected costs less than €50 will be carried out immediately (unless otherwise agreed) without prior notice. For repairs with expected costs higher than €50, you will first receive a quote.

It is also good to keep in mind that replacing a watch glass is usually not covered by the warranty, unless the damage is the result of a production error. Consult the warranty certificate of your watch for the conditions.

Warranty booklets
▴ Warranty booklets

Replacement watch glass
▴ Replacement watch glass

How long will it take for my watch to be repaired?

The turnaround time for the repair mainly depends on the delivery time of the replacement watch glass. Count on an average total repair time of approximately 4-7 weeks.
When you return a watch to us for repair, you will receive a registration number and you will automatically be informed by e-mail or SMS about the status of the repair and when your watch can be picked up.

You can read more information about the service of our watchmakers on our repairs page.

New watch glass or new watch?

It is not to be hoped, but it is of course possible that the watch is damaged beyond repair or that the costs for repair prove to be too high in relation to the value of the watch. Then you can also go to Techzle for a brand new watch!
We sell watches from all well-known brands and in all price ranges. You can also contact us for a new watch strap and various materials for the maintenance of your watch. Can’t choose? Our store employees are happy to help you.

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