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Rolex Watch Crystals

When referring to a watch, the crystal is the clear cover that sits over the face to protect its delicate hands and movements. In case of signs of wear such as scratched, cracked or broken watch crystals, replacement parts are available so you can fix your watch and restore it to its previous condition.

What types of crystal are available?

Rolex makes two different types of watch cover. The first is made of a synthetic acrylic resin. The acrylic material may scratch more easily than its counterpart, but these scratches can usually be buffed out and repaired. This material is also designed to resist shocks, and although it may be scratched or cracked, it typically doesn't shatter. The other cover type is a sapphire crystal. These crystals can only be scratched by diamonds or other minerals graded as a 10 on the hardness scale. When shopping for older Rolex crystals, you may find both the acrylic resin and sapphire varieties, but if you're shopping for a new Rolex watch crystal, you'll likely just encounter the more durable synthetic acrylic resin. Make sure to purchase a crystal that's designed for your specific watch.

Are the covers interchangeable?

If you have an older Rolex with the synthetic resin crystal, you can't replace it with a sapphire option. You can replace your crystal if it can't be repaired or buffed, but you will have to replace the cover with the same type as the two are not interchangeable.

What is the etching on a new crystal?

If you have a very keen eye or look at your Rolex face cover under 10x magnification, you will notice a small crown etched into it at the 6 o'clock position. Rolex began etching their watch covers with this mark to help deter counterfeiting. Both original and replacement crystals now bear this mark, with the originals featuring the crown only and replacements bearing the crown as well as a small letter "S."

Why is their condensation inside the watch?

If you notice condensation forming on the inside of your timepiece, take it in for service right away before buying a new cover. Condensation is a sign that water is getting into your watch but the gasket and seals are still strong enough that the water can't evaporate or get back out. This problem must be addressed by checking your watch's waterproofing parts and may not indicate the need for a new crystal.

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