How To Remove Scratches From A Gold Watch - Chronoexpert

(Last Updated 29.05.2019)

Gold, even though it is a metal, is actually very soft, which is why scratching it is always a concern when you wear a gold watch.

Whether your watch is white or yellow solid gold, gold plated or even rose gold you may find a scratch or two.  

If you are asking: How To Remove Scratches From A Gold Watch. This article has you covered no matter what type of gold your watch happens to be.

Even if you are careful when wearing your gold watch, some scratches are bound to happen but do not worry unless the scratch is very deep there are a few DIY methods that can be used to get rid of small scratches.

Use these methods with caution and test on a hidden surface first if possible. Avoid the buffing, polishing, or plating methods on precious stones, if any are set into the watch.

Removing Scratches From A Solid Gold Watch

Gold watch
Credit Phillipe Tatler
  • Diamond Paste

If toothpaste does not work, you can try diamond paste. Get a small amount of both 3-micron paste and 2.5-micron paste. Apply the 3-micron paste onto the watch with a cotton ball, then rub with a soft cloth over the face in a circular motion, concentrating on the scratches. Wipe this off then repeat with the 2.5-micron paste, rubbing it until the paste is gone.

  • Scratch cleaners

If neither of these methods works, you can use scratch cleaners from the market. Use them according to the instructions on the label and avoid any that caution against use on gold. Scratch cleaners are pastes or powders that contain a light abrasive. These cleaners typically come in tubes, cans or tubs and are applied with a clean soft cloth.

Look for scratch cleaners with high-quality ingredients that are safe for soft metals and glass. The powdered form is often known as jewelers rouge, and it gets its red color from the iron oxide. These powdered scratch cleaners must be mixed with water or light oils such as olive oil before being used as a paste-type scratch cleaner.

A well-known metal cleaning brand, Brasso, has a product meant for gold and silver called Silvo. This scratch and tarnish cleaner is safe for silver or gold and removes tarnish and discoloration as well as minor scratches. Silvo is available in a liquid form to be applied with a clean, soft cloth.

  • Polishing cloth

Most jewelry stores or online retailers will have polishing cloths that can be used to buff scratches out of gold. These cloths are typically untreated with any chemicals, relying on their own characteristics to polish the scratches from the metal.

Be aware, however, that polishing your gold watch too much can wear down the watch and cause further damage. Stick to once every two to three months to be safe when using a polishing cloth on a gold watch.

  • Rotary Tools

Also available for use with an everyday household electric drill, grinder or other rotary tool are felt-tipped polishing accessories. These accessories are made of wool and smooth out metal surfaces as the drill turns them. Rotary tools will take off a fine layer of gold to smooth and polish the surface, making these tools useful to remove scratches from a gold watch.

  • Professional Polishing

If none of the DIY methods above helps restore your gold watch, or you are afraid to damage it further, seek professional help. Most professional jewelers will be able to bring back the luster to your gold watch with their polishing services.

The jeweler will use specialist tools and techniques to restore your gold watch to like-new condition, most likely while you wait. Some professional jewelers also have the ability to replate gold watches, but make sure it is a reputable service authorized by the manufacturer.

  • Use Toothpaste

Sometimes home remedies actually do work, as in the case of using toothpaste to remove scratches from a gold watch. Regular toothpaste is abrasive, containing tiny particles that lightly “sand” the surface of your teeth and can do the same your watch to take off minor scratches. Use regular white non-gel toothpaste for removing scratches from your gold watch.

For a bit more abrasion, baking soda can also be mixed with the toothpaste before applying it to the watch. Cotton pads, balls, buds or a soft cleaning cloth are also needed.

Locate the scratches under a bright light. Squeeze a bit of the toothpaste onto a cotton ball or cleaning cloth, or even directly onto the watch. Carefully but firmly rub it into the scratch.

Begin with any scratches on the band, using a cotton bud to reach inside grooves. Finally move to the watch case and bezel itself, careful to avoid the glass. Wait a few minutes then remove the toothpaste with a moistened soft cloth, using small, circular polishing motions.

