This paper proposes a new approach to 3D watermarking by ensuring the optimal preservation of mesh surfaces. A new 3D surface preservation function metric is defined consisting of the distance of a vertex displaced by watermarking to the original surface, to the watermarked object surface as well as the actual vertex displacement. The proposed method is statistical, blind, and robust. Minimal surface distortion according to the proposed function metric is enforced during the statistical watermark embedding stage using Levenberg-Marquardt optimization method. A study of the watermark code crypto-security is provided for the proposed methodology. According to the experimental results, the proposed methodology has high robustness against the common mesh attacks while preserving the original object surface during watermarking.