While a watch can be made with diamonds, gold, and mother of pearl, it’s quite distinct from a piece of jewelry. The distinguishing element that makes a luxury timepiece remarkable is its movement, the collection of gears, weights, and springs that work together to keep time. However, the mechanical excellence that makes a watch fantastic is also vulnerable to the elements, accruing micro-damage that can eventually damage the movement.
Here at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers, we’ve had customers coming in, having suffered serious damage to their favorite Bulova watch that could have been avoided with some simple routine changes—which we’ll discuss here!
1. Avoid Magnets
This is one of the silent killers for a timepiece. Subtle magnetic fields may not have a dramatic effect on larger pieces of metal, but when tiny gears and springs are exposed to them, the magnetism can tear up their precise arrangement. While it’s impossible to avoid magnetism in the environment, be careful about keeping your favorite Breitling near cell phones, your television, refrigerator doors, PC speakers, and handheld appliances that require electricity.
2. Water is Not Your Watch’s Friend
Rusting, corrosion, deposition of sediment—water is an absolute nightmare for the movement of a luxury timepiece. If you own a quartz watch, like one from Michele, water can cause the corrosion of the battery and the damage of the circuit. If you expect to be exposed to salt or fresh water, take off your timepiece. Even if your watch is rated for water resistance, there’s no reason to tempt fate unless you have a great reason for doing so (if you’re a diver or trekking in the wilderness, for example).
Remember that even in the case of water-resistant watches, gaskets and valves can become faulty over time. Bring your watch into Albert’s Diamond Jewelers regularly for timepiece repair and to have these elements tested.
3. Wind Your Watch, But Not Too Much
Many contemporary watches are still manually wound to power the mainspring, such as the Presage collection from Seiko. If you’ve chosen this type, it’s important to never let your watch get wound down, since the oil that keeps the gears turning can get gunky. Remember to take the watch off your wrist first, and only wind the crown until you feel tension. Don’t twist past that, since it can cause the spring to be permanently damaged.
Of course, while these handy tips will increase the longevity of a luxury piece you found in our watch finder, there are maintenance routines that can’t be done at home, such as oiling gears or checking the movement. Here at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers, we recommend you come in every 4 years (3 if you have your watch in rough conditions) to have our team of watchmakers keep your favorite timepiece perfect! Make our Indiana showrooms your local jewelers or call today for an appointment: (219)-322-2700 for Schererville Indiana; or (219)-769-1976 for Merrillville, Indiana.