Deep scratches are not likely to come off with just toothpaste, so you might want to use another method.


Top Products for Removing Scratches From A Solid Gold Watch

1. Rolite Midas Touch Metal Polish


Available in cream or liquid, this metal polish not only removes light scratches and tarnish, but it also protects metals such as gold from becoming scratched in the first place.

Link (Amazon)

Link (Manufacturer)


2. Mayflower Polishing Cloth

Made of high-quality fabric, polishing cloths remove light scratches while cleaning the surface of the gold watch.

Link (Amazon)

Link (Manufacturer)


3. Dremel Felt Polishing Tip

felt polishing cone

For use with an electric tool, felt polishing tips, wheels, and pads are safe for most metal surfaces including gold.

Link (Amazon)

Link (Manufacturer)


Removing Scratches From A Gold Plated Watch

You may own a gold plated watch rather than a solid gold watch and, if so, many of the same methods described above for a solid gold watch are also appropriate for use on a gold plated watch as well.

A watch that is gold plated means that a thin layer of gold has been deposited on the surface of another metal, typically silver or copper, using a chemical or electrochemical process called plating.

a scratched watch

Over time, gold plating can tarnish and discolor.

High-quality gold plated watches have the same appearance as high carat gold and even gold-filled watches and can withstand daily wear for decades.

Eventually, however, the gold may wear off in places and expose the metal. Wear such as this can only be repaired by re-plating the watch professionally.

To maintain your gold plated watch:

  • Clean your watch after each wearing by wiping with a damp cloth, as gold plating can be damaged by sulfides in human sweat or by chlorine and harsh cleaning solutions. Do not use cleaning solutions, vinegar, or ammonia to clean your watch.
  • Wrap jewelry in a chamois cloth or a watch storage bag when not in use and avoid storing it with any other watches or jewelry that can rub or scratch.
  • Use a jeweler’s cloth to rub away any scratches. Use a microfiber cloth or a specialty gold polishing cloth to buff away scratches. Scrub lightly, as gold plating can be quite thin, and potentially removed or scratched further with too much friction.
  • Try a regular pencil eraser to buff gently at the scratches on a gold-plated watch. An eraser meant to remove ink is more abrasive than a pencil eraser, so this type of eraser works best on a brush-finished watch. Use it slowly, following the direction of the brush finish.
  • Like a solid gold watch, use of toothpaste to remove scratches from a gold plated watch may work also. Just be careful not be too harsh when polishing your gold plated watch with toothpaste, as you could harm the gold plating of the watch.
  • New to the market, fiberglass polishing pens or so-called “scratch brushes” are also worth a try, especially on a brushed-finish watch. Meant to be used for cleaning printed circuit boards, battery contacts, and other tiny areas, fiberglass pens should be used in the direction of the brush finish to remove any scratches.
  • An old favorite, Brasso has a companion product called Silvo, which works on silver, gold, and gold-filled watches, but remember that it will remove a micro-thin layer of gold plating. Be conservative with the product and gentle when buffing. Original Brasso also works to smooth light scratches on acrylic watch crystals.

Remember that it never hurts to practice on a watch or piece of metal that is not as precious to you as your gold or gold plated watch.

Get a feel for the tool or method you are going to use on the scratch by practicing on this other surface before you attack the scratches on your watch. If you do not have a practice surface available, try your scratch removal method on a hidden part of your watch first.


Top Products for Removing Scratches From A Gold Plated Watch


1. Silvo


From the makers of Brasso, Silvo is safer and more effective on gold and silver watches or jewelry. Liquid versions or canisters of pre-moistened wadding are available.

Link (Amazon)

Link (Manufacturer)


2.Fiberglass Scratch Pen Brush

Fiberglass Scratch Brush Pen Type

Scratch pens, when used gently, can lessen the appearance of scratches. These pens are best for brush-finished gold watches.

