How to take care of your watch (Part 1)

As discussed in our previous blog post, watches are still desirable and necessary in this modern life. Interestingly, a watch can last for generations, if you know how to take care of it. Our series of upcoming blog posts will provide you with a complete guide on how to take care of you valuable watch.


This first part includes general watch-care tips and specific advice on how to take care of your watch movement.


GENERAL TIPS

There are some general tips you should follow to protect your watch, regardless of the watch type.

  • Read your watch manual carefully: It is important to understand and follow special instructions from your watch manufacturer.

  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Being exposed to an extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures, your watch performance will be negatively affected.

  • Avoid magnets: As you know, watch movements include more or less metals and engines. It means that they are extremely sensitive to magnets. The watch’s accuracy can be badly damaged due to long-term exposure to magnets.

  • Avoid contact with chemicals: Chemicals and possible interactions are obviously not your watch’s friend.

  • Avoid impacts/shocks: External impacts or shocks can affect your watch’s function and accuracy.

  • Keep your watch box for storage: Nowhere is better to keep your watch than its own box. It is the ideal place for the watch to be safe and to preserve its beauty.


THE MOVEMENT

It is the movement that powers all the activities and ensures the accuracy of a watch. I guess it is not the first time I have written this but I must insist that the movement is the most important part of a watch. Maintaining the watch movement in a right way helps lengthen your watch’s lifetime.


QUARTZ MOVEMENT


Quartz movement is powered by a battery. Electricity from the battery is transferred via an integrated circuit to make a small quartz crystal vibrate. The vibrations from the quartz crystal activates the stepping motor, which then sends electrical pulses to the dial train and moves the watch’s hands.


As you can see, the battery then becomes a vital part of a quartz movement. It is a must to replace the battery in time. If not, the battery acid may leak and destroys the whole movement. A quartz battery usually lasts 2-4 years depending on age, condition and watch types. For example, a Quartz chronograph watch requires more energy so it is likely that the battery needs to be replaced after just 12-15 months.


There are indications for you to recognize when battery power is reduced. For analog quartz watches, a weak battery will be shown in different ways. For example, the second hand skips several seconds at a time, moves back and forth at the same spot or completely stops. For digital quartz watches, a low battery indicator usually appears on the watch dial to inform you.


It is possible to change the battery yourself if you have the right skills and knowledge. Howevery, I recommend you get the battery changed at reliable service centres, ideally those authorised by your watch brand. Their highly-skilled employees together with high-quality watch parts will ensure a good performance for your timepieces, even after battery replacement.


MECHANICAL MOVEMENT

Mechanical movement, on the other hand, utilizes the energy of a wound spring to power

the watch through a series of springs and gears. Mechanical movements can also be found in two types which are manual and automatic. Watches with manual movement, the oldest type of watch movement, have to be wound by hand to generate the energy for the watch’s mainspring. Automatic movement, or “self-winding” allows the watch to operate with energy from natural motions of the wearer’s wrist.


In general, a mechanical watch needs regular cleanings and oil changing to run effectively. That is why, it is important for you to order professional maintenance service for your mechanical watch every 2-7 years. The maintenance needs for watches are not the same so I suggest you pay attention to the manual for your watch manufacturer’s recommendation.


More particularly, for a watch with manual movement, it is necessary to wind it every day, at the same time, preferably before you wear it. This will help to ensure the accuracy and power reserve. Remember to stop winding when you feel the resistance. Forcing the crown may cause damage to the whole movement.


For an automatic watch, you should wear it as often as possible. The watch may stop working if you do not wear it in a while. In this case, it may be smart to buy a winding box to store your watch. There may be different opinions regarding the use of winding boxes. However, I believe that it helps to wind the watch automatically and contributes to its smooth operation over time.


To be continued...


Do not forget to follow our next blog post for more tips and insights on how to take good care of your watch.



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