Share some precious moments with your watch!
There is nothing more precious and valuable to us than time and our watches constantly remind us of its passing. They are precise to the second. They are reliable and unresting. They are our constant companions. But do we pay them enough attention – these fellow travellers that (almost) never let us down?
Mechanical watches in particular – tiny machines that they are – perform an amazing service. For this reason they deserve to be correctly maintained and serviced just like our automobiles. Here are a few care and maintenance tips that will enable you to extend the life of your watches and enhance the pleasure you can derive from owning them.
Store your watch in a dust-tight pouch, case or cabinet. Valuable watches should be kept in a safe or strong box.
Glass and metal do not make good storage boxes, not even for overnight storage. These materials tend to be too cold for the watch – cold temperatures cause the oil in the watch to be used more quickly.
Wind your watch daily and if possible always at the same time of day.
With mechanical watches in general and with complications in particular, try not to make any adjustments (for example, date corrections) between 10 o'clock at night and 2 in the morning. When you do change the date, change it generally only forwards.
If you wish to store an automatic watch for an extended period, a rotation machine is recommended to keep the automatic winding mechanism working and the spring loaded. This will prevent the need to reset the time and date and will prove particularly useful when storing watches with eternal calendars. It is not necessary to keep an automatic watch in constant motion. It is sufficient to wind them or run the rotation machine once every month or two.
Store quartz watches without the batteries as acid may leek from an empty cell and damage the mechanism or facia.
Watches without a three-component screwed housing or screw-down crown should not be taken into the sauna or swimming.
Protect your watch as far as possible from 'temperature shocks'. Even if water does not enter the watch from the outside, the humidity already in the watch can cause oxidisation and damage the facia or mechanism.
Clean your watch occasionally with a soft cloth or dry toothbrush and remove any dirt that collects between crown, control-buttons and lugs.
Normal water-resistant watches can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Watches with more extreme water-resistance (greater than 3 bar) can also be cleaned under running water. Removing a leather strap before using water, this will extend its life.
Never use soaps or cleaning chemicals as these can attack the sealing rings of the crown and baseplate. Gold watches can be polished occasionally. Wear a cotton glove and rub the watch lightly between your fingers. If the glass has been damaged, you should take the watch to a watchmaker for repair. You should never open your watch yourself.
The Watch Glass
Light scratches and marks on the glass can often be polished out using an appropriate polishing paste. Acrylic glass is more scratch-prone than mineral glass and synthetic sapphire glass is the most scratch-resistant, it is, however, also brittle and can crack if sharply struck.
As a general rule, leather straps should never come into contact with water. Only straps and bracelets that are certified waterproof may be washed under running water. Never use cleaning agents as these can cause colour changes and stains. Even the highest quality leather straps can only resist daily wear and tear, temperature changes and the aggressive acids in normal sweat for so long. Due to constant changes in moisture content, over time, the leather strap will loose stability and begin to tear at the fastenings. The normal life of a leather strap is approximately one year. Metal straps and bracelets can be polished in the same way as the watch housing and will come up looking almost new.
Timekeeping inaccuracies are fairly common in new mechanical watches. The mechanism needs a certain ‘running in’ time and must become accustomed to the activity of the wearer. Temperature swings can also affect the precision. While it is being worn on the wrist, the watch will be at a constant temperature of approximately 30° centigrade. If it is removed and left on a table overnight it will adopt the room temperature. The effects of shocks and bumps are reduced by shock absorbers inside the watch, but they can still affect the regularity of the motion and thereby the precision. The best procedure is to note the discrepancies during a time period of one or two weeks. This information will help your watchmaker make any necessary adjustments.
The process of cleaning a watch movement is known as a ‘revision’. For mechanical watches the interval between revisions is approximately 5 years. During a revision, the watch is taken to pieces and cleaned using a special chemical fluid. Worn and defective parts are replaced before it is re-assembled and lubricated. Finally, the timekeeping is reset. The general service that the watch receives during the revision takes about 4 weeks.
Generally speaking, a change of battery is all that a quartz watch needs to function reliably for a few more years. However, a general internal overhaul and cleaning is also recommended every 5 to 7 years for quartz watches.
The water resistance of a waterproof watch should be checked regularly. A 1-year interval is recommended. A hefty bump on the crown, strong temperature variations and dust can all cause damage to the waterproofing seals.
The watchmakers in our Bucherer stores will always accept your watch for repair. If the cause of the problem cannot be immediately diagnosed, at your request, the watch will be inspected and an estimate of costs for the repair will be made.
Since 2002, there is a guarantee of 2 years from the date of purchase covering all watches sold in Europe. This guarantee comes into effect as soon as the guarantee form has been correctly filled out by the dealer. The guarantee is made void by intrusions into the watch by unauthorised persons. It does not cover damage or loss due normal wear and tear, glass breakage, extreme use or lack of care and attention. Nor does it cover damage caused by accidents or from wearing the watch.