The Rhodium Plating Service allows a Cartier watch made of white gold to rediscover its initial shine, whiteness and brilliance. These qualities are initially reinforced by adding a thin layer of rhodium, but this protection deteriorates over time and needs to be refurbished. Nevertheless, given that the polishing process involves the removal of a thin layer of metal, you are not recommended to have the rhodium plating service carried out more than four times in a watch's lifetime. Since it also requires the different watch parts to be separated from one another, rhodium plating is systematically accompanied by a Maintenance or Complete Service.
Performed by a Cartier specialist craftsman, Rhodium Plating includes the following operations:
- the case is separated from the bracelet;
- the movement / dial / hands ensemble is separated from the case;
- the layer of rhodium is removed from each part using brushes and abrasive pastes, so as to obtain a naked surface to which the new layer can be applied. This is the longest and most delicate phase, as the parts must be made to look brand new without altering their original shape.
- the surfaces of each part are reworked in three stages:
- felting: superficial scratches are removed using a very hard brush and a very abrasive paste; it should be noted however that certain deep scratches cannot be removed;
- polishing: the surface is given a smooth finish using a hard brush and an abrasive paste;
- shining: the final shine is given using a soft brush and a fine paste;
- the case and the bracelet are subjected to ultrasonic cleaning;
- a rhodium bath is prepared to deposit a thin layer of rhodium on the surface of each part;
- the different parts of the watch are reassembled.