A high-quality watch is more than just a timepiece; it’s an investment in precision and style. It’s only natural that you’ll want to care for that investment and keep your watch performing at its best. In this watch-care guide, we’ll answer some common questions about watch cleaning, care, and maintenance, and share some tips which could help prolong your watch’s life.
What’s the Safest Way to Clean a Watch?
The gentlest and safest way to clean a watch is with a dry microfiber cloth, but heavier dirt buildup may call for a more thorough clean. Before you start, check that the watch’s crown is screwed down against the case (for maximum water resistance), then use a very soft brush and soap, together with warm – but not hot – water. Finish up by rinsing your watch, before drying and polishing it gently with that ever-useful microfiber cloth.
Tip: Never use detergents or solvents – these could tarnish your watch’s metal surfaces or eat into the water-resistant seals.
Should I Keep My Watch Wound?
Yes. Watches are mechanical instruments with many tiny moving parts; these parts are lubricated, but over time the lubricant can congeal. This is more likely to happen if the watch stops running for long periods. By keeping your watch wound – and therefore running – you can ensure that the lubricant stays at the right consistency to protect the mechanism.
Tip: It’s important to wind your watch correctly. Never wind a watch while wearing it; this can strain or even break the winding stem. Our downloadable watch-care guide includes advice on how to wind and set many common types of automatic watches.
Waterproof vs Water Resistant – What’s the Difference?
Something which is waterproof is completely impervious to water; it’s very rare for watches to be labeled this way. But many watches are water resistant – meaning they’re impervious to water up to a certain pressure. If you swim or dive with your watch on, you should be aware of its limits. Keep in mind that water resistance can be affected by aftermarket modifications, such as the addition of aftermarket bezels, so it’s usually best not to expose customized watches to water.
Can Salt Damage a Watch?
If your watch is exposed to salt water (such as sea water), you may find that small salt deposits appear on the surface as it dries; these can be unsightly. The best way to prevent problems is by rinsing your watch with clean, fresh water immediately after exposure. Fine abrasive particles like salt and sand can also scratch watches – again, a thorough rinse is the best remedy.
Tip: Never try to rub salt or sand off of your watch with a cloth or brush; this will only increase the risk of scratching. Always rinse first.
Should I Avoid Extreme Temperatures?
Yes – extreme heat, cold, and sudden fluctuations in temperature can cause malfunctions or even breakages. As precision instruments, watches are designed to function best at or around normal room temperature, but high-quality watches are usually fairly tolerant of reasonable temperature ranges. Most good watches will perform reliably between 32 and 140 degrees.
Can Magnets Damage Watches?
Exposure to a strong magnetic field can affect a watch’s ability to keep time accurately. Of course, we’re exposed to magnetism regularly; every electrical device creates a weak magnetic field. This kind of day-to-day exposure rarely creates problems, but if you’re working with powerful magnets (such as electromagnets) then you should think about removing your watch first to maintain its accuracy.
When to Get Help
This watch-care guide should help you look after your watch and avoid some of the most common causes of damage. Even so, watches are made to be worn and accidents can always happen. Should your watch break – or simply suffer from wear and tear – then it’s best to have it repaired by a professional.
With experts on hand, we’re ready and waiting to repair your watch and return it to you in top-notch condition.
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