How to clean a bronze watch

How to clean a bronze watch
15th May 2018 SWC
How to clean a bronze watch

Bronze watches are beautiful in that they do not merely record the passing of time but respond to it as well. When you buy a bronze watch, such as the Bronze Beater Batch 2 with a raw or patinated finish, you know that it will change as time goes by, the blotches and spots of patination gradually altering the colour and texture of the watch. However, what do you do if you want to get it back to the metal so that it can start the oxidative process again?

Well, the good news is that it’s entirely possible without having to buy lots of expensive equipment and materials. As any chemistry student worth his salt will tell you, the patination of bronze is caused by oxidation of the metal by the air. All that’s required to remove this layer of oxidised bronze is about 5 minutes of your time. Beware using chemicals which might cause a corrosion of the seals on the watch which might invalidate your warranty. That’s why this is Schofield’s preferred method for cleaning up a bronze watch.

Ingredients: Your watch, a kitchen sponge, a damp cloth  

Step 1: Get the watch ready  

Whip off the strap, push in the crown and make sure you’ve given the case a good once over with a damp cloth to remove any dirt/dust/whatever else you might have got your watch covered in.  

Step 2: Give it a rub  

Use the scouring side of your kitchen sponge to rub the bronze of the case to remove the patination. A kitchen sponge on the scouring side is not aggressive enough to damage your crystal but will remove the thin oxide coating and bring you back to the metal. It may be tricky though to get into the crevices and for that you may need to use very fine emery paper. If the paper is too coarse, you will leave scratch marks in the case. This process is slow but it is safe.  

Step 3: Rinse and dry

Rinse, dry, inspect and repeat.