As a specialized watch repair and service center based in the heart of New York City, here at Watch Central, we have had thousands of luxury timepieces pass through the hands of our specialists. From Rolex and Patek Philippe to Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin to Breitling and Omega, we have repaired all kinds of watch problems ranging from easy fix-ups to complete overhauls. One thing we like to stress to our clients is that preventative measures—that is, correctly taking care of your watch—is a key way to avoid long-term damage in the future. Yes, luxury watches are made to last a lifetime or two, but that promise only stays true if the owner does his or her part as well. With that in mind, we would like to share some top tips on how to properly take care of your watch.
Wearing and Using Your Watch
Proper upkeep begins with how you wear and use your watch. We recommend that you get familiar with the functionality of your watch. Do you know how to correctly wind it, set it, adjust it, and use all the complications (if any)?
If you bought your watch new, then take some time to read the manual that came with it so you can learn the correct way to use it. If you purchased a pre-owned watch and it did not come with a manual, then you can sometimes find an online version of the manual from the brand or you can ask fellow watch enthusiasts for some help via online forums.
One of the most important features of your watch that you should understand is its water resistance. For instance, do not take a watch swimming or even in the shower if it is not capable of withstanding that type of exposure to water. If your watch comes with a screw-down crown (or screw-down chronograph pushers) such as Rolex watches, make sure those are tightly sealed when you are wearing the watch. That will keep out any moisture or dust from getting into the watch’s movement.
Storing Your Watch
When you are not wearing your watch, how you store it is also important. Watches should live in cool, dark and dry places away from electronics. They should never be exposed to high humidity, extreme temperatures, and magnetic fields for long periods of time. That will just lead to future problems.
The best place to store your watch would be in a dedicated watch box—whether that is the original box the watch came in or a jewelry case specifically made to house multiple watches. If your watch is an automatic one, a watch winder is a good option too to ensure that the watch continues to run even while you are not wearing it.
If you are traveling with a set of watches, then invest in a high-quality watch roll to prevent damage while on the go. The last thing you want to see when you open your suitcase is a stack of smashed crystals or scratched up watch cases!
Servicing Your Watch
When you invest in an expensive luxury timepiece, it is imperative that you maintain a regular service schedule for your watch. Develop a relationship with a skilled watchmaker and send your watch in regularly for a check-up.
During a service, a proficient watchmaker will, among other things, clean and polish the exterior, check the interior and replace any gaskets if needed, disassemble the movement and add lubrication, and utilize a Witschi tester to examine water resistance.
A build-up of dirt and grim will cause several problems with your watch down the line such as bracelet stretching, dulled appearance, and deep scratches. Worn and torn gaskets will eventually allow water to seep into your watch, causing heavy (and expensive) damage to your movement and/or dial. Lack of lubrication in your movement will bring about unnecessary friction within the movement, which will ultimately lead to problems in timekeeping. All of these issues can be easily avoided with a regular watch-servicing schedule. This is especially important if your watch regularly goes underwater or frequently accompanies you in other active pastimes.
However, before you trust your luxury watch to a service center, make sure the company has experience dealing with high-end brands such as Audemars Piguet, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Breitling, Omega and other comparable watches. Dealing with fine timepieces that house complex mechanical movements requires specific training, lengthy experience, and specialized knowledge.
Also, it is essential that you never let a battery-operated watch sit for too long with a dead battery in it. The battery can leak fluids into the watch and cause irreparable damage. Remember, many top watch brands like Breitling, TAG Heuer, Omega, Cartier, and others also make quartz watches. So if your watch stops working due a dead battery, send it in as soon as possible for a battery replacement.
Take the Time To Care for Your Watch
If you are mindful of how you wear, use, store, and most importantly service, your watch, then it should—barring any accidents—last you a very long time. With these simple tips, you can extend the life of your cherished timepiece. Not only will you be able to enjoy it longer, but it will also be in great condition should you decide to sell your watch or give it away in the future.
If your watch needs a service or some repairs, then reach out to Watch Central and we’d be more than happy to help. We have been repairing and servicing watches from leading brands like Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, and countless others for decades. Not only do we have a team of expert watchmakers on site, but we also have the highly specialized equipment needed to service luxury watches.
You can either contact Watch Central via phone or email and have your watches sent to our watch repair center or drop in anytime at our location in NYC.
October 4, 2018.
Photography by Aleksandra Krosniak