DIY Watch Maintenance, Care, and Upkeep

DIY Watch Maintenance[quads id=1]Well taken care of watches can last a long time, even generations. Like all things though if you want your watch to last it’s important to perform basic routine maintenance on it.

You can have a watch repair shop or jewelry store perform advanced upkeep services for you, but there is a minimum of things you should do on your own between professional services.

Below are professional tips to help you keep your watch in the same excellent condition in which it was bought. If you do utilize a local watch repair or jewelry store keep in mind it could void your warranty depending on the brand of watch you own.

Routine Cleaning

When you keep the outside of your watch clean you reduce the probability of the inside of your watch getting dirty. You should routinely wipe off your watch to remove perspiration, dust, and built up dirt.

Do it yourself Watch Maintenance

How to Clean a Non Water Resistant Watch

  • Simply wipe the watch in its entirety with a dry soft cloth
  • Avoid exposure to moisture

How to Clean a Water Resistant Watch

  • Use a soft damp cloth to clean the head and face of the watch
  • wipe off with a dry soft cloth.
  • Metal bands can be cleaned using mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush

Maintain a Service Schedule

Every 3 to 5 years you should consider a full movement overhaul (with disassembly, cleaning, reassembly of the movement, and improvement in the timing of the watch).

For a better service schedule you should consult your owners documents or find your brands website and see what they recommend for your model.

Battery Life

The average battery life on a quartz watch is 1 to 3 years. The end of life for the battery is dependent on several things like: condition of the movement, age, watch type digital or chronograph. If the chronograph is used often it tends to drain the life of the battery faster. Essentially the more functions your watch has the more power it will use and the shorter the total battery life you will have.

When a battery has reached its end of life you should replace it quickly, because the battery can leak and cause damage inside the watch. Alternatively you should not change a battery before it reaches end of life because you don’t want to expose the inside of the watch more than is required. For battery replacement near you, click here.

Water Resistance

All watches are not water resistant and even water resistant watches have varying degrees as to which how much water they can withstand. When a watch is bought as water resistant that does not mean it will always be water resistant…it needs to be routinely checked and tested. Seals and gaskets used to make the watch resistant to water deteriorate over time and need to be replaced. You should have your watch tested for water resistance every 12 to 18 months. Most jewelers or watch repair stores can perform this test.

4 Things You Should Avoid with your Watch

1. Impacts and Shocks

Sudden impacts or sharp jolts to your watch can damage the crystal, movement, case, dial, hands, and void your warranty. If your watch has experienced an impact the best thing to do is bring it to a watch repair near you.

Sometimes when you drop your watch you don’t see anything physically wrong with it. A trained watch technician should examine it to diagnose that it is working correctly.

2. Extreme Temperatures (Hot or Cold)

Moisture in the air and dramatic temperature changes can effect both time keeping and water resistance. Try to avoid temperatures that range above 60°C/140°F and below 0°C/32°F, unless you have a specialty watch made for such purposes.

3. Magnetic Fields

A mechanical watch can have its time keeping altered when exposed to a magnetic field. Its possible your watch will run slow, fast, or might stop completely. Magnets are found in common things like audio speakers, refrigerator magnets, magnetic hooks, and computers. Additionally cell phones have magnets in them that can also effect a mechanical watch.

If your watch is severely magnetized a watch repair shop can demagnetize it. Often a ull maintenance of the movement is required.

4. Chemicals

Direct contact with chemicals can damage the case, the gasket, and strap or bracelet. These chemicals can be found in cologne, perfume, cosmetics, detergents, lotions, etc…

You should take your watch off when putting on lotion, make up, or perfume.

For other information about watch upkeep you may be interested in the 10 most common issues with quartz watches.

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