What you need to know about watch maintenance

If you’ve ever owned a watch (we all do!) then you will know that a watch needs some TLC every now and then.

To start off, a mechanical watch can last forever provided it is well manufactured and that it is taken care of properly.

We’ve listed out some things for you to know about watch maintenance.

A mechanical watch needs a service every 3-4 years. This is due to the fact that all of the watch movements are lubricated and can dry out. Over time, dust and moisture can enter the movement, so a service gives a watch the cleaning it needs and helps keep accurate time.


Wear and tear parts
These are parts which are used often and can be replaced. The crown is such a piece. If a part of the watch is damaged, then it should be replaced. However it is difficult to always source certain original components of the watch, so if the part is not damaged, don’t change it.

Acrylic crystals are made of plexi-glass and are prone to scratches. Luckily they can be polished out if they are not too deep. Acrylic crystals are also easy to replace and even to produce. Sapphire crystals are essentially scratchproof most newer models come with a sapphire crystal.


Replacement of parts
All vintage watches age, mainly the dial and hands (these are the two most common ways of telling if a watch is aged). If the dial and hands of your watch are showing signs of age, we wouldn’t suggest that you replace them. Aged components of the watch preserve the identity and history of the watch and make it much more interesting to look at. Replacing aged parts can end up in a decrease in value.

Polishing can be done every few years. It isn’t recommended to polish cases and bracelets that are from extremely rare pieces.  It also isn’t recommended to polish cases that are plated as the polishing process can rub off the plating.

As published in Alpha magazine watch special, June 2013.

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