There’s nothing like the feeling of a brand new watch. The effortless accuracy alongside an immaculate look truly makes the experience a thing of joy.
Whether you’re a new owner or seasoned collector, you’ll want to retain that box-fresh feeling for as long as possible. More than that, a luxury watch is an investment, and a well-maintained timepiece will also ensure precision and accuracy for many years to come.
Follow our expert advice and learn the simple ways that you can take care of your watch, to keep it looking and feeling flawless.
1. Keep it clean
There’s no doubt about it, a gleaming timepiece is a pleasure to gaze upon. Keep yours looking pristine with just a little water and a soft cloth. Ensure the crown is fully secure, then slightly dampen the cloth to gently work over the metal watch case and bracelets. There’s no need for soap, as this can work its way into tiny crevices and cause more harm than good. Any diamond embellishments can be gently scrubbed.
Avoid immersing your timepiece in hot water as the high temperature can damage the gaskets. Similarly, leather straps should be kept dry as water can spoil their appearance.
Once your watch is clean, a polish can help restore its lustrous beauty. As with soap, any polishing products are likely to get into the crevices of your watch, so all you need for this is a microfibre cloth. Simply work over your timepiece in small, gentle circles.
We recommend cleaning your timepiece every three months.
2. Be aware of the water-resistance rating
All timepieces come with a water-resistance rating. See below for a look at water depth and what this means for your watch:
- 30m Your watch is splash proof and water proof in small amounts of water.
- 50m Your watch can be submerged in water, making it suitable for shallow swimming.
- 100m Your watch is suitable for swimming, snorkelling, and water sports.
- 200m Your watch can be used while scuba diving.
- 300m+ This is a professional level, meaning your watch can be used for deep-sea diving.
If you’ve worn your timepiece while in saltwater be sure to rinse it as soon as possible, as this can be corrosive. Also avoid using any complications while your watch is submerged, as this can compromise the seal.
We’d advise checking your watch’s water resistance once a year, with a specialist, particularly if you shower or swim while wearing your timepiece. Also, remember that even with a high water-resistance rating, the materials in the gaskets and seals can dry out and affect the watch’s resistance. Similarly, the rubber seal that protects the movement can be subject to wear and tear, meaning older watchers are at more risk of water damage.
It’s worth remembering that if the seal has been damaged or your watch is a little older, moving from cold to warm temperatures – like coming out of a steamy bathroom for example – can fog up the crystal. This could lead to condensation water damage, so it’s best to avoid wearing your watch in these types of atmospheres.
3. Store in the original box or a watch case
Watch boxes and storage cases are as carefully crafted as timepieces themselves. Using some of the finest materials possible, they can help protect and display your watch.
Be sure to avoid laying your timepiece on its side, and in doing this you’ll protect the pushers and crown. Similarly, keep the crystal facing upright to ensure it doesn’t get scratched.
4. Limit heat and sun exposure
Complimenting your holiday wardrobe with an exquisite timepiece is just one of the joys of owning such an item. However, bright, warm climates do not make the best surroundings for a watch.
Lengthy periods of time in direct sunlight can cause the colours on your dial to fade. It can also shorten the battery life of your timepiece, and dry out the lubricants that help to keep the inner components working smoothly. Because of this, we recommend limiting the amount of time your watch is in direct heat or sunlight.
5. Prevent shocks and jolts
They may seem like activities unlikely to cause harm to your timepiece however, impacts from movements such as playing golf or jogging can do damage to your watch. These micro jolts affect the mechanics and complications, and can result in accuracy that’s less than precise.
While some timepieces can handle shocks a little better than others, we recommend refraining from all avoidable jolts.
6. Keep away from chemicals
Chemicals such as perfume, cologne, or moisturisers can cause damage to the straps or watch case. This is because the acidic base of the fragrance or lotion can cause the material to wear. Before putting your timepiece on, be sure to let any chemical you may have used dry thoroughly.
7. Ensure regular servicing
Your timepiece is made up of hundreds of intricate moving parts, which are subject to inevitable wear and tear. Getting your watch serviced is the best way to ensure it remains in excellent condition, just like you would for a car.
At a service your timepiece will be stripped down, cleaned, relubricated – to prevent friction between those delicate inner components – checked for accuracy, and also checked for water resistance.
Even if everything seems to be in working order, we recommend getting quartz watches serviced every three to four years and mechanical watches serviced every three to five years.
8. Avoid magnets
Magnetic fields can interact with the components of a timepiece and affect the balance spring. This will restrict your watch’s ability to function properly and could even stop it working completely. To avoid this happening, make sure your watch doesn’t come into contact too long with things like speakers, refrigerators, smartphones, or iPads. To help put this into context, a watch can stop working at 60 Gauss and the magnets on a refrigerator door are measured at around 50 Gauss.
9. Take care of the crystal
Perhaps an obvious tip but one that remains incredibly important; be careful with the crystal. By avoiding bumps and bangs or potential scuffers, like cufflinks and shirt buttons, you can protect against scratches. Likewise, try to avoid subjecting any pushers or the crown to knocks and scuffs.
10. Keep it ticking over
Your watch’s movement needs to tick over regularly to make sure nothing seizes up and it continues to run smoothly. The simplest way to do this is by wearing it. However, if you don’t tend to wear your timepiece every day, or you alternate between different watches, we recommend giving them a wind. Most modern hand-wound watches won’t let you overwind so this is a straightforward thing to do. Automatic watches can benefit from a watch winder.
And if in doubt, leave it to us
Our in-house team of master watchmakers are available to carry out a range of services, ensuring your timepiece remains in pristine condition. We take a great deal of pride in our work and this is shown in the generations of clients who return, time and again, trusting us to care for their watches post purchase. We’re also proud to be a brand-accredited agent of luxury horology houses, including Rolex, Breitling, and OMEGA.