Case Polishing: Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694

After having taken apart my Rolex, it needs some work on the case – it’s scratched, and in some places has fairly deep dents.

There is only one thing for it and that is a good polishing.

If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see all the damage.

You can’t just polish scratches out – you have to first create an even surface, and that means having to go as deep as the deepest scratch goes. This is harsh stuff as it means having to attack your watch case with a 240 grit paper which will bring tears to your eyes. But there is no other way!

Starting off with the 240 paper, you can see how I slowly sand down to the level of the deepest scratch

Now the deepest scratch has disappeared, and we can move on. The cardinal mistake of polishing is not to create an even surface when sanding with the coarsest grit. Everything you don't get rid off now will show up on the final surface

Now we can move on to the next finer grit - 400

The surface after the 400 grit paper

Onwards and upwards - next is 1200

The surface after the 1200 paper

We move on to 2000 grit - you can see how the surface gets shinier and shinier. But we still have visible scratch lines

The last paper we use is a 9 micron lapping film - you can get this stuff at a jewellery supplier

The final polish is done on a cotton wheel with Dialux Vert

The specs you can see are bits from the cotton buffing wheel - look at the reflection of the writing on the case ...

Six hours later (I had a lot of deep scratches to start off with), I have a perfectly polished watch case. I probably wouldn’t do this for a £ 20 watch, but for a Rolex, it’s well worthwhile.

To sum it up:

  • you can’t skip any step in this process – go from one grit paper to the next
  • the order is 240 / 400 / 1200 / 2000 / 9 micron / Dialux Vert – slight deviation doesn’t matter, so if you use a 500 instead of a 400, all is still fine
  • make sure that you have an even surface after each different grit – if you overlook something, it’s back to square one
  • take your time, check progress with a loupe, don’t expect to do this in an hour
  • be careful with pendant tubes (as you can see, I removed it from the case), lugs, etc. as you can easily take too much off
  • slowly does it

Good luck!

If you want to see the reassembly, please continue reading here.

8 thoughts on “Case Polishing: Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694

  1. I’ve just completed a repolish of my dad’s 6694. I used 400, 600, 1000, 1200 sandpaper and then finished off by using the autosol metal polish with a very soft cloth which i soaked in hair conditioner solution for two hours to soften the fibres. The results are great. I also used the sandpaper to sand out the scratches in the acrylic crystal, and then polished out with CD scratch remover. However, and i see on one of the photos that the radial brushed finish also gets removed to a certain extent. in your opinion, what is the best way to restore the radial brushed finish? the straight brushed finish is easy – i have found using a scotch brite pad, or even using back the 400 sandpaper are both worthy candidates.

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  3. Beautiful work and really useful instructions.

    Now I know how to proceed if I ever become proficient enough to successfully disassemble a Rolex down to its bare case. For me, I think practicing on a cheap watch or two, or three, would be a good idea…and then consider taking a chance on a Rolex.

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