WARNING: Do this at your own risk.

Vintage Timex watches come in two standard finishes. Chrome plated and Gold plated. The Chrome plating is by far the hardest wearing whereas you’ll often see gold plated pieces have heavy wear with base mental showing through. Polishing your vintage Timex watch should be done with care and requires little in the way of equipment.

You will need:

  • Wooden tooth picks
  • Cotton Buds/Q Tips
  • Warm water with detergent (i use “simple” shampoo)
  • A soft toothbrush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Recommended: a cheap ultrasonic cleaner & a glass beaker
  • Recommended: Polishing compound

You should really do this with the watch disassembled however i typically don’t bother and do it while the watch is still complete.

Remove the strap/bracelet and any spring bars.

I start by using the wooden toothpick to pick off any hard deposits on the watch case making sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies. Pay particular attention to the join between the crystal and the case.

Next soaking the q-tip in my warm water and detergent solution i then wipe the watch to further loosen any gunk. We call this DNA removal LOL.

Dip the toothbrush in your cleaning solution and give the watch a gentle scrub. Wipe off any liquid and repeat until the watch is clean.

Now dry with a microfiber cloth for a clean watch that won’t tingle when you put it on the wrist.

Ultrasonic cleaning

I recommend that you buy a cheap ultrasonic cleaner. These use vibrations in water to loosen dirt.

Remember to disassemble your watch first removing straps, spring bars, crystal and break the case down to component parts

Pro tip: keep your tank half full and place into this a glass beaker containing your water and cleaning solution. Cleaning your watch in the beaker means you don’t have to clean the tank! The beaker can simply be placed in your dishwasher after use.

Make sure you thoroughly dry your watch before reassembling it.

Polishing compound

The majestically bearded Dickie put me onto car scratch removal cream (Turtle Wax Scratch and Swirl Remover) as a polishing compound to remove faint scratches and give the case a high shine. Simply put a small amount on a microfiber cloth and polish away. Be aware that this should be used carefully on gold plated cases for the reasons outlined above.