The Ins and Outs of Watch Maintenance

A good watch is like an appliance or a vehicle. It needs proper maintenance to keep it functioning well and properly. Now, no one bats an eye when talking about servicing a car engine or changing out your washing machine hoses. However, when it comes to watch maintenance some feel that they can overlook this aspect of watch ownership, which can lead to a myriad of problems. It’s best to avoid them altogether and get your watch serviced and maintained before something goes wrong.

Watch MaintenanceHere are some of important facts you should know about maintaining your watch.

How Often?
Most watchmakers agree that your watch should be serviced approximately once every 3-5 years if it is well worn and used frequently. If the watch is used less frequently, for example a few times a month, you can usually wait longer. However, this does not mean that a watch that is never worn never needs to be serviced. Even one that is hardly ever used still needs to be taken out once a month or so to be run and wound up, and eventually serviced every 10 years.

Frequency of care also depends on climate changes and proper use of your watch. It is recommended that you get any sort of water resistant watch tested every 2 years to be sure that the sealing gaskets are still working properly and haven’t corroded over time. They also recommend 5 years as the maximum time in between services for dive watches, especially if you frequently expose it to seawater which can cause the O-rings to eventually crack and stop working. However, don’t let this discourage you. Your water resistant watch is not suddenly useless. As long as you take proper care of it and get it serviced regularly, you should never have any problems with it. That is what maintenance is for.

What Sort of Maintenance?
The insides of a mechanical watch include many teeny tiny metal parts acting together to create one tiny machine on your wrist. But with all these metal parts whirling about and rubbing against one another, it is easy to understand why some common wear and tear might happen.  So the maintenance that a proper watch technician does is crucial to the life of your watch and making sure that all those parts are functioning properly.

For each full service maintenance check your technician will clean, polish, and re-oil all the moving pieces along with checking each piece for wear. It is safe to assume that at least one part will need to be replaced which can also lead to other parts being replaced as well. Some brand technicians replace parts that are still in working order simply because it is protocol while other private technicians are careful to only replace parts that are damaged or close to damaging the rest of the mechanism. It is a good idea to talk with your technician about which parts need to be replaced so that you can know for future services.

When to Take Your Watch in?
Sometimes you might notice that something is not quite right and you could be facing an extra service that you weren’t prepared for. It doesn’t matter how long ago your last service was, or how long you have until your next one, if you notice something going wrong it is important to deal with it straightaway. Especially if you notice any kind of moisture inside your device. Rust can be death for your watch and you don’t want to risk losing it if it can be prevented.

Certain parts that need to be replaced can be expensive if not dealt with soon enough and in older watches whose parts are harder to come by, it can be extremely difficult to replace parts that are damaged. Make sure you talk to your technician about how much you are willing to spend to save your watch if there is damage so that they don’t spend time and money fixing something that isn’t worth it to you.

In the end, it comes down to proper maintenance. If you want to avoid potentially disastrous damage to your watch, get it taken care of regularly. Prevention is the key to maintaining it and making it last for years to come.

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