Secrets to Timepiece Maintenance

Our Advice for Regular Watch Maintenance

A fine timepiece is both a masterpiece of modern technology and a link to a history of exacting mechanical engineering that goes back hundreds of years. Owning a fine timepiece is a unique luxury that all should experience. While owning a timepiece has a functional purpose, there’s much more that goes into the desire to own and wear a watch. Once you’ve made the decision to join the prestigious club of watch owners, there are some quick things to keep in mind to ensure pleasure of ownership and receive years of trouble-free service.

Understanding Your Timepiece

Your timepiece contains hundreds of precisely-machined pieces that all work together to keep time on your wrist. It all starts with the mainspring. A mainspring is a coiled piece of metal that stores energy generated when you wind the crown or, in an automatic timepiece, when you move it about. Instead of quickly unwinding, it is controlled by the escapement, which uses gears and wheels to allow it to bleed out energy to power the watch. The escapement’s rotation is controlled by a lever, called a hairspring, that moves back and forth up to 36,000 times in an hour — 10 times per second.

As motion comes from the mainspring, it turns the gears of the watch. They are are all interconnected and rotate at set speeds and intervals. This is how the watch can track, seconds, minutes, hours, days and even months and years on the most intricate mechanisms. Your watch is able to be accurate to a high degree because its gears are lubricated or because its gears spin on nearly friction-free jewels, such as rubies.

Basic Watch Care

Given its complexity, it’s to be expected that your timepiece will need to be treated well and will need a little bit of care. Here are some watch maintenance and care tips that will help you extend its life:

  • Unless your watch is specifically designed for swimming or diving, do not take it in the swimming pool or ocean with you. While most timepieces can survive a shower or even an occasional swim, extensive immersion is best for specially designed watches.
  • Clean your watch with simple cleaning implements — like water and a gentle brush.
  • Replace your leather band when it gets old, although applying a bit of leather oil can be a good watch maintenance practice to extend its life.
  • Avoid hard shocks, such as those caused by dropping the watch, banging it against hard surfaces or even hitting a golf ball.

Watch Maintenance

In addition to taking care of your timepiece, a bit of watch maintenance is also necessary. When you need to have your watch properly maintained, use a certified repair person like our technicians at Clarkson Jewelers. Here are some of the watch maintenance tasks that you can have them do:

  • Check your timepiece(s) for any unusual wear or issues.
  • Pressure test your timepiece’s seals and gaskets yearly to ensure that it is still water resistant.
  • Professionally clean your watch to remove any dirt or grime.
  • Polish your watch, if possible, to remove scratches from the case, bracelet or crystal.

Finally, most mechanical timepieces require more intensive watch maintenance periodically. Taking it in to have it carefully inspected and internally lubricated as infrequently as once every five years can save you from much more expensive repairs down the line.

We value the opportunity to educate you about fine timepieces, their beauty and the watch maintenance tasks that go along with owning them. To learn more about the pleasures and responsibilities of mechanical timepiece ownership, request a copy of the Clarkson Jewelers Magazine.

Download the Timepiece Buying Guide

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