Mechanical watches aren’t perfect. Like babies, they need care, attention, and protection. When you fail to provide a child’s necessities, such kid becomes susceptible to diseases and even death. Same applies to the mechanical watch. When you fail to maintain the mechanical watch, you reduce its efficiency and lifespan. So, learn how to care for your watch and increase its years of use.
Basic Steps Involved in Mechanical Watch Maintenance
Maintaining your mechanical watch begins with discovering the things that need attention. From the watch case, bracelet/straps, dial face, crown, mainspring, to watch hands, your watch needs pampering to stay in tip-top shape.
The basic steps involved in caring for your watch include:
Winding Your Mechanical Watch
The process of winding your mechanical watch begins with your daily routine. People ask “how often should you wind a mechanical watch?” We say every day, and in a clockwise motion. Before you wear your watch every day, wind the crown until you feel resistance. Overwinding can be harmful, and the gears and pinions may weaken or break.
Avoid winding your watch while it’s on your wrist, as this can increase the pressure on the crown and reduce its overall performance. In line with winding, there’s often the misunderstanding with how to set a mechanical watch. Never set your watch date during 9pm and 3am. This may disturb the original setting of the date window.
Cleaning to Remove Dust and Dirt
If cleaning brings soap and water to your mind, you’re wrong. Cleaning the mechanical watch entails wiping the external parts with a damp cloth followed by a dry cloth. Exposing your watch to excess water (even if it’s water-resistant) or detergent (typically with harsh chemical) can ruin it.
Watches are known to gather dirt and dust after some time of use. Hence, removing these particles from the physical parts of the watch can elongate its life and help you enjoy it.
As for the watch strap or bracelet, you could use a tiny brush to scrub off the dirt on the surface. And try to always clean it in a dust-free area so that new particles don’t find their way into the watch.
Storing Your Watch Correctly
Storing your watch in its box or a safe is better than merely placing it on your bedside table, dressing mirror or any random surface. Think of your watch as your second self. If you expose it to magnetic fields or chemicals such as cosmetics, it may develop problems which you may not discover early.
So, make it a habit to keep your mechanical watch in the right place and not just anywhere. This can also prevent sudden scratches, falls, and cracks. If you notice that your mechanical watch keeps stopping, its idle state may just be the cause.
We advise that you wear your watch more often than you store it. Watches are designed to be active, and when you compel them to stay in one position, serving no purpose, their lubricant may congeal and the watch may stop working.
Unlike the quartz watch which needs battery change after a minimum of three years, the mechanical watch needs an overhaul between two and five years. (You may also want to know:How to Maintain the Quartz Watch).Taking your watch to a professional allows him to check the water resistance capacity (if your watch is water-resistant), apply oil and remove other hidden dirt, and check for any other malfunction.
If you’ve noticed that your mechanical watch has stopped working, the best thing to do is visit a professional watchmaker. DIY repairs may not be advisable because of the complex nature of the mechanical watch.
When you take the time to care for your watch, it’ll definitely take care of your timekeeping needs. With these tips on how to maintain the mechanical watch, you can prevent damage to your watch and other unplanned repairs.