A watch is a unique kind of jewelry that tells you the time and adds to your look. Although watches now have many functions and designs, it still needs proper maintenance. With proper maintenance, you won't have to worry about having your watch break on you.
Here are seven of the most common watch maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Not Knowing Your Watch Movement
Watch movement is the engine that acts as a powerhouse for your watch to function. It's an internal mechanism that runs the hands and powers complications. This includes a dual time zone, annual calendar, or chronograph.
There are three main types of watch movements: manual, quartz, and automatic. Manual movement or hand-wound is the oldest kind of watch movement made back in the 16th century. It's a type of watch that needs daily winding.
The quartz movement uses a battery as its power source. It's the most accurate among the three, and you won't have to wind the watch. The automatic or self-winding watch movement winds by itself when worn on your wrist.
2. Over-Winding A Hand-Wound Mechanical Watch
One of the most common watch maintenance mistakes when people wear a hand-wound watch. A manual wound watch is more durable and robust, but it can still get damaged. If you wind your watch every day and continue turning the crown, you'll feel a slight resistance.
Once you feel a slight resistance, stop winding your watch immediately. If you have difficulty turning the crown, do not continue winding to avoid damaging your watch. Never turn the hands counterclockwise since it can damage the watch's component.
Make sure that you always set the date and time of your watch in the morning. A late-night adjustment when the date wheel starts to change can also damage your watch. Always do some research on the type of watch you have and see if the movement is quartz or mechanical.
3. Trusting Water Resistance
Never submerge your watch in water to test if it is waterproof. Unless your watch is specifically designed as a diver watch, avoid spilling water on your watch. The gasket that makes watches water-resistant can grow brittle and dry over time.
Your watch is subject to different weather, from extremely hot to freezing. The gasket between the back of your watch and case can deteriorate, leaving your watch no longer waterproof. The water can enter through the cracks in the case or crystal, which causes the components to stop.
Make sure that you avoid cleaning men's watches and women's watches with too much water. Instead, you can clean your watch with a soft-bristled toothbrush with soap. Then immediately wipe it off with a dry, soft piece of cloth.
4. Exposing the Watch to Direct Sunlight
After cleaning your watch, don't dry it off by placing it in direct sunlight. The sun can ruin the new and fresh look of your watch. It can affect the color of your watch and shorten the battery life.
If you want to dry your watch, place it on a clean surface and let the wind do the job. The heat will most likely mess up some parts of your watch, such as the hands, dial, and bezel. If you want your watch to have a long life, avoid using it in hot areas.
5. Storing the Watch in the Wrong Place
Improper watch storage can stop your watch from ticking and cause component damages. If you place it in hot or cold areas, the movements and gaskets of the watch will start to fail. The temperature can cause some parts to contract and expand.
An ideal storage area is in a place with controlled settings, such as a home safe or safe deposit box. You can also store your watches with silica gel to prolong the lifespan of your watch. Humidity is one of the worst enemies of watches since it can cause components to rust.
Remember to store the watches face upwards to reduce damages on the crown. Leave a bit of space between each watch to prevent potential scratches from friction. Make sure you wrap each of your watches in separate cloth pouches.
You should also remove the battery when storing watches. The battery may leak, causing terminal damages to its components. Use your watches from time to time to give motion to the watch's lubricants.
6. Incorrect Function Settings
Setting your watch with the wrong settings can harm the gears and movement. There is a "danger zone" that you have to avoid to prevent misalignment of the date window and broken parts. The danger zone is from any time between 9 PM and 3 AM.
It's the time range where the gears slowly move to switch dates. If you misalign the date window, the date may change earlier or later than midnight. Make sure to refer to your watch instruction manual to understand the safe dates and safe time changing procedure.
Try not to set your time back so you won't break the mainspring. Usually, adjusting the hour hands at the lower half of the dial helps you avoid the danger zone.
7. Magnetic Fields Exposure
Magnetic fields are seldom the unknowing culprits to damaging your watch. Components, especially the escapement, can start to seize up and act strangely. The escapement is the component that manages the oscillations of a watch to keep proper timing.
Avoid placing your watches near speakers, radios, and electronic devices. The watch may start to affect your time's accuracy, making the time go too fast or too slow. The magnetism can also affect the hairspring coils of your watch.
It shortens the length of the hairspring, causing the watch to get stuck or stop working altogether. So, make sure you store your watch far away from magnetic fields with a separate storage area. You can go for watches designed for magnetic fields, like Rolex Milgauss or Omega Aqua Terra.
Seven Men's Watch Maintenance Mistakes
Make sure you avoid making these watch maintenance mistakes to make your watch have a long life. Learn more about your watch and store it in the right place. Avoid extreme temperatures and submerging your watch in water.
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