Congratulations! You decided to invest in a mechanical watch. Now that you own this precious piece of art and technology, how do you love and maintain it as long as possible? Today we’ll be talking about just that.
When winding your mechanical watch, make sure to take it off your wrist. It may be tempting to skip some steps and wind it while on your wrist but taking those necessary steps is crucial. Winding it on your wrist can lead to an awkward angle and damage your winding stem. Also, make sure that your watch is not being over-winded as it operates best at above half tension in the mainspring. In order to ensure adequate winding, stop immediately upon felt resistance.
Although a lot of watches built these days have good mechanisms to resist water leakage into the movement, it is still not a great idea to regularly expose your watch to water. You can probably count on it to protect your watch from the occasional splash or submersion accidents, but regularly taking it on a swim is another story. Just a little flaw or leak in the watch can lead to major damage all around. If you’re looking for a watch to swim with regularly, we suggest investing in a watch with an at least a 50 meter rating.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Watches can be damaged by exposure to harsh chemicals. Not only does it have the potential to damage the outside of the watch, but it can seriously damage the internal mechanisms. Thus, when exposed to chemicals, it is better to be safe than sorry by removing your watch.
Stay Conscious of Magnetism
Keeping your watch in close proximity to magnets and items containing magnets such as iPads, TVs, phones, hairdryers, etc. can magnetize your watch. This will cause the watch to decrease in time-keeping accuracy as the delicate springs will shorten. If this happens, it is quite a simple and quick fix that your local watchmaker can handle but nevertheless preventing it from happening is better for the watch’s health.
Maintain Your Watch
Clean and Polish the Case
Every couple of months, make sure to gently clean off any dirt or grime on your crystal, acrylic, or plastic casing. Taking the extra step to polish it keeps it in top condition so it can both look and perform at its best.
Straps, just like your watch, need regular care to prolong its longevity. Depending on what material it’s made out of, you should handle it with appropriate care. Metals bracelets can be kept a long time by polishing it once in a while. Rubber straps are resistant to water but susceptible to damage from bug spray, sunscreen, and more. Thus, keeping it clean and washing off any of these can avoid damaging it. Leather straps do not do well with water exposure, but waterproofing it and adding some leather oil can help minimize the damage.
Overall, each watch is unique and may require varying care, but so long as you stay mindful of its condition and how you are treating it, it will surely lead to a long and prosperous lifespan.