Treat your watch gently, is the basic attitude in watch care. A watch is a precious thing due to various reasons. The sheer cost of the timepiece is indeed an important consideration. In addition, there are reasons which are not related to cost in terms of money that makes you attached to your timepiece. Your love for your watch is an extremely personal and the cost of that value is incalculable. This is indeed an invitation to treat your timepiece gently.
CARING FOR YOUR WATCH IS AN ESSENTIAL PERSONAL CHOICE
The care and upkeep of the watch can be compared to the maintenance of any equipment made of a lot of moving parts. You can compare this to the periodic check, servicing and maintenance that is done to your car.
Cars are made up of wheels and so are watches. Compared to a car a timepiece indeed is very small. Within the small area, hundreds of intricate components are packed and they perform their functions in perfect unison day and night, for months, for years is an amazing feat. A mechanical movement may have anything between 100 to 300 components, some of them so small that you need magnifying glasses actually to see them properly. These components need periodic cleaning, lubrication and in rare cases replacement. Car owners know too well that the neglect of periodic service eventfully ends up in costly repairs attesting the wisdom of the old English adage: A stitch in time saves nine. This is also true in the case of timepieces.
YOU AND YOUR WATCH
The user of a high-end luxury timepiece is in a way in an intimate relationship. Whatever be your possessions in terms of bank balance, property, cars a watch is something that other people see along with you. You are in close contact with the timepiece as your attendant companion around your wrist all the time. When you are in a relationship with a watch there are certain expectations from you about the way you are going to treat it and that is the crux of watch care; treat it gently.
WATCH CARE: GENERAL GUIDELINES
The following are some of the general guidelines in watch care:
- Read thoroughly the Manuel of Instructions and keep it safely for future use.
- Adhere to the instructions to the letter and spirit; it is prepared by an expert.
- Adjust the bracelet or strap tightly around the wrist to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
- After contact with sea water or pool water wipe away the moisture with a soft, clean cloth lightly soaked in lukewarm water.
- Do not test the water resistance to the ultimate level; water resistance indicated is in test conditions and when the watch was brand new.
- Test the watch resistance at periodic intervals; once in every year is fine.
- Do not expose the watch to heavy shock.
- Service watch only in authorized service centers.
CARING FOR WATCHES WITH MANUAL MECHANICAL MOVEMENT
Watches with manual mechanical movement (hand-wound timepieces) should be wound once a day, every day at the same time. Many do the winding of their watch the first thing that they do once they get up in the morning .This makes winding habitual. The moment you experience resistance at your fingers stop winding as the spring has been fully wound. Further winding will damage the watch.
CARING FOR WATCHES WITH AN AUTOMATIC MECHANICAL MOVEMENT
Automatic mechanical watches, also called self-winding timepieces, have varying hours of power reserve. However, if they are not in use for a long time they stop running. To avoid this, when they are not worn they should be manually wound. When the watch has stopped completely, it has to be wound manually a couple of times till it starts.
CARING FOR WATCHES WITH QUARTZ MOVEMENT
Most quartz movements run on batteries which have to be replaced periodically depending of the average expectancy of life for these batteries. The quartz movements are highly sensitive to magnetic fields such as speakers, mobile phone and metal detectors. Extreme temperature conditions as well as humid atmosphere harm them. Repetitive hits like hammering with watch on wrist might affect the movement, unless it is specifically designed for it.
If you in keep in mind the analogy between watch and the car the importance of servicing becomes evident. Servicing is a routine activity that has to be performed periodically in order to ensure smooth functioning of the timepiece. Doing it at the appropriate period will help keep off costly repairs in future. Usually a good brand will have a net work of service centers known as the authorized service centers. It is better to entrust the watch to such centers as they will have trained technicians and necessary tools to do the servicing. The periodicity of service will be usually indicated in the Manual of Instructions supplied with the watch when you purchased it. There certain routine service issues like the replacing of the batteries, straps or bracelets which can be done with any good retailer as they do not necessarily affect the working of the watch.
There are three different type of servicing that a watch needs. The first type can be called a Quick Service which includes things like time setting, battery replacements, bracelet sizing etc. Then there is what is called Partial Maintenance which involves opening of the watch case but do not require the complete dismantling of the timepiece. In Total Service the entire movement and case is involved. In this the entire watch is dismantled and each component is checked, the faulty ones and those which show wear are replaced, the system is oiled with appropriate lubricants and reassembled. The case too is checked for air and water resistance and the gaskets are replaced.
Repair and Restoration too is part of watch care. Both need for repair and restoration can be avoided or prolonged if the service part is properly carried out. Having said this we have to accept the reality that like all machines watches too have certain life-span depending on the components used. Technology upgradation which is taking place on a daily basis is certainly increasing the life expectancy of watches. However, the way we care for our timepiece is certainly the crucial thing in its efficient performance and longevity. So, take care of your watch.