Bead/Media Blasting Service

At Mornington Watches, I have developed a process of restoring the matte/satin finish found on some watch cases and bracelets using media blasting. This finish can be found on a lot of vintage Tag Heuer cases and bracelets, vintage Seiko clasps and platinum Rolex Yachtmaster bezels. I can also customise non blasted watches with a blasted finish if required.

What is Bead Blasting? 

Bead blasting, otherwise known as media blasting or sandblasting is a method of firing micro particles (such as glass beads, sand, walnut shells etc) using high pressure air at a surface. Upon contact with the substrate, the high pressured media 'peens' the surface and a matte or satin finish is the result.

What Media do you Use? 

For the majority of the blasting work, I use glass beads. Glass beads are refined in a way that the surface of the beads are rounded. This ensures that the blasting process is not too hard on the material being blasted and gives a smooth, even and consistent decorative finish. 

What can be Blasted?

Anything, really! Within reason of course. My blast cabinet is a specialist unit, designed initially for dental purposes. For this reason the working area, nozzles and guns are made for blasting smaller articles. Larger items can be blasted, but the maximum size is restricted to that of a standard size carriage clock. Examples of work I have blasted include: watch cases, casebacks, watch bracelets, watch clasps/buckles, bezels, shotgun triggers, firearms parts and jewellery pendants. 


What is the Blasting Process?

Firstly, the watch or item is stripped down into its component pieces and ultrasonically cleaned. Then, depending on the condition of the item (if it is heavily scratched or has a brushed finish etc) there may have to be some polishing work required to prepare the surfaces for blasting. Once a uniform base polish has been achieved the item is then blasted to the desired final finish. The blasted areas are then checked under magnification to ensure that the finish is consistent across all parts of the item and additional blasting is carried out if needed. The item is then rinsed to remove any residual glass beads, then blown out with clean high pressure air. Finally, the item is given a second ultrasonic clean. 

How much does it cost? 

Each watch or item is different, some are larger, some are smaller. Some require more preparation work beforehand and some require minimal prep. If a watch is sent to me already dismantled then this will be cheaper. For this reason it is hard to give a definitive answer and as such this work is quoted on a 'per item' basis. Please contact me for a quote.