Watches need the same amount of attention as fine jewelry. Fine watches are sophisticated and precise pieces of equipment; the price often reflects the skilled workmanship that goes into a fine timepiece. In order to get the most satisfaction out of your watch, you should follow some simple care and cleaning guidelines.
- No matter how handy you are, don’t attempt “do-it-yourself” watch repairs. Only an expert jeweler/watchmaker should be trusted to put your watch back into working condition.
- Give your watch a quick check on a regular basis; making sure that the strap or bracelet is securely attached to the watch face.
- A mechanical watch should be checked regularly by your jeweler/watchmaker or an authorized dealer and serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Wind your watch in a clockwise direction, preferably about the same time each day. Remove the watch from your wrist when winding so as not to place undue pressure on the stem.
- Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately. Even a hairline crack can let dust and moisture into the time-keeping mechanism, threatening its accuracy.
- Unless the degree of water-resistance is clearly specified when you purchase your watch, do not wear it into the shower or pool, or on a moist wrist.
- Have your jeweler/watchmaker or an authorized watch dealer replace the battery in a quartz watch before it runs out. Dead batteries left in the watch can leak or corrode, ruining the timepiece. Do not attempt to change the battery in a watch yourself. If your watch is water-resistant, a water-resistance test should be performed after the battery has been replaced to ensure that water will not leak into and damage the watch.
- Batteries run for about two to three years. Those in some less expensive, multi-function digital watches have shorter lives, as little as six months. Using extra features such as a calculator or game can shorten battery life
- Oils from your skin can build up on a watch. If your watch is water-resistant, you can give it a quick cleaning with a mixture of warm water and either a mild soap or a dish detergent. Dry the watch with a soft cloth after cleaning. If your watch has a strap made out of leather or another material, you should clean only the watch face and not the strap.
If your watch is not water-resistant, or you’re not sure, do not immerse it in water. Clean the piece with a slightly damp cloth and then dry.