Exterior polishing service “hand finishing”

This section explains the work flow of exterior polishing service “hand finishing” and points to be known before applying. The polishing service of our workshop is hand-finished one by one.

It is totally different from the new product manufactured by dedicated equipment or robot at a large factory like a maker. It is not suitable for those who want perfect beauty with inorganic materials like a new products.

In the world there are craftworkers like jewelers who have a very excellent technique in hand finishing, but since I am concurrently serving as a watchmaker in our workshop , Polishing service technology is not so high level. Please use this after understanding this point well.

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  • Example of exterior polishing service “hand finishing” · RADO “Cornell”


“Hand finishing” example · RADO “Cornell”

In addition to overhaul, we requested polishing of the outer cladding, it is Cornell of Rado. It was manufactured in the 60s and 70s. It is belong to antique watch in today. There are countless scratches of big and small in the case and the crystal. Discoloration and deterioration are seen in the inner dial.

In principle, Handling of hands and dials is as it is. We do not accept dial re-done or re-make etc.


I will open the back cover and decompose it. Those that have not undergone maintenance over a considerable year, will get rust inside like this. Before polishing, it is necessary to drop the rust etc. that occurred first and to prepare the foundation.Apart from polishing service, this is a extra fee subject to “Rust-removal and part repair”.


Here I removed the crystal and bezel. In antique watch, many of the crystals are made of plastic, they do not disengage well as they try to detach them, or they may break up, they may be broken just by removing them.

Therefore, apart from the polish fee, it is very likely that you will need to replace the crystal and other exterior parts newly. Although it is a case by case, there is a tendency that the replacement part fee is often included in the estimate when polishing the watch.

➡In the case of “cleaning only”, exterior parts need not be disassembled so far, so exchanging of exterior parts is optional.


Large rusts are scraped coarsely using a screwdriver. For fine parts and delicate parts, rust removes as much as possible with chemicals.


After doing rust removal, wash out exterior parts. By the way, if you did choose service “none” (cleaning only) , the exterior processing is end here.


It is a buffing machine used in our workshop. Although it is a business machine, because it is a desktop miniature machine, the output of the motor is weak, too much work can not be done.

For this reason, there are cases where we refuse to implement polishing service in cases such as severe cases of scratches or deformation that are too deep. Please understand.


The hard felt buff is coated with an abrasive, which is the beginning of polishing. Because the pipe for crown is brass or soft material, if it accidentally polishes it will be scraped away and disappear instantly. Therefore, it protects with wear-resistant taping etc.

➡Depending on the shape of the case and so on, the pipe itself will be detrimental to the polishing operation, so remove it. However, it is often a material or structure that can not be reinstalled, and this also requires the replacement of parts as well as the plastic crystal. Parts fee is added separately from the polishing.


Carefully judge to what extent the surface will be scraped off. The part that looks like white dots on the cutting surface is a scratch that can not be removed. If I cut it too much, even if scratches disappear, the shape will collapse from the original shape, resulting in a poor appearance.

➡Although small scratches and line scratches are completely eliminated, deep scratches and bruises may be left like this.


In this time I continued cutting further and could remove the scratches that can be seen with the naked eye. Compared to the previous image, I think you can see that the white spots disappear and it is completely surface.


Then use a fine rascher buff, and do a further surface gloss finish. also drop polishing residue that stuck around the cutting surface.


It became a finer gloss of finish, where the so-called “mirror finish” was made.


The time it takes to finish one side is 15 to 30 minutes. I will do this in all aspects. It is a half-day work that all the sides finish polishing, as it will hold a break for cooling the motor in the middle. The polishing operation is very time-consuming.


It will reflect the light from various angles and visually check if there are scratches left behind. If a professional craftman with a higher level of polishing, they will carefully finish the details using loupe. I am not pursuing the quality so far due to restrictions of the working environment, and it will be in the range that looks natural with the naked eye.

➡Scratches sometimes remain on what is too deeply scratched or parts that can not be polished by buffing.


After the polishing of the entire surface of the case is finished.


The upper surface of the case inherits the original design and performs a hairline finish. Basically I aim for an appearance close to the original state, but it is not necessarily sticking to the same finish.


This is just “hand finishing”. Hold the file in my hand, and I will insert a hairline pattern with this.

➡what can not be physically hairline finished (eg a fine curved surface such as a bracelet piece or chaine) is done by attaching a buff for satin finishing to the buffing machine.


I put a line in the right half. In the photograph, light adjustment can not be captured well, it is difficult to see difference.


The above picture is after polish. Below is the hairline finish. Those who think that the details are poor please refrain from using our service. If you like this finish please apply for the service.


Exterior polishing service “Hand finishing” completed body case. Exterior polishing service takes a lot of time and effort. I exhaust energy and concentration and I am very tired. Therefore, I would like to conduct it for those who are pleased. I hope the information on this page can be beneficial to each other.


【Before & After】

Top face


Side face

Back cover


【Service Reference Price】RADO cornel (ETA 2760)
□Overhaul fee – Automatic      ¥ 20,000
□Additional Parts Cost
 ・Gaskets of case back          ¥ 500
 ・Generic pipe change           ¥ 3,000
 ・Polishing service “hand finishing”  ¥ 10,000
 ・Rust removal and parts repair          ¥ 10,000
Total                                                     ¥ 43,500