The Watch Care Guide
Make your timepiece last generations.
The significance of a watch has been embedded in our cultures for centuries. Watches are more than just a time-telling device or a smart investment. Today, timepieces hold an emotional value that cannot be quantified. Be it a symbol of significant relationships to a precious heirloom piece or a representation of success and luxury, a timepiece needs to be cared for to ensure it functions optimally and lasts through generations.
From the finest watchmakers in the world, here are tips on how to maintain and care for your precious timepiece.
Clean Your Watch Appropriately
A general rule of thumb before getting started is to never use soap on your watch and only use gentle materials, such as a microfibre cloth, to wipe your watch down regularly. Ideally, this should be done daily.
Water-resistant watches can afford a minimal amount of moisture, but always be cautious. The crown and straps will benefit from a soft damp cloth, but in order to get into the tighter gaps, you can opt to use a wooden toothpick with a moistened end or a used toothbrush. Be patient and gentle during this step, as to not damage the mechanisms within. To finish, use a microfibre cloth without any polishing products, and leave tissue paper or kitchen towels away from this process – fibres left behind could interfere with the integrity of your watch.
Keep Your Watch Wound
Whether self-winding or not, it is recommended you wind your mechanical watch at least once a month. This is vital because winding keeps the watch working in pristine condition and spreads the lubricants. An appropriately lubricated watch will work better and for longer. For a manual wind watch, it’s a good habit to consistently wind it at the same time each day.
Be Careful Where and How You Wind It
Although it seems the most convenient, do not wind your watch while wearing it on your wrist or on a hard surface. Winding or adjusting your watch when it’s on your wrist or on an abrasive surface adds lateral stress on the delicate winding system, causing bends and breaks to the stem. The best way is to do as the experts do – remove the watch from your wrist and wind with care.
Watch Care Tips & Tricks
1. Avoid Contact with Chemicals
Your watch should be the last thing you put on. Not only because that is how James Bond prepares for a mission, but it holds a practical purpose as well. Soaps, detergents, cosmetics or perfumers can damage your watch case, crown or strap may interrupt with the inner workings of your watch. Allow time to pass and for skincare or fragrances to completely dry before adorning your wrist.
2. Do Not Open Your Watch
Do no tinker with perfection. This engineering work of art deserves the attention of experts and prevents the unwanted proliferation of moisture from the outside that may harm your watch. This leads us to our next point below.
3. Service Your Watch Regularly
If you are diligent with your at-home watch maintenance, a mechanical watch should be serviced every two years at the hands of a professional. This is where gears or stems can be replaced, lubricated and recalibrated.
4. Keep Away from Magnets
Avoid leaving your watch near strong magnetic fields like speakers, refrigerators, mobile phones, or magnets on handbags. This comes down to the vulnerability of the balance spring. In essence, this affects the watch’s accuracy or can even stop the watch completely.
5. Protect Your Paperwork
Depending on the brand, these may include any of the following: user manual, Certificate of Authenticity, Certificate of Origin, and warranty card. These, just like a birth certificate, entails the story of your timepiece, as well as proof of its origins.
6. Avoid Sun Exposure
Sunlight can take away precious time from a watch, as it causes fading and can shorten the battery life. So whenever possible, prevent your watch from being exposed to direct sunlight and store it in appropriate storage.
Speaking of storage, storing your watch is paramount in keeping it in exquisite condition.
7. Storing Your Watch
Face Up – Always store your watches face side up. This will not only protect the glass, case, bezel and jewels from damage but keeps the gears and whistles working smoothly for a longer duration, lifetimes, even.
Soft Pillows – Wrap each of your watches around a soft pillow. The pillow will gently protect the watch while absorbing any potential moisture.
Taking good care and maintaining your watch is a repetitive, delicate and rewarding experience that we truly believe you will never get tired of. A fine timepiece should not be relegated to a locked safe but meant to be worn. In fact, wearing it allows it to stay lubricated and continue to run as an exquisite piece of machinery.
If you like what you see here, you may also want to discover our other story on timepieces that speak individuality here.
Watch featured in images: Longines Record Collection.