Watches, especially smartwatches and sports watches, have to withstand a lot. Not only are they on your wrist all day, they are also involved in sports. No matter how well you pay attention, you quickly swing against a piece of sports equipment, a door or throw the watch into your pocket with the key. The result is scratches on the display, mostly not deep, but still annoying.
Especially in the case of a smartwatch with a touchscreen, the glass housing can either not be replaced at all or only with great effort. With a 25 euro tracker like the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 (test report) this is disproportionate, even repairing a sports watch like the Fitbit Sense (test report) is probably uneconomical.
Cheap polishing paste jumps into this breach. With these products you can polish small scratches or microscratches from the glass, so the promises. But there are a few restrictions: The scratches must neither be too deep nor too long. The paste cannot mend a complete crack, it is particularly suitable for smaller scratches that are barely noticeable.
Then you have to have the right paste for the right glass. Plastic displays require a different polish than devices with real glass. That’s not tragic so far, you just have to find out beforehand.
For the test we sent us the scratch remover from Polywatch, with which we will try to remove small scratches from a Fitbit Sense. Everything you need is in the kit. There are two syringes in it, one with the repair paste and one with the finish paste. In addition, a wooden stick with a rubber ring and cover, on which one of the enclosed fleece strips is clamped. In addition, you only need some tape, kitchen roll and a timer, such as the stopwatch in your mobile phone. We’ll explain the latter in more detail in a moment.
The procedure is very simple: tape the display around the scratch or scratches. Then you stretch a red fleece strip on the stick, put some of the repair paste on the display, rub it in for three minutes and then clean it. In practice we have had two experiences: three minutes is longer than you think, ideally you should put the stopwatch mentioned above next to it. In addition, you have to press harder than you would feel with a touchscreen.
Accordingly, our first attempt was unsuccessful. Too short polishing and too little pressure, after the first repair the scratches were still clearly visible. It is worth the fact that there are up to eight applications in the kit. Because after the second run, the picture was much better, the scratches were much smaller. Where we could see them relatively easily before, we now have to use strong backlighting. They haven’t completely disappeared, but they are much smaller.
The second pass with the polishing paste was also better. Here, too, we used the stopwatch and pressed harder than on the first run, the result was significantly better.
The repair kits from Polywatch cost up to 12 euros, the kit for glass is significantly more expensive than that for plastic displays. The latter is used, for example, in the now popular Casio digital watches. There are up to eight applications of the two pastes for this purpose.
As with smartphones, you have the choice between tempered glass (e.g. bulletproof glass) and classic foils. To put it simply, the tempered glass protects best against scratches and cracks. However, it is less flexible than foil and has to be changed every few months. Accordingly, it makes sense to buy a package with several protective glasses.
The repair kits cannot do magic, that much has to be said. If you don’t feel like scratching, you should install a film right away. If you haven’t thought about it (like we did before this article), you will lose little money with the polishing pastes and they can actually make scratches smaller, micro-scratches even disappear completely. It’s definitely worth the effort, especially since more than one application is included.