Buying your first luxury watch, or adding another one to your growing collection, is exciting. But beyond that adrenaline, you need to know how to take care of your new watch so it can be well-maintained over time.
We have some general recommendations to help you keep your watch in tip-top condition.
1. Gain more than lose from regular servicing
Just like other luxurious items such as cars, watches require regular servicing as well. A general rule of thumb for mechanical watches is servicing every two to three years, while quartz watches every three to four years. Paying a small servicing fee for a luxury watch is worth it, given the astronomical amount your watch is worth. A tip to save servicing costs is to send your watch for servicing within the warranty period.
2. Get your watch serviced if there’s a shock or impact
Instead of shrugging a shock or impact off, it is advisable to let experts see if the watch has suffered any damages. The impact may not be visible physically but the inner workings of the watch may have been affected.
3. Avoid placing your watch close to any magnets
Magnets exist in many everyday items, be it handbag clasps, mobile phone cases, speakers or even computers. By placing your watch close to items with strong magnetic field, it could risk being magnetised and affecting its mainspring or hairspring. This may lead to your watch either gaining or losing seconds and minutes every day, affecting the timekeeping function.
4. Know how water-resistant your watch is
Non water-resistant and water-resistant watches have to be handled and cared for differently. For water-resistant watches, it’s also advisable to determine what the threshold is. To be safe, generally avoid bringing your watch to pools or beaches. Avoid dunking or even splashing it with water. Exposure to water could lead to the crowns and pushers becoming loose or weaken the leather strap.
5. Avoid extreme temperatures
This tip includes the sauna, jacuzzi and hot showers. Extreme temperatures above 60°C and below 0°C could expand and contract the metals in your watch, causing moisture to be trapped inside.
6. Avoid extended exposure to direct sunlight
As tempting as it may be to take out your gorgeous watch on the beach to snap some photos, try to resist it. Extended exposure to direct sunlight could fade the watch colour while the heat could shorten battery life.
7. Avoid contact with chemicals
Chemicals are known to be damaging to electronic products such as phones and laptops - your watch is no exception. Direct contact of cleaning supplies, oil, cologne or perfume with your watch could cause tears in your leather bands. To avoid contact in your everyday use, let your perfume or cologne completely dry before putting your watch on your wrist.
8. Keep safely for storage
Keeping your watches away is not as straightforward as it sounds. In general, try not to leave them exposed. You could wrap them up in a soft cloth to prevent exposure to dust or contact with other items. If placing in a box or a safe, do not set your watch on its crystal or on the side (pressing down on the crown) as this may cause scratches.
9. Never open your watch by yourself
Sometimes we deem it harmless to pry open our watch and fix the little problems ourselves. But opening your watch requires expertise. Not only could you risk exposure to dirt or dust or accidentally scratch the case, the water resistance of your watch might be affected as well. If that’s not enough warning, you could even risk the warranty of your watch.
10. Don’t adjust the date, day or other function at the wrong time
Did you know that there are specific time period when you are not advised to adjust the date or day on your mechanical watch? When the hour hand of your watch is between nine and three, the date mechanism is in transition. Adjusting your watch then will cause misalignment of the date and could also result in broken components floating around in the movement.
BONUS: Read the watch manual for the specific model you have
The above are general tips but there are some specific guidelines, depending on the model of watch you have. Read through your watch manual to find out the recommended service schedules, the types of cleaning tools you can use and other tips on using your watch properly.