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Shouldn’t have done that

by Jordan Ficklin

I see it way too often. The Rolex Sapphire crystal is hard but not indestructible. I always perform a full service on the watch when the crystal has shattered. Inevitably the customer complains. The risk of a small piece of sapphire inside the movement where it can do hundreds of dollars of damage is just too great. Usually the customer just doesn’t understand this. Remember, sapphire is a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. A shard of sapphire is way harder than your typical pocket knife blade, file, or saw blade. It will do serious damage. Look where I found this little bit of sapphire.

Click on the image to see it full size. The little piece of sapphire is sitting on the hour wheel, but it was never going to stay there.

3 Comments

  1. P-H
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    True that. Another good reason for a full service when the glass is shattered is that the watch probably has been dropped or smashed into something hard. Better then to check everything to make sure everything works and the job gets well done. Thanks for a very Good blog from a fellow watchmaker in Sweden.

  2. J. Mitterando
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Now that, is something interesting. Haven’t had to deal with anything like that yet. How in gods name do you go about tracking THAT down? Short of a complete dis-assembly, I can’t imagine there is any way to ensure that ALL the shards are removed.

  3. W. Thompson
    Posted November 7, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Yes, a broken crystal always make me think of a tiny piece in there tearing things up.

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