If there is anything that the digital age has taught us, it’s that there’s something undoubtedly attractive about analog. Whether it’s photography, cars, hi-fi, or watches, being in control of a device with movable parts that we can manipulate and control is satisfying.
But as technology progresses, knowledge of the old ways fades, or worse, is to be lost forever. We should pass that knowledge on to new generations of aficionados, our duty—so keeping that in mind, we’ll talk about the seven ways you take care of your watch.
1.) Avoid Automatic Winders
It’s recommended to stay away from automatic winders because they keep the watch at full power and puts more strain on the automatic components. The only luxury that automatic winders give you is that you watch will always be relatively on time because there will always be some kind of air on the watch.
The only advantage it gives you is that your watch will always be fully wound. However, it puts so much more wear and tears on those automatic components keeping the mainspring on full power.
2.) Test For Water Resistance
One of the common problems of watch owners is fogging up their watches. Even the best automatic watches are susceptible to this. This is usually due to a small amount of oxygen captured by the watch. So it’s a temperature change that will actually form condensation on the crystal. So long as the condensation goes away of dissipates in a minute, you’re okay.
The key tip here is to avoid drastic temperature changes. Avoid going to hot tubs, saunas, or showers wearing your watch. If there’s any leaks or degradation to the crystal, water is going to find its way in. Water is death to watches. Maintain your gaskets, and you’re going to get a longer lifespan out of your watch.
3.) Be Careful Setting the Date
You have your automatic watch, you set it down, didn’t wear it for a week, and now you have to reset the date. If you have to change the date, it’s always safest to wind it, set the time, and rotate it past 12 o’clock.
Either let the calendar change or see that you’re at noon. If the calendar didn’t change, then go ahead and use your quick set. Don’t try to use your quick set between 10:00 and 2:00. If you do that, you’re actually forcing components and risk damaging them, especially if your watch is above three years old.
4.) Don’t Use Chronographs in Water
Never use your chronograph in or around water. If your watch watches is wet, using your chronograph will run the risk of pumping water into the watch. You put one little drop of water in there, over time, it’s going to corrode the very delicate and precise components that are inside the watch.
5.) If You Watch Drops, Check It.
When you drop your watch, the jewels move, and they spring back into position protecting the balance, that’s what they’re designed to do. But you really don’t want to drop your watch.
We’re not saying anyone’s going to do it on purpose, but if you drop your watch by accident on a hard surface, have it checked. Something could have cracked. A crown or a tube could have cracked, which eventually is going to allow water into that watch. A lot of things could happen from a simple drop.
6.) Avoid Magnetic Surfaces
Another common concern with watches has to do with magnetism. More and more watches are being made anti-magnetic. By anti-magnetic, it doesn’t mean the watch is magnetic, it’s less susceptible to magnetism.
When a watch is magnetized, the first indication is it runs extremely fast. Why does it run fast? Because you’re effectively taking that hairspring that’s vibrating and you’re shortening it because it’s sticking together. Just be careful as to where you put your watch or where you set it down.
7.) Clean Your Watch
When it comes to cleaning your watches, you can clean the watch under running water. Regular running water comes out with less pressure than a shower. Use a toothbrush, a mild detergent, and towel dry your watch off.
When it comes to maintaining your watch, the most important thing is to maintain the gaskets, and have your watch regularly serviced by a watchmaker that you trust.
Those are our seven tips to keep your watch in tip-top shape. Watches are one of the few accessories that will never go away. You’ll do yourself a favor to regularly maintain them and have them serviced to extend their lifespan even further.