Timepieces are often placed in the same category as jewelry—as a remarkable accessory made to add beauty and refinement to an individual’s look. And while that’s certainly true, it leaves out the fact that luxury timepieces derive a great deal of their beauty from the mechanical wizardry at play inside the case. While the outer elements of a watch can be polished or cleaned, if you aren’t taking care of the movement of your luxury timepiece, an unseen threat is slowly ticking down inside.
If you’re hoping to have a watch you can treasure for the rest of your life and pass down as an heirloom, it’s important to keep some things in mind.
Keep it Wound
This may seem obvious, but often, we’ve had our customers come in after they’ve left their favorite TAG Heuer watch to wind down and found later that it’s damaged the piece. Whether an automatic or manual, it’s important to practice regular winding (or wearing in the case of an automatic), since the movement of the gears and mainspring spreads lubricant equally and keeps it liquid. When a watch winds down, lubricant will build up and begin to congeal. This gunk can cause headaches for a watch owner in the long run.
What to Put on Your Watch & What Not To
It’s also important to perform a little TLC on your watch between maintenance sessions. It’s never a good idea to fully submerge your timepiece, even if it’s rated as water resistant. On the contrary, when you’ve got a Tissot watch that’s got a little grime on its case or bracelet, you should take a soft-bristled toothbrush and warm water, targeting grime and the spaces between the links. Dry your watch with a soft towel—and avoid detergents, oils, soap, or alcohol, since these chemicals can damage the strap or find their way into the movement of the timepiece.
While more and more designers are working with anti-magnetic materials, such as Luminox, magnetic fields can still wreak havoc with the delicate parts of a watch’s movement. It’s prudent to keep your timepiece away from the obvious culprits—magnets—but also subtle threats that could cause damage over time: audio speakers, TV sets, and refrigerators can all create magnetic fields thanks to the flow of electricity.
While you can perform some maintenance at home, one of the best things you can do to keep your favorite watch ticking along for decades is to entrust it to professional watchmakers. Professionals whose skills and tools allow them to open your watch and test its movement and complications in a way that’s otherwise impossible for you. At Smyth Jewelers, we suggest that you bring your watch into a watch repair specialist every three to five years for routine checkups and re-lubrication.
With decades of experience in luxury timepieces, trust Smyth Jewelers to be your local jeweler of choice when it comes to buying and maintaining watches! We are one of the only jewelry stores in the region that have an in-house watchmaker. Contact us today at our showrooms: Timonium, Maryland at (410) 252-6666; Annapolis, Maryland at (443) 321-0300; or Ellicott City, Maryland at (410) 461-4044!