Before we get started on the discussion of the basic technical issues, we should provide a little background about electroplating services in general. First, if you intend to have a watch replated you should only deal with a qualified electroplater who has the appropriate amount of experience (at least 10 years).
Unlike any other jewelry object, watchcase and watch band replating are highly specialized and are some of the most difficult decorative items to replate correctly. With rare exceptions most jewelers, jewelry repair shops and hobby electroplaters are not properly equipped to replate your watch to the rigorous standards that matches the original specifications of the manufacturer.
From a durability and wear standpoint, high quality watches rely on a heavier layer of gold than do most electroplated jewelry. That type of heavy gold electroplating requires excellent knowledge of electrochemical principles, specialized plating equipment, rigid compliance to proper technical processes, combined with careful quality control during each step of the electroplating process.
As a result, one of your biggest challenges will be finding a qualified electroplating resource! While there are thousands of electroplating shops in the US, their operations are geared for plating objects on a mass production scale or they are focused on specialized engineering based electroplating applications for other segments of industry. It is safe to say that they view custom watch replating as outside of the scope and scale of their operations.
There are numerous custom “mom and pop” operations, many are extremely qualified and knowledgeable. However, that does not mean that they are interested or experienced specifically in the arcane methods needed to refinish and replate your watch. The good news is there are several electroplating resources within the watch repair and restoration field who are in a position to provide the type electroplating your watch requires.
If you are looking for high quality watch plating or jewelry plating, give us a call.
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Artisan Plating has plated items for over 20,000 customers and have been in business since 1973. Unlike many of our competitors who routinely steal articles from this site, we write our own peer-reviewed articles and publications.