Link (Amazon)




3. Jewelry Polishing Cloth


Polishing cloths contain light abrasive that polishes away tarnish, scratches, and oils to give watches a like-new luster.

Link (Amazon)

Link (Manufacturer)


Removing Scratches From A Rose Gold Watch

In the past few years, rose gold has become more and more popular as a watch material as well as other jewelry, home décor, and even nail polish. If you are the proud owner of a rose gold watch, you may be concerned about scratches just like someone with a white or yellow gold watch.

rose gold

Fortunately, the same tips apply, as rose gold is indeed the same type of gold as yellow or white, it is just a version of gold that contains more copper, thus giving it a pink or rose hue.

Pure gold (24 karat) is much too soft to use for a watch or any other jewelry. Metal alloys are mixed with gold to create different karat weights of gold and also different colors such as rose.

Increasingly popular, rose gold includes more copper in the alloy used to create the gold. Before choosing a rose gold watch, be aware that this form of gold is not hypoallergenic due to the high copper in the alloy. A benefit of choosing a rose gold watch is that the metal is very durable, due to the alloy content, however.

The most common damage to rose gold jewelry is that the plating has become tarnished or has lost its luster. Tarnishing occurs because of a chemical reaction with sulfur-related substances found in the air.

Because rose gold does not require rhodium plating for protection of the surface, tarnishing may occur on rose gold faster than other types of gold alloys.

Chemical tarnish removers are available to brighten up a lackluster rose gold watch, and buffing the plating with polish will restore the watch surface as well. Chemical tarnish removers work by dissolving the discoloration then filling the minor scratches in the surface to prevent further tarnishing of the metal over time.


Top Products for Removing Scratches From A Rose Gold Watch

1. Brasso


A chemical tarnish remover, Brasso is effective on rose gold watches for removing minor scratches and clearing tarnish for a like-new appearance.

Link (Amazon)

Link (Manufacturer)


2. Sparkle Bright

tarnish remover and polishing creamThis jewelry polishing cream works on any type of gold, including rose gold. It will remove minor scratches and tarnish as well as polish and protect.

Link (Amazon)

Link (Manufacturer)



3. Connoisseurs Jewelry Cleaning Liquid with Polishing Cloth



Use the liquid to remove tarnish and impurities from your rose gold watch by brushing it on rather than soaking. Wipe off the solution with a damp cloth and allow to dry before using the polishing cloth to remove light scratches.


Link (Amazon)

Link (Manufacturer)


Prevent Scratches on Your Gold Watch

No matter what type of gold – solid, plated, gold, white or rose – prevent scratches from happening in the first place is easy.

    • Put on your watch last after completely getting dressed. This will help avoid inadvertently scratching your watch as you don and adjust your clothing.
    • Makeup, underarm deodorant, perfumes, and lotions can also tarnish or create micro-scratches in your gold watch. It is best to avoid putting your watch on until these products have been applied and allowed to dry completely.
    • Do not wear your gold watch to bed or when working around the house, gardening, exercising or performing manual labor. These activities can cause you to inadvertently scratch your watch when coming in contact with hard surfaces. Additionally, dirt that may become trapped in your watch band or lugs may cause wear or scratch the surface.
    • Keep your gold watch out of pools and hot tubs, as chlorine can tarnish or damage gold.
    • Store your watch in the original box and do not let it touch another piece of jewelry or any other metal surfaces. If you do not still have the original box, there are soft cloth bags made just for storing watches available from online retailers.

store your rolex

  • Avoid solid gold, opting for a higher alloy mix such as 14K gold for a material that is more resistant to scratches. Alternatively, for those prone to scratching their watch, there are models available in tungsten carbide and other materials that are completely scratch proof.

Some people avoid wearing their gold watch on a daily basis, saving it for special dress-up occasions. However, if you have a beautiful watch, you should wear it when it pleases you and not worry about scratching it.

Just take care of your luxury watch and make sure you exercise caution when removing scratches. Following this guide will ensure your watch remains in good condition and lasts for generations.



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