Seven ways to take care of a luxury watch

A luxury watch is a timeless investment – if you look after it well. Here, we show you how to care for one of your most precious possessions.

If you own a luxury watch, you will want to be sure it lasts for many years. You may even want to pass it down to the next generation. Taking a little care will help you get the most out of your timepiece.

  1. Keep it clean

This might sound obvious but if your watch is for everyday wear, it’s important to make sure it always looks its best. Regularly take a soft cloth and wipe down the band and case to remove any dirt or dust.

To get into the tighter gaps, you can use a wooden toothpick with a moistened end, a cotton bud or a used toothbrush. Don’t be tempted to use hand soap. Cleaning supplies, oils, cologne and perfume are all bad news and you should stick to water.

If your watch is in a particularly grubby state, take it to your local jeweller for a deep clean. 

  1. Make time for a service

Try to service your watch every two or three years, regardless of warranty length. That way you’ll be able to catch any issues before they become a real problem. And never try to open the back yourself – leave that to the professionals.

  1. Get wound up

Learn how to keep your watch ticking over because the parts can seize up.

With hand-wound watches, like the iconic OMEGA Speedmaster, take care not to overwind (although most modern watches won’t let you). For automatic watches, you can use a watch winder set, like this one from WOLF, which will keep the watch parts in good order. Remove the watch from your wrist before winding it, otherwise you’ll add unwanted pressure to the winding stem.

Many experts recommend getting in the habit of winding daily. This helps the watch keep time more precisely.

  1. Box it away

It might be that you wear your watch only on special occasions or you’re preserving it as investment for the next generation. To keep your heirloom safely stored, find a place

where it’s not exposed to direct sunlight or heat. It’s best to place the watch in a box or case, rather than simply on a shelf. The original box is your best bet, but you can buy a watch case that is lined inside. This case from Lucrin can house up to eight watches so is perfect if you’re building a collection.

Well-stored also means stored securely. Avoid obvious hiding places, such as the sock drawer, on top of the wardrobe or under the bed. Experts advise investing in a decent, and preferably large, safe with a high security rating.

Remember to regularly check-in on your watch to make sure it’s wound and working well. 

  1. Avoid magnets

Magnetic fields can affect the balance spring at the heart of a mechanical watch, making it less reliable or even causing it to stop altogether.

That’s why it’s important not to leave your watch too close to anything that contains a strong magnet, such as stereo speakers, refrigerators or handbag clasps. There are also strong magnets inside your laptop, tablet and mobile phone, so be careful where you store them.

Magnetic damage can be reversed. Take your watch to a reputable watch repair and service shop and they should be able to return it to its original reliability.

  1. Check your water resistance

Every watch has a water-resistance rating so take the time to read up on what it can handle.

In brief: 3 ATM/30m is splash-proof, 5 ATM/50m means it’s OK for the swimming pool, 10 ATM/100m means it’s fine for snorkelling and watersports, and 20 ATM/200m and above means you can take it scuba diving.

If you’ve exposed your watch to saltwater, rinse it off afterwards because it can be corrosive.

In addition, the older a watch is, the less likely it is that the rubber seal inside that protects

movement will be intact.

  1. Be sure to insure

One of the most important ways to look after your luxury watch is to organise the right insurance. At TH March, we have a team of experts on hand to help you find the right policy. Find out more about our specialist watch insurance.

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