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How to Remove Scratches from Your Citizen Watch

If you own a Citizen watch, you must appreciate its exceptional quality. Citizen isn’t a luxury watch brand, but for over 100 years, they have made affordable yet beautiful and high-quality timepieces.

However, as with all watches, your Citizen has likely seen a few hard days and is marked with scratches. Whether on the watch case, bezel, bands, or crystal, there may come a day when you want to buff out these scratches and get your Citizen watch back to its like-new condition.

Remove Scratches from Your Citizen Watch

The thing to know is that each material and finish will require a different method for removing scratches. Here, we’ll examine every material Citizen uses and explore the different scratch-removing techniques.

Polished Stainless Steel

Not many Citizen watches are made entirely of polished stainless steel, but a large number of them have polished stainless steel features on the bezel or watch bands. Unfortunately, the nature of polished stainless-steel means that any scratches on its surface are prominently displayed.

There are a few different approaches to restoring your polished stainless steel to its mirror finish. For fine scratches, your first method to try should be a good old jeweler’s cloth. To use this cloth, gently rub the red side on the polished stainless steel until the scratches are mostly gone. Then, finish up with the yellow side of the cloth to buff out any remaining scratches.

For deeper scratches, you can try a Nevr-Dull wadding cloth. Simply rub a wad of the cotton from the can on all scratches. You can use the jeweler’s cloth if there are any minor scratches left.

One thing to note about polished stainless steel is that no matter your methods or materials, you’ll never quite get it back to its original, pristine condition. If you find the polished stainless steel is deeply scratched and you can’t buff out the scratches well enough, you can always take your Citizen watch for repair to see what the watchmaker can do.

Brushed Stainless Steel

Nothing rivals the timeless, classy look of a brushed stainless-steel watch. The nice thing about brushed stainless steel is that scratches won’t be quite as visible as on polished stainless steel, so you may have more success returning it to its original condition.

For fine scratches, your best bet is to use a jeweler’s cloth. When you do this, remember to be gentle. If you work too hard at buffing out scratches, you could remove the brushed look in the area you’re polishing.

For deeper scratches, you can use a styrofoam fingernail buffer. This material is very forgiving and won’t round out any corners or buff out the brushed surface.

Sand-Blasted Stainless Steel

If you own a sand-blasted stainless-steel watch, don’t even attempt to buff out the scratches yourself. Even the slightest polish with a jeweler’s cloth will ruin the unique surface that sand blasting creates.

Instead, you’re best off taking your Citizen watch to a repair shop, where an experienced watchmaker can remove the scratches while maintaining that beautiful silvery-white finish.


Citizen uses titanium to make many of its watches. If your titanium Citizen has scratches on its surface, you should buff them out with a nylon pad. You can also try rubbing a metal polish cream into the scratches with a soft cloth. Simply rinse with water when you’re done, and the scratches should be gone.

Here’s a weird tip that might work for you if you don’t want to buy a nylon pad or metal polish: try using an ink eraser (an eraser made specifically to erase ink from pens). Many titanium watch owners have had success literally erasing scratches from their watches this way.


For the best in both comfort and style, nothing beats leather watch bands. However, they are prone to scratches.

If you want to remove scratches from your Citizen’s leather watch straps, you’ll need a soft cloth and leather conditioner. After cleaning the leather with a damp cloth, rub the leather conditioner into the scratches using the soft cloth. This is most effective for small scratches.

If your Citizen watch bands have deep scratches, you have two options: 1) invest in a leather repair kit, or 2) accept the scratches.

Unfortunately, leather isn’t as forgiving as metal, and some scratches are just there to stay. Many leather watch band owners consider scratches to be part of the leather’s patina. As with a vintage watch, the scratches and dents can be thought of as desirable in telling the watch’s story.

Removing Scratches on Your Citizen Watch’s Crystal

When it comes to your Citizen’s crystal, it’s probably highly important to you to remove scratches since a scratched-up crystal will hinder your ability to tell time. This process, like your watch’s case or bands, will depend on the material of your watch crystal.

Mineral Glass

If your Citizen’s crystal is made from mineral glass, we have bad news and good news. The bad news is that, due to mineral glass’s hardness, scratches are almost impossible to remove once they appear. You’ll need to have your Citizen watch repaired with a new crystal.

The good news, though, is that replacing a mineral glass crystal is generally an inexpensive repair. A trusted watch repair service should have your Citizen back to you in like-new condition without too much trouble.


Sapphire crystals are premium in both quality and price, and shallow scratches on their surface are relatively easy to remove.

After covering the bezel with painter’s tape to protect it, you can rub diamond polish lapping paste into the scratches with a microfiber cloth. Once you’re satisfied with the results, simply wipe off the excess paste.

You can try this method for deeper scratches, but if you’re not having much luck, your best bet is to bring your Citizen to a qualified watchmaker for repair or replacement.

Keep Your Citizen Watch Looking Sharp

When you want to remove scratches from your Citizen watch, you should make sure you know the material you’re working with so you can choose the right course of action. If in doubt, take your Citizen to a watch repair service. You’ll soon have it back in immaculate condition and ready for years of steady timekeeping.