Monochrome Watches
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The Uncivil Meeting Of Two Pillars: Wall – Meet Rolex! Rolex – Meet Wall!

| By Mario Squillacioti | 4 min read |
Rolex Datejust

383 days is a relatively long time to spend with a watch. In the trials and travails of everyday life there WILL be everyday accidents. Today we find out how to cope with the side effect of a clumsy left arm and a Plexiglas crystal.

When I started this epic journey in February (really back in October/November in the planning phases) I knew that this day and this article would come. I knew it so well that I actually have it on a list of proposed topics for this yearlong experiment. What I didn’t know at the time was when or why I would need to discuss polishing up the Plexiglas on my 30 year old Datejust!

Rolex Datejust

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The events unfolded as so: I was walking into my bedroom to get my glasses. Being a ‘happy-go-lucky’ kind of person I was swinging my arms as I skipped along. The funny thing is that my eyesight isn’t really that bad; over the course of the last two annual visits to my opticians in London I have been prescribed progressively weaker lenses. (Yet another thing to feel happy-go-lucky about I suppose.) Well my happiness and my luck were about to be tested as I SLAMMED my left wrist into the 12 inch thick cement hallway wall. (That sinking feeling set in.)

Rolex Datejust

I knew there would be some damage to the Plexiglas for sure, but I had other things on my mind. My first check was to make sure that the watch still had 3 hands attached. Check. The bezel wasn’t affected. Check. The crown was still attached. Check. Now for the moment of reckoning: what part of the nearly centimeter wide swath of paint on the upper left hand quadrant of the crystal was just visiting, and what part would be permanent. After a quick rub with my t-shirt I saw that it wasn’t so bad, just the presence of a series of pinprick divots in the Plexiglas. After a few weeks of leaving the scuffs in the crystal to remind me of my transgression and because I thought it gave the watch a bit of character, it was time to reach for “The Kit”. (In reality I was just plain lazy, nothing else.)

The Kit

The Kit

At the inception of this exercise I pulled together a small collection of things that I thought I might need to keep me sane while on the road. Some of the items in the small plastic case are commonplace things for any watch fanatic.

  • A springbar tool and pin pusher (essential when working with drilled lugs.)
  • A screwdriver for the links on the Jubilee bracelet. (Because of my ever fluctuation weight I’ve had two additional links added. If my plan goes the way I hope it does I will need to remove those links when I get to my goal weight!)
  • A few changes of strap: leather, tropical rubber and NATO
  • A few other add-ons that will alter the overall appearance of the watch (we’ll talk about those later in the year.)
  • Some polyWatch.
  • A microfiber polishing cloth.

If you’ve never used Polymath, it is really simple. The instructions read:

Apply polyWatch to the plastic watch crystal. Polish the scratched areas for 203 minutes with pressure, using a piece of cotton wool. Deep scratches need to be treated more than once.

I don’t think any of us here at or any of you folks reading this will have a tough time following those directions. Sure enough – after two minutes of grueling effort only the memory and lingering concerns about timekeeper were left of my grievous encounter with the wall. Take a look at the before and after photos.


Rolex Datejust


Rolex Datejust

All in all polyWatch made fixing the scuff a painless procedure. While I don’t want it to happen again, I know it will. When it does happen again I won’t break my happy-go-lucky stride. I’ll just reach for ‘The Kit’ and fix it.


Forcing myself to be faithful to just one watch has reevaluate a lot of the pieces in my collection. I don’t know if wearing only the Datejust has made me actually like it more than I normally would; I’ve owned quite a few Rolex Oyster watches over the years but can’t actually recall enjoying one this much – let alone one so plain. (Can a watch engender Stockholm Syndrome in its wearer?) This month I have packaged up 12 watches for sale.


Photo credits (photo 1 and 2) – Jocke (

3 responses

  1. Enjoyed the article, thanks Mario. Along with Polywatch I’ve used toothpaste with good results on cheap vintage watches I got for learning. By the way, you wrote Polymath in one occasion, instead of Polywatch, which leads me to believe you’re an engineer? 🙂

  2. Thanks for the kind words.

    Toothpaste will work too… but I can’t get a free lifetime supply of toothpaste for dropping a name brand in the write-up! I didn’t get a lifetime supply of Polywatch for mentioning them (Guys???) Usually I get a ‘Cease and Desist’ order when I try to align myself with any commercial products! When I buy stuff I pay full whack for it. If the merchant offers a discount I take it – but to date no one has said “Ooooh it’s Mario Squillacioti! Give him the moon the sun and the stars!” It has been more like “It’s that guy with the weird name! Bugger him off before people see him in our store!”

    Polymath… uffff! (File this one under “When Spell Checkers Fail” (because Polymath IS a word – and it means something I will never be!))

    Not an engineer – but I would have been much happier if I had been!


  3. Hi, i’ve just read your article about your 16030 year long challenge. I have owned a 16030 since 1987 and love it. Very interested about polishing the plexiglass as mine is scratched too.
    how did you get on with the rest of the year ?


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