Daily Watch CareBack to Articles
As they are the only technical instrument that we wear directly on our bodies, wristwatches have a unique and emotional bond with us. Therefore, it is important that we give our watches a little regular TLC to help keep them in pristine condition.
The care of your wristwatch is not just a job for your local watch repair shop (although we would always encourage you to support these businesses). There are also a few simple steps you can take at home to maintain the look of your watch and extent its operational life.
Do’s and Don’ts
There are some simple rules for keeping your watch looking good and running efficiently at a minimal effort.
- Do not change the date when the time on the watch is between the hours of 10 and 2.
- Do not put your watch near magnets. (Beware putting a watch on top of hi-fi speakers, laptop or mobile phones as these contain large magnets).
- Do not force any moving parts.
- Do not subject a watch to greater water pressure than it was manufactured to withstand.
- Do rinse your watch in fresh water if it has been used in chlorinated or seawater.
Storage case / box
When not wearing your watch, it is always a good idea to store it in an appropriate case or box. This will assist in keeping your watches clean and prevent dust getting into them. It would also keep your watches in a safe place, rather than stuffed into that overflowing bedside drawer. A nice watch box can also result in a pleasing display to look at and enjoy even whilst the watches aren’t being worn.
If you are the lucky owner of a quality automatic watch (a watch powered by the movement of your wrist), it is well worth considering investing in a watch winder. An automatic watch is generally a more expensive watch to buy, and therefore worthy of some care. A watch winder doubles as both a method of keeping the automatic movement of the watch in motion, via a rotating watch holder, and a storage box to display the watch to its best advantage.
As the winder will keep the watch in motion, this will help the oils within the movement to move, self-lubricating the watch. This should also mean that the watch will need servicing less often, saving you money. Learn more about Watch Winders.
Metal watch cases and bracelets
Over time metal watches can become oxidized from sweat, rain or any water source. They may also become dirty (particularly the expanding and mesh-type bracelets). This may cause skin staining or irritation. To prevent this you can clean your case and bracelet using a toothbrush and a very gentle soap. (Be VERY wary of strong detergents, as they can damage a watch).
If your watch has a high level of water resistancy, you can rinse the watch under a gentle stream of water and clean, brushing off any visible dirt with the toothbrush/soap.
If the watch is not water-resistant, remove the bracelet from the watch and clean the bracelet separately. Your local Timepiece Watch Repairs store can ultrasonically clean your watch case and bracelet for best results.
If your watch is on a leather strap, remove the strap and clean the case as detailed above. See below for care of leather straps.
Leather watch straps
Leather is a natural product, so to ensure your leather strap stays beautiful and looks great in the long term, it will need a little care. As with any leather product it should be maintained and protected from, dirt, grim and sweat to name a few. Most Leather is porous, especially where it has been stitched or glued, (some straps are treated with some water resistance chemicals to prevent this) therefore cannot be always be guaranteed water proof and will soak liquids up, occasionally meaning it could result in discolouration, staining or a poor smell. If your watch does begin to smell you should give the strap a break from being worn and allow it to breathe, however if this does not work you can considering cleaning it.
How to clean your leather strap.
- Carefully remove the strap and wipe down with a dry microfiber cloth.
- Then use a barely damp (not wet) jewellery cloth and a tiny amount of mild soap (applied onto the cloth). Using this cloth lightly rub in gentle circles or use a light tapping onto the strap. Remember to use a very gentle soap as a harsh soap can strip the leather.
- Use another lightly dampened cloth, (using excessive water can damage the leather), to wipe the excess soap clean.
- Dry the strap carefully and gently.
- Once the strap is dried then use a leather oil or conditioner to soften and protect the strap, should you choose to. Remember to follow the instructions from the oil.
Remember the golden rule, should you ever use your watch in salt or chlorinated water, when swimming or diving, then you should always rinse the watch under and gentle stream of water and dry it using a soft absorbent cloth.
However if you are unsure on the correct ways to clean your watch it is always worth bringing your watch into your local Timepiece Watch Repair Shop and seeking advice from one of our highly experienced and trained staff about the services we offer, who will be happy to help.