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DIY restoration ninja shares shocking before-and-after photos of vintage watch they bought for $8: 'A hidden gem'

"I'm guessing it got extra dinged and scratched by just being carted around."

Before-and-after photos of restored watch

Photo Credit: u/so_magpie/ Reddit

You don't need to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a new watch. Sometimes, all it takes is a few bucks and perseverance to make a secondhand watch look brand new. 

In a popular Reddit post, one user shares their incredible restoration of a damaged watch they found at a flea market. The user paid just $8, and with a bit of elbow grease, they managed to restore the watch to its former glory. 

This watch was a hidden gem among piles of costume jewelry and watches at a flea market vendor. 

"I'm guessing it got extra dinged and scratched by just being carted around," the Redditor writes in the comment section. 

All it took was a battery replacement and some sandpaper to revitalize this watch. The Redditor alternated between varying types of sandpaper — from 1000 grit to 2500 grit — to restore the watch's crystal glass face.

You would never know scuffs and scratches once covered it. 

The watch appears to be from Seiko Watches, a Japanese watchmaker. The average Seiko watch will set you back between $500 and $1000. A similar watch featured on the company's website retails for $195, which means this flea market find was a fantastic deal.

Buying secondhand watches and other jewelry can offset not only personal costs but also the environmental impact of the industry. 

Mining raw materials like metals, diamonds, and gemstones for watches and jewelry can be damaging to biodiverse areas. It can turn areas like rainforests into barren, mined-out plots of land, often referred to as moonscapes.

Choosing pre-owned jewelry and watches can help decrease demand in an industry harmful to the environment. 

Redditters were impressed with this user's handiwork and shared their praise in the comment section. 

One user writes, "Great job, nice rescue piece!"

"Really impressive," another Redditor adds

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