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Polishing watch straps

Hi all,

I have been offered some work polishing a few rolex watch straps.
All have a polished centre with matt edges. Just wondering how you
get a nice clean edge between the matt and polished areas. Is it
just a case of polishing it first then using masking tape over the
polished centre area while you add the matt to the edges?

Any other tips would be handy as ive never worked with stainless
steel or watch straps before!!

Thanks Jon

The way you describe the masking technique is how I do it. I do
however have another method I use for very intricate masking where
tape is not viable.

I cover the areas that are to remain high polish with Araldite. This
give me much better control

over what gets matt finished, similiar to paint masking before
rhodium. The glue when hard offers a strong enough mask for the
brush not to penetrate. I use a stainless steel pin brush to matt
finish. I use this mainly on watch bezels that have grooves in them.
I then remove the glue using boiling hot water and a toothbrush or

Hope that helps.


Your approach to refinishing Rolex watch bracelets will work, but
I’ve found that if you finish the brushed sections with a rubber
wheel in your flex shaft you can get a look that’s closer to the
factory finish. I’ve most recently used a 1" blue ceramic rubber
wheel from Rio Grande (I think it’s called Advant-Edge) with a flat
edge, but other rubber wheels will work, too. You may have to
experiment a little, but you need a wheel that’s fairly coarse but
not too much so to match the original. Do the underside on you
polishing machine and a fiber wheel since it’s all brushed. Good

Kevin Moyle

I cover the areas that are to remain high polish with Araldite. 

I never heard of Araldite before. A quick search shows that it is a
brand of adhesives, not a single product, but a range of high
-strength a epoxies. Which one are you fond of, and how is it better
than other epoxies?


I never heard of Araldite before. 

Sorry Noel. I should have been clearer. Araldite is basically a two
part glue. Available in a 5 minute or 12 hour drying time. Obviously
for this application I use the 5 minute. I am sure there is an
equivalent glue in your part of the world.


Araldite is a 2 part adhesive, hardener and resin and dries clear.
Its common in the uk.

I like the sound of it for the straps so i might give it a go.

Thanks Orchadians for all your help as always.