A luxury timepiece is a great investment, often doing more than telling the time. They are also associated with personal stores or milestones thus attaching to them a very great sentimental value. If cared for properly, these timepieces, which are so meticulously constructed and built to last a really long time, can be passed down as an heirloom. It is not very difficult to properly care for a watch but akin to an automobile, it does require regular care. There are certain steps that need to be followed to ensure a fine timepiece lasts for many years to come.
A general rule to follow for any watch is maintenance. It is imperative to take a watch to an expert every three to four years. An automatic watch can be fine-tuned and the batteries of a quartz watch can be replaced. Performing this basic maintenance will ensure that the precision and accuracy of your watch does falter with time. One can also alternate between maintenance and full-service to counter the natural effects of wear and tear on the watch.
Cleaning your watch as often as possible with a soft cloth to wipe it down will remove dust, dirt and moisture that may have accumulated in the strap of the watch especially if you wear it daily. As the watch band has more contact with skin, it requires more attention. The lack of cleaning a watch band may trigger faster deterioration of the band or also lead to irritation of skin if left dirty.
If left lying idly, humidity and dust can get into watches and may destroy the mechanical movements or cause them to rust. It is important to retain the box that the watch comes in for storage and use it to house the timepiece when not in use. By leaving a watch on its side or face, there is a possibility of scratches, this is avoidable with proper storage.
Magnetic fields adversely affect the delicate movements of a watch. Long exposure to magnets may cause a timepiece to gain or lose time, hence it is best that watches be stored away from objects with magnetic fields like smart phones, televisions, speakers, magnetic clasps etc.
Whatever the temptation – do not attempt to open a watch by yourself. Opening watches will not only void the warranty but also expose them to dirt, moisture and other small particles that may get embedded in the movement and subsequently destroy them. The movements of watches are crafted with such precision that even the slightest exposure may cause them to malfunction. Repairs should be best left to certified professionals.
It is in the best interest of a watch to know its water resistance capabilities. Instances of watch wearers being unaware of a watches limits and taking them in too deep have resulted in the destruction of fine watches. As such, if a watch is water resistant up to 50 mts, it is not advisable to go snorkeling with the watch on as they may not be able to handle water pressure. As such, most watches can handle small splashes of water but it is best to avoid this. If you timepiece has a leather strap, refrain from water activities altogether as this may weaken the strap leading to early deterioration.
If you wear a mechanical watch, it is a good idea to wind it fully at preferably at the same time each day, being careful to not force the crown in case it stops. If you only wear your watch occasionally, it may be prudent to wind your watch every few weeks while it is in storage to enhance its life.
Some additional safeguards to keep in mind to ensure a lengthy use for a watch are to avoid long exposure to heat and sunlight as this may discolour the strap or shorten battery life. Unexpected shocks and impacts to a watch may result in permanent damage to the case, dial and movement and also void the warranty. Prolonged contact with chemicals present is cosmetics and fragrances may also lead to damage of the case, dial, gasket or strap.