If you take care of your watch your watch will take care of you. A well kept timepiece isn’t just abut looking sharp, it is about keeping it functioning. So just like you take an auto in for routine maintenance, a watch needs the same kind of regular love. Today we will walk you through how to clean a watch, which is something you can do on your own. Alternatively you can have a local repair shop or jeweler perform this upkeep for you as well.
Note that cleaning and polishing are two different things entirely. Cleaning a watch does not imply the application of polish. In fact before you consider polishing a watch you should consider how it may impact the value particularly on an older vintage antique timepiece.
The Purpose of Regular Cleaning
Cleaning your watch on a regular schedule has a few benefits. First it keeps your watch looking sharp. Second, and more importantly, when the outside is clean it reduces the chance of the inside getting dirty. When you routinely wipe down your timepiece you remove perspiration, dust, and built up dirt.
You may not realize how much the grease from your skin affects the materials. This is even more true if you use lotion, perfume, soaps, and other chemicals on your skin. Regular cleaning prevents these chemicals from building up and deteriorating the watch.
DIY How to Clean a Watch
Basic Cleaning of a Non Water Resistant Watch
- Wipe the watch in its entirety with a dry soft microfiber cloth
- Do not use water, chemicals, or soaps
- Avoid exposure to moisture
Basic Cleaning of a Water Resistant Watch
- Use a soft damp microfiber cloth to clean the case and crystal of the watch
- Wipe dry with a clean soft microfiber cloth
- Metal bands can be cleaned using mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush
- You can also invest in an ultrasonic cleaner which is what a jewelry store uses
Clean a Watch: Proper Maintenance and Upkeep
Keep up a Professional Service Schedule
For a high end luxury watch you should consider a professional watch servicing every 3 to 5 years. This should include a full movement overhaul (disassembly, cleaning, reassembly) and improving the timing of the watch timepiece.
High end watches normally have a recommended service schedule in the owners manual. You can also look online for your particular models recommended frequency of service. A full service can be expensive especially on a high end watch. You can get a service performed either at your local watch repair or at an authorized service center for your brand.
On a quartz watch a battery will last one to three years. A chronograph watch less, if you use the chrono functions regularly. Other things that case the battery to drain are the age and condition of the movement. Digital watches can also see a large drain on the battery when more functions are used.
Never let a drained battery sit in the timepiece. When a battery reaches it’s end of life it can leak and cause damage to the internal mechanisms. Changing a battery to often is also potentially risky to the watch. Each time the back of the case gets open you risk exposing the internal components to dust and other contaminants.
Not every watch is water resistant. Even a water resistant watch can only handle a certain amount of water pressure. For example a divers watch will be much better then a water resistant casual wrist watch.
A timepiece that is manufactured to resist water may not keep water out forever. The seals and gaskets that protect the watch from taking in water wear out over time. This is why it is important to get the watch serviced and water tested. If you depend on your timepiece to be water resistant then you should get it tested every 12 to 18 months.