How To Care For Your Luxury Watch: A Complete Guide | The Watch Hut
A good watch that's well looked after should last a lifetime. Caring for your timepiece involves more than just keeping it clean and in good working order; insuring it is highly-recommended, as is regular servicing, especially if it's on the steeper end of the price spectrum.
Follow our tips and tricks, and you can keep your prized timepiece ticking for longer.
Insuring your luxury watch
Just like insuring a home, car, or mobile phone, it's important to think about protecting a luxury watch with insurance. And, while you could argue a watch with sentimental value is irreplaceable, having it insured may provide you with some comfort should it become lost or stolen.
Watch insurance can cost as little as £3.50 per month, with the price based on the make and model, level of cover, and the insurer you sign up with. When it comes to insuring your watch, there are key points to consider:
- Some home insurance policies will cover personal possessions, such as watches and jewellery, so check your level of cover. Some providers will not cover items lost, stolen, or damaged away from your home.
- As the value of silver and gold fluctuates, you may want to have your watch valued on a regular basis. Some insurers will only cover you for the amount the watch was worth at the time you took out your policy, so be careful to check you are not under-insured if you have a model likely to increase in value.
- Be aware that some insurers may reimburse you with a gift card or voucher, or even offer you a cash settlement, but for a lower sum than that of a gift credit.
- Always check the excess, as in some cases it might exceed the cost of replacing the watch itself.
Maintaining your luxury watch
Time is precious, and so is your luxury watch. The first step to protecting it is to make sure it's not exposed to extreme temperatures, water, or other common damaging elements. There are a few basic things you can do (and not do) to take care of it:
- Waterproof or water resistant?
Be sure to check just how waterproof your watch is. Any watch simply branded 'water resistant' may have a low level of resistance to water. While it might be able to handle a splash of rain, it is unlikely to survive being completely submerged and should be taken off before you step into the shower.
Even watches classed as waterproof may not be entirely impervious to water, so do your homework before purchasing to ensure the watch is fit for how you intend to use it. If your luxury watch features a leather strap, we recommended you keep it away from water even if the case is certified as waterproof, as this will age the leather.
- Servicing your luxury watch
Just like a high-powered sports car, your luxury watch will need a little TLC every now and then. Get into the habit of taking it for a regular service with a watch specialist. Some jewellers might not be able to reseal it properly after opening the watch case, so make sure you find a professional who can ensure the watch is still watertight and in good working order. Sporty types who expose their watch to extreme conditions may want to consider more frequent check-ups.
- Avoiding extreme temperatures
Quickly going from hot to cold or vice-versa can quite easily damage your watch, so take it off and keep it in your bag when you're lounging on the beach. Unless you're confident your watch is highly waterproof, avoid wearing it in the sauna, as the steam can interfere with the seals and gaskets.
Winding a luxury watch
As luxury watch-lovers will know, the mechanical watch is an emblem of ingenuity, blending science and art to produce something you'll want to pass down the generations. If you've invested in a luxury watch with mechanical functionality, make sure you take care when winding it.
- Remove the watch from your wrist before winding it, otherwise you'll add unwanted pressure to the winding stem.
- Never overwind your watch. Stop as soon as you feel resistance.
- Try keep in the habit of winding it daily. This helps the watch keep the time more precisely.
Cleaning your luxury watch
You wouldn't go to a special occasion wearing a dirty outfit, so why not take the same pride in your luxury watch? Sweat, grime, and the environment can quickly take their toll on your watch, and failure to clean it often enough will make it look old before its time.
It's important to keep in mind that different luxury watches can have different requirements, and so the same cleaning routine might not work for yours. We've outlined general practice below, but you should always check the manufacturers guidelines before cleaning it.
- How to clean a silver, gold, or stainless steel watch
Gold, silver and stainless steel are all tough and hardy materials, which is why they are so commonly used in luxury watchmaking (besides the fact they look good). However, they are still prone to scratching and wear and tear. Keeping it clean will prevent the metal from dulling - here's how:
- Before you start, separate the face from the bracelet to ensure you don't get the wrong type of cleaner on certain parts. Separating it will also help you access each part of the watch, so it's washed thoroughly.
- Using a nonabrasive cloth and glass cleaner, wipe down your watch, ensuring you use a circular motion when it comes to the face.
- Using a dry, soft cloth, use a circular motion to wipe the face and bracelet dry.
- Once the bracelet and face are completely dry, reassemble your watch and you're good to go.
- How to clean a leather bracelet watch
Leather is prone to ageing; sweat, dead skin cells, body oil and dust can cause the bracelet to smell and deteriorate rapidly. While you're unlikely to find a leather bracelet that will last a lifetime and not need replacing, regularly cleaning it can extend its lifespan considerably.
- First, wipe down your leather bracelet with a dry, microfibre cloth, ensuring to remove the most noticeable dust and dirt.
- Lightly dampen the microfibre cloth with lukewarm water and a couple of drops of hand soap (preferably oil-free), ensuring you don't use too much soap or water - any excess fluids could stain the leather.
- Dampen another microfibre cloth with cold water and wipe the bracelet thoroughly to remove any soap residue.
- Leave the watch to dry at room temperature, ensuring not to put it back on until completely dry.
While your luxury watch may require more care and attention than other jewellery and accessories, tending to its upkeep will be more than worth it in the long-run.