So you’ve bought a “real” mechanical watch. You’ve entered the hallowed world of watch aficionados and will be wearing your new timepiece with pride. It’s an exciting moment. You want to keep your watch forever, so it’s important to take good care of your watch to ensure that it will last for many years to come. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To take care of your new luxe buddy, there are some things to remember when it comes to maintaining it. Here’s our guide to tips and good investments to keep your watch running and looking like a dream.
How to Store a Watch
Where will you store your watch when you’re not wearing it? There’s a sea of options for storing your watch, but what you want to avoid most of all are sun exposure, excessive humidity, and dust.
Prolonged sun exposure can fade a watch strap and cause some watch dials to also fade or discolor. And while most watches can withstand heat, it’s better to keep them out of the sun and away from hot surfaces. A simple pouch will protect your timepiece, preferably one that’s light in color.
To protect from humidity, store your watch in a cool, dry place. A piece of absorbent cotton, for example, can help draw moisture away from the watch when it’s in a case. Moisture can enter your watch through the crown and affect the movement and potentially the dial. Make sure your watch crown is in the pushed-in position, and screwed down if it has that feature.
Dust protection is pretty straightforward: store your watch in a pouch or case of some kind when you’re not wearing it. Dust can enter through the crown, so again, always make sure the crown is in the pushed-in position.
For an automatic watch, there are winders that will keep your watch wound when you’re not wearing it. Winders are especially handy if your automatic watch has features that rely on its continual movement. Examples of this include a date or calendar function and a moon phase, which will lose accuracy if the watch movement stops. There are various types of watch winders, from simple battery-operated to electric winders, and there are also winders that can hold multiple watches.
Having a safe to keep your watch in is a very good idea, especially for more expensive ones. A safe will give you peace of mind and protect against theft.
When possible, place your watch in a box with a pillow to protect it from excessive jostling. Another option for watches with straps is a folding case that keeps the watch flat and protected. Of course, never put your watch in your check-in baggage when flying; always bring it with you into the cabin.
It’s never recommended for a watch owner to tinker with a watch movement. That’s always best done by a watchmaker. However, you may want a tool for changing your watch’s strap. A tool for adding or removing bracelet links also comes in handy. Even with these at-home fixes, it’s best to ask a professional how to do it first. And don’t attempt to fiddle with your watch’s movement unless you are a trained watchmaker. If the movement breaks or is damaged, you’ll most likely be spending a lot of money at the watchmaker for repair, if it can be repaired at all. Don’t forget that this will also probably nullify your warranty if you have one.