There are hundreds types of wind resistance to protect the surface of the watch. Each type of glass has its own different characteristics and is suitable for different watch types, so the price is also high and low. Depending on the type of glass, the cost of replacing the windshield will vary greatly, so it is very important to know which glass you use for your watch. Here is a detailed introduction to the types and characteristics of wind protection, replacement methods, and precautions.
What is wind protection?
The so-called “wind protection” of watches is a general term for “glass that protects the surface”, which comes in various materials. It can be roughly divided into three types, first introduce the types and characteristics of glass.
Acrylic glass, also known as “plexiglass”, is made of transparent plastic or synthetic resin. Because of its plastic material, it is sometimes called “plastic windproof”. The hardness of the Moh’s hardness is divided into ten grades of mineral hardness. The hardness is 2. Acrylic glass has the advantages of easy processing, light weight, high strength, and is not easy to break after being processed with a thin design. It is generally the strength of strengthened glass, and wind protection is often made into an arc shape. But then again, the resin material still has shortcomings such as easy scratches and discoloration due to ultraviolet rays. However, if it is a shallower or smaller scratch, it can be removed by grinding and polishing. You can rest assured.
Mineral glass, also known as “inorganic glass”, is a very common watch material, and many watches will use it. There are also special strengthened mineral glass such as crystal glass and Hardlex. Crystal glass is made by adding lead oxide to mineral glass. Because the transparency and refractive index are greatly improved, it makes the glass look like crystal shining. The advantage is that it is easy to process, but it also has the disadvantage of being easily scratched or missing corners. In the Moh’s hardness, the hardness of mineral glass is between 3 and 6. Hardlex is a glass made by SEIKO using exclusive technology. Because no detailed information such as hardness is disclosed, there is no way to know the correct value; its hardness is several times of crystal glass.
Sapphire crystal is different from natural sapphire in that it is artificially made, but its Mohs hardness is 9. Although sapphire crystal is also called “sapphire glass”, it is not strictly speaking glass, but a mineral called “corundum” made from alumina as the main raw material. Its biggest advantage is that the material is hard and not easy to scratch. But the hard material is also its disadvantage. Compared with mineral glass and acrylic glass, sapphire crystal is more difficult to process. Therefore, it is rare to see specially processed sapphire glass on the market, and most of them are flat processed weather protection. In addition, it is mostly used in high-end watches due to the high price.
How to choose the right glass and windproof for the watch
I just introduced three kinds of glass for wind protection, and when making a watch, it will be selected according to the different characteristics of the glass. The price is relatively cheap, mineral glass is often used in low-priced watches; expensive sapphire crystals are most used in high-end watches. If you want to create a retro feel in your design, you usually use the arc-shaped windshield, so most of these watches will use the arc-type windshield commonly used acrylic glass.
Windproof replacement method
Since the replacement of wind protection will be handled by watch repair shops and manufacturers, it is difficult for ordinary people to have the opportunity to know how to replace it.
Next, I will introduce the steps to replace wind protection.
1. Remove the Back Cover / Back Case
Start by removing the back cover of the watch. This is to remove the movement and dial, but after removing the back cover, be sure to remember to remove the crown first, and then remove the movement and dial. If you do not remove the crown first, the crown may break.
2. Remove Wind Protection
After successfully removing the movement and dial, the wind protection replacement project can be started. Since the windshield is installed from the outside, it can be removed by pressing the surface glass from the inside. If you can’t remove it even if you press it with your fingers, you must use a special tool.
3. Install Wind Protection
After removing the old windshield, it is time to install the new windshield! There are two ways of installation: pressure embedding or installation with adhesive. For pressure embedding, use a glass press to embed the windshield from the outside. This method is often used for round watches. Square watches are more commonly installed with adhesives. After installing the wind protection, follow the previous steps in reverse, first install the dial and movement, and finally close the back cover and you’re done.
Precautions when replacing
Even if we usually ask watch repair shops and manufacturers to replace wind protection, we still need to pay attention to it.
First of all, does it really need to be replaced?
If the wind protection is cracked or has obvious scratches, of course it needs to be replaced; but if the acrylic glass is only slightly scratched, it can be polished to eliminate the scratches, and there is not necessary to replace the wind protection.
Pay special attention to that, because some types of glass may have been discontinued, if it is an old watch or the like, it may not be completely restored.
You may wish to bring your watch to the repair shop to confirm the condition of the watch, and ask the shop to determine whether to replace it or polish it.
If you really need to replace it, you should also confirm whether the repair shop can assist in the replacement, or ask the manufacturer for replacement.
If it is sent to a general watch shop, it is usually sent back to the manufacturer for processing, but if the watch repair shop has weatherproof stock, it can be replaced by itself even if it is not sent back to the manufacturer.
When it is replaced by the manufacturer, it takes about two weeks to perform inspections such as waterproof testing and subsequent operation confirmation. Although it is not easy to find a store to replace a special watch, if it is a weatherproof type that is generally available in the market, you can still ask the store if it can be replaced.
Replacement fee basis
When entrusting a repair shop to replace the wind protection, although it is safe to know the charging standard beforehand, the replacement cost will vary depending on the type of glass. The quotations of each store are also different, and it is recommended to compare prices. Some shops will separate the glass cost from the repair cost, and some shops will calculate all the costs together, this should be paid attention to.
There are three types of glass used for watch wind protection. I introduced the lesser-known wind protection replacement steps and replacement precautions, etc this time. I hope that this knowledge will come in handy when you want to replace the wind protection. Of course, it is best not to scratch expensive watches, but if the glass is really broken or severely scratched, it is also very important to take precautions and handle them properly. If you know what type of glass your watch uses in advance, you can estimate the cost of replacement and be mentally prepared!