When looking to sell your watch, its condition plays a big role. The better shape your watch is in, the more likely you are to find potential buyers and obtain a good price. You can drastically extend the life expectancy of your timepiece if you heed a few simple care tips.
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Protect your watch from jolts
It may sound obvious, but don’t drop your watch while putting it on. It happens more often than you think, and much more frequently than people would like to admit. Like water, jolts can cause significant damage which requires expensive repairs. A deployant clasp is a secure alternative to a pin buckle and a good investment.
Don’t participate in extreme sports while wearing your watch! A meter-high fall onto hard ground can already damage a watch, and sports such as mountain biking or skiing constantly shatter the movement, which can cause damage even without a drop.
Don’t expose your watch to any extreme temperatures. This can influence a mechanical watch’s aging process and functioning.
Know its water resistance
A watch’s water resistance should be regarded with caution for various reasons. The damage to a watch caused by water can be very significant. In the worst case, important components of the movement rust and the necessary repair is extremely time-consuming and expensive. Yet, there’s still a large misconception of what “waterproof” means when it comes to watches.
In reality, you shouldn’t dive 100 meters underwater with a watch labeled “waterproof to 100 m.” This only indicates that the watch can withstand that much water pressure under laboratory conditions. However, if you are wearing the watch and move while underwater, the pressure changes due to your movements. You can go swimming and snorkeling with a watch waterproof to 100 m, but if you want a timepiece to accompany you while scuba diving, you need a watch that’s waterproof to at least 200 m (20 bar).
Another important point to remember is that a watch’s impermeability – like all its other technical characteristics – underlies deterioration. Depending on how old the watch is, how often you wear it, exposure to heat and cold, and jolts, a watch’s waterproofness can last shorter or longer than expected. Therefore, you should have your watch’s waterproofness regularly tested by a watchmaker, ideally once a year.
Set your watch properly
You shouldn’t set a watch with a date display or other calendar function between 11 PM and 3 AM because the movement can be damaged. The date starts to switch shortly before midnight and is finished a few hours after. To be safe, you should always wind your watch clockwise to set it and not counterclockwise. Never try to set back the date. The date and calendar functions of most watches are constructed so that they can only be moved forward.
Take care of your leather straps
Leather is a natural material that becomes worn out and used over time. Avoid exposure to water, soap, and don’t wear your leather strap while sleeping, showering, or swimming. How much a strap ages depends on how much it’s used, but when used daily, they usually last about a year.
Avoid magnetic fields
We’re exposed to magnetic fields every day when we use various electronic devices. Strong magnetic fields can magnetize your watch and cause deviations from the correct time. Therefore, you should remove your watch during x-rays, while going through airport security, etc., and avoid placing it on speakers.
Have your watch regularly serviced
Unlike a car, if you wear your watch every day, it’s being used 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A watch is composed of numerous tiny, sensitive pieces that fit together perfectly and over time experience wear and tear. To avoid any problems, you should have your watch serviced by a professional watchmaker every five years.
Store your watch properly
Don’t transport your watch loose in a bag where it can be scratched by other objects with rough corners or subjected to sudden jolts. It’s best to use a padded box with a secure spot for your watch. Vintage watches are significantly more delicate than modern watches with sapphire glass, shock protection etc. Make sure you don’t leave your watch in harmful conditions for an extended period of time (e.g., directly in the sun, in a dusty or wet environment, etc.).
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