You probably have one favorite mechanical watch. And every time you look at it, you feel proud of yourself for being able to afford it. Congratulations! The watch that is sitting right on your wrist is a symbol of your hard work and represents history, art, and life story.
Undoubtedly, specific models of watches increase in value more than others. For many individuals, purchasing a mechanical watch is more of an investment. It is considered a social investment as it can serve as a good conversation starter at parties and among fellow enthusiasts. Others want to carefully keep their manual wind watch and pass it down to the next generation. It is vitally necessary to take good care of your watch to maintain its value and function for many years to come. Because of this, we’ve compiled some of the handiest advice for keeping the condition of your mechanical watch.
How Does a Manual Wind Watch Work?
The fundamental design of nearly every mechanical watch over the past three centuries has remained the same, demonstrating an incredibly clever and effective mechanism. Unlike a quartz watch, a mechanical wristwatch doesn’t use a battery for power. The movement of the hands on the dial is maneuvered by the unwinding of a tightly wound flat spring. This power also supplies any extra complexities, such as a date function, moon phase, and chronograph.
The hairspring, which “beats” back and forth steadily somewhere between 18,000 and 36,000 times per hour, is the heart of the watch. If you’ve ever seen a mechanical watch mechanism in operation, you’ll get the metaphor. The tension of this hairspring and its resilience to variations in temperature and magnetism play a significant role in the watch’s accuracy. Most contemporary hairsprings are composed of a temperature-compensating metallic alloy, while some are composed of silicon, which is magnetically inert.
Tips for Taking Care of Manual Winding Watches
- Wind your watch every day
This first tip is essential if you own a manual-winding watch. It is a good idea to wind your watch daily, even if you don’t wear it every day. A mechanical watch mechanism contains several moving elements. The lubricants that prevent the gears from adhering together may begin to thicken if these components are kept stationary for a lengthy period. It may result in unwanted friction, which might harm the watch and affect how well it performs.
Some watches require more time to wind than others, depending on the size of the mainspring, the age of the manual-winding watch, and other considerations. Being careful and stopping winding as soon as you get any resistance from the crown is crucial. The mainspring and the winding stems are brittle and can be broken or damaged with a lot of effort. Make sure to also remove your watch from your wrist before winding it. It will give you a better grip and reduce the possibility of any damage.
- Be in a safe place when winding your watch
Most of the time, you are in a hurry to get to work, attend a meeting, or do some errands. Make sure to be in a safe place to ensure that robbers won’t be able to steal your watch while you are winding it. Do not wind it while walking down the street or sitting on your toilet to prevent it from falling on hard surfaces.
- Always keep it polished
If you give it some thought, your watch is exposed to some dirt regularly. Even routine activities like petting the family pet and shaking hands with strangers might leave traces on your watch. You wash your hands and your clothing frequently, but you rarely think to clean your timepieces.
There are various spots on your watch where dirt may build, but the most important spots to pay attention to are the lens, between the links on the bracelet, and where the case joins the bezel. Regular cleaning with a lint-free cloth will keep your watch looking clean and help avoid buildup. If it’s comfortable for you, take off the metal bracelet and give it a quick bath in a basin of warm water with some light soap. After the dirt has separated, remove the bracelet and completely dry it with a towel before reinserting it into the casing. It’s also worthwhile to consider getting your timepieces cleaned by a professional once a year. For more thorough cleaning, they’ll probably utilize an ultrasonic cleaner with high power.
- Have your watch checked by a professional every year
Older watches will need more care and attention, so before entrusting a watchmaker with your priceless timepiece, do your homework to select the best one. Not only would this lower the watch’s overall value, it may also harm its mechanical movement in the long run. It’s a good idea to have the waterproofing seals tested and, if necessary, updated as part of the professional service if your watch has any water resistance rating, which most do these days. Your watch may become less waterproof over time because these seals erode over time. People frequently choose to skip replacing the seals to save money. Many watchmakers use devices to test the water resistance of your timepiece using pressure settings, and the tests are neither expensive nor time-consuming.
You might also want to take it to the manufacturer for repairs. There are a few things to bear in mind, but it will assure you that all replacement components are authentic and that only trained specialists are working on them. In addition to costing more than repairs from trained local watch repair specialists, services from the manufacturer may also lower the value of your watch, especially if it’s a rare model.
With all these tips given to you, you have the chance to be able to pass on your precious timepiece to the next generation. Make sure that you advise them on how to take care of the watch so that if they purchase newer watches in the future, they will know what to do to maintain it. Although watches may not last forever, it saves you money to be able to maintain them for a long time. So, clean it, wind it up, and maintain its performance.